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Category Archives: Cancer Awareness

Authors who fight cancer, support organizations to eradicate the disease, or have family and/or friends with it.

Miserable Isn't in Our Vocabulary by Vicki Batman @VickiBatman #CancerAwareness #RLFblogOver the years on Romance Lives Forever, I have shared Handsome’s battle with throat cancer and the treatment/surgeries which followed.

A year and a half passed since Handsome’s last surgery, the one to repair the thin skin tear along his left jaw. (In actuality, the first one failed after five days, and he had to have a second go.) With a new graft taken from his left wrist and vessels from his leg, the doctor declared the second surgery a success. Handsome went home with a feeding tube in his stomach, which the doctor removed after a few months. Because his swallowing was compromised, he could only drink his food. He consulted with the nutritionist and found a full-power formula to consume. Ten surgeries zapped his energy. His daily routine included long naps.

In January, he researched his condition and found something which might be of benefit—steroids in high doses to reduce inflammation. He consulted with his ENT specialist and the oncology doctor. Both read the studies and, seeing no complications, decided to go ahead.

Within two days of taking the steroids, Handsome said he felt a tingling sensation in his throat. His mouth and jaw moved better. He spoke distinctly. He had the urge to swallow. However, in the midst of treatment, he immersed in stressful negotiations to sell his company, and his mother passed from lung cancer. Quickly, the benefits of the steroid treatment dissipated. Disheartening, to say the least.

After the sale of the company was completed, his life wound down some. He talked with the oncologist about what had happened—the tingling, the better movement—when on the higher dosage steroids. The doctor decided to try a second round. This time, next to nothing occurred.

The scars, grafts, and jaw healed. His energy level returned. He worked out regularly. Recently, we traveled to Europe and faced challenges with the Italian customs to clear his food (formula) to our hotel. Eventually, all resolved in a nail-biting last minute. Now, we had better knowledge of how to operate when traveling.

What does Handsome’s future entail? Pretty much, he won’t be eating a steak, just drinking the liquid diet. I’ve asked him to consult with a speech therapist. I believe one could help him speak better and correct his bad habits. Maybe, maybe, maybe he might swallow a teensy weensy bit better, too. We don’t know for sure, but he must try. And there is a possibility of another kind of steroid treatment.

Cancer IS a booger-bear. I implore all of you to take care of your body. Because of what I know about throat cancer, my heart bleeds when I see someone smoking even though Handsome didn’t get cancer this way.

I always end these posts by saying how positive he is. Miserable isn’t part of his vocabulary. He doesn’t dwell on being miserable. Truly, he thinks of others’ suffering first. We embrace life fully. Of course, we wish for the old norm, but that’s life. It takes on new life adventures—good and bad.Miserable Isn't in Our Vocabulary by Vicki Batman @VickiBatman #CancerAwareness #RLFblog

~ Vicki Batman

Sommerville Days

Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

Raving Beauty: What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?

Store Wars: The competition is heating up when Janie’s old flame returns to town and is running his family’s store. Could following dreams break her heart?

San Diego or Bust: When a young woman plans a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, disaster strikes. Is her Mr. Right the right Mr. Right?

Where to buy Sommerville Days

Publisher: VLMBatman

Vicki Batman Social Media

Vicki Batman has sold many romantic comedy works to magazines, several publishers, and most recently, two humorous romantic mysteries. Along the way, she has picked up awards and bestsellers. Avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocaholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”
Amazon Author Page:


Prostate Cancer Saved My Life by Lloyd A Meeker @LloydAMeeker #CancerAwareness #RLFblogAuthor Lloyd A Meeker shares how finding out the worst news turned out to be great.

Prostate Cancer Saved My Life by Lloyd A Meeker

Last November I received my third cancer diagnosis. This time it was my prostate, and in January I had a biopsy which revealed I had two different kinds, one slow, the other very aggressive. There was no time to lose, so surgery was scheduled for February 7th.

I was deeply discouraged. My first two diagnoses had been over fifteen years earlier, and I had become certain cancer had long ago slipped from my rear-view mirror, although my takeaways from that experience had stayed with me: seize the moment, make time for the important stuff, focus on the people and work I love, make space for my own needs, be fierce and unapologetic about it.

Still, it was a shock to anticipate yet another round of treatment, and I was despondent about what having my prostate removed might mean in my intimate life with my husband. And for the first time in a long, long time, I began to wonder whether I had other cancer time bombs ticking away inside my body. It was stressful, having that strain between me and my wonderful old body. It had stuck with me through so much over my rather checkered 70 years.

As my surgery date approached, I went in for the standard array of pre-op screening. Everything came back fine, except the EKG showed a slight anomaly. We opted for a second opinion. The new EKG wasn’t any better. We did a CT scan, and it looked like there were some arterial blockage that caused concern. We agreed with the cardiologist to have a catheterization performed as precaution before the surgery.

So the next day I was lying on the table while the cardiologist started the catheterization, and I’m listening to him mumble medicalese to an assistant, when he asked someone to bring the cardiac surgeon on duty into the room. I remember thinking, “I don’t think that happens every time,” and then I don’t remember much of anything so I must have got another dose of good drugs.

I woke up en route to somewhere, lying on a gurney, looking at the ceiling. It’s a visual cliche from countless movies to have the camera focus on the fluorescent ceiling lights as they slide by in endless procession. It was vaguely humorous to see it again in real life.

Anyway, I was wheeled from the OR to intensive care, with about a million tubes stuck in me. The cardiologist and the surgeon came by later to tell me why I wasn’t going to be going home right away. My main heart artery, so subtly called “the widow-maker,” was 99% blocked, and the other three weren’t much better. Apparently although my heart itself was still perfectly healthy, the slightest heart incident would have killed me, and a heart incident would occur without warning eventually, likely sooner than later. So I was having quadruple bypass surgery in the morning.

I have to admit that was a major surprise, since I’d never had any heart concerns. Bob and I had a few tears of fear and despair, and gradually realized that as shocking as it was, this was extremely good news, as neither of us had any clue I was carrying a different kind of time bomb in my body.

So now I have a foot-long beauty mark running down the middle of my chest, along with the smaller, more recent trophies acquired during prostate removal. And I really do consider it a beauty mark. It’s a daily reminder of how lucky I have been, how lucky I am, and how much more life and love I can know because of it.

And that’s how aggressive prostate cancer saved my life. Sometimes, if we’re especially lucky, we get help from astonishingly unusual places.

Stone and Shell by Lloyd A Meeker

Genre Holiday family romance

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): G

Eight-year-old Howie Evinger is convinced that his dad would be happier if he found a new husband. Howie would be happier, too. And somewhere out there in the city of Vancouver, there’s the right man for his dad to love. But how to find him? That’s a problem, especially if you’re just a kid and your dad says he doesn’t want another husband.

With the help of his quirky aunt Shanna, who calls herself a Buddhist Wiccan, Howie builds his very own solstice altar with cool symbols to support his search. It has a candle, a feather, and a twisty stick, plus an agate for his dad, and a scallop shell for his new husband. Share Howie’s solstice adventure as he learns how real magic requires courage and patience as well as symbols.

Where to buy Stone and Shell



Lloyd A Meeker Social Media

Born on a farm in the Colorado foothills and having led what can only be described as a checkered life, Lloyd Meeker can honestly say he’s grateful for all of it. He’s been a minister, an office worker, a janitor, a drinker, and a software developer on his way to finishing his first novel in 2004. He is a three-time cancer survivor.
A number of his stories have been published, including Traveling Light (DSP Publications), Enigma (Wilde City Press), Blood and Dirt (Wilde City Press), Blood Royal, (Wild Rose Press) and Stone and Shell (NineStar Press). His novel The Companion (Dreamspinner Press) was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards.
Meeker and his husband have been together since 2002. Between them they have four children and five grandchildren. They live in south Florida, and work hard to keep up with the astonishing life they’ve created.
Amazon Author page


What cancer means to us #CancerAwareness #RLFblog #PMIncCancer does not discriminate, it does not care if you are a mother, father, grandparent, child, what color your skin is, nor whether you have money. Cancer is an invasive, pervasive disease that is only out to destroy.

Too often we hear ‘they are too young’, ‘only women get breast cancer’, or ‘I don’t do anything unhealthy’, then we hear about how a child has leukemia, or a man has gotten breast cancer, or how someone who has never taken junk into their body has developed cancer.

It does not care if you are 1 month or 90 years old, it does not care what the ‘average age’ is. Staying ahead of it, the best you can, is the only way to truly stand a fighting chance. Knowing the facts, asking about your family’s medical history, understanding your own personal risk are ways to start fighting now and not just for yourself but for your loved ones.

Below are just some statistics listed concerning cancer taken from the National Cancer Institute. We encourage each of you to not only check out the other statistics but also look for other indicators and BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE and the ADVOCATE OF YOUR LOVED ONES. No one knows your family history as well as you do. Sure, you can notify your doctor when you fill out those initial forms but your medical record does not necessarily reflect your parents, children, or grandchildren’s records. Just because you have the same provider it does not mean that they will remember your medical history when talking to your loved ones. So, write it out, save the information, share it with other members, and stand up for your own medical care.

Personalized Marketing Inc Cancer Stories

From Dee

My Uncle, Aunt, Grandfather, Stepmother, and other members of my family have all died not only from cancer but also from the treatments involved. Chemo itself can be deadly. When I recently took my son to get a workup done, I told them I wanted him to have a complete workup including being tested for Prostate Cancer. The initial reaction was ‘he’s too young, we don’t check for that until they are older’. Of course, I informed them that my Uncle was diagnosed in his late 30’s and that several other members on my Dad’s side have dealt with or were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. This did not include the various other types of cancers that have passed through my family tree. If I had not been with him to provide the information again, they may have missed out on certain test needed. When I go with any of my children or my dad to their appointments, I often provide information about medical concerns and history so that the doctor is aware. Some cancers are inherited others are behaviorally passed on, knowing which types are in your genetic pool is important to understand and discuss with your doctor.

From Cindy

Cancer does not only effect those who have it but also those around them. My Dad had Lung Cancer and his Dad had Prostate Cancer. My Mom went through Breast, Lung and Colon Cancer in her lifetime. With each one my sisters and I made it imperative to always be checked and ensured other members of our family were aware that our family is at a higher risk to develop Cancer no matter what type. The psychological toll it takes on family, friends and caregivers is very difficult. A strong support system in imperative to everyone.

So be sure to know your medical history, gather and confide in those around you for support, and most important don’t skip your annual physicals and screenings.

No One is Excluded. Awareness and Early Detection May Save You.

According to the National Cancer Institute (n.d.) Statistics at a Glance: The Burden of Cancer in the United States

  • In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease.
  • The most common cancers (listed in descending order according to estimated new cases in 2018) are breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, melanoma of the skin, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, endometrial cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and liver cancer.
  • The number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 439.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2011–2015 cases).
  • The number of cancer deaths (cancer mortality) is 163.5 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2011–2015 deaths).
  • Cancer mortality is higher among men than women (196.8 per 100,000 men and 139.6 per 100,000 women). When comparing groups based on race/ethnicity and sex, cancer mortality is highest in African American men (239.9 per 100,000) and lowest in Asian/Pacific Islander women (88.3 per 100,000).

If you ever need a friend or someone to just listen and not judge, feel free to drop us a line. We do understand and being someone’s pen pal is just one way we can make a difference in other people’s lives.

~ Dee and Cindy

Personalized Marketing Social Media




According to the National Cancer Institute (n.d.) Cancer Statistics. Retrieved from


Living with Cancer. Keyword: Living @liviaquinn Livia Quinn #AttackingCancer #CancerLivia Quinn shares good news — and statistics that can help.

One third or all men and women in the US will develop cancer of some kind. Every year I hear more positive experiences about cancer, people living longer, going into remission or the diagnosis itself making them face difficult decisions that improve their lives and health.
Living with cancer. According to the American Cancer Society “Today, more than 15 million people alive in the United States have had some type of cancer. Some of these people are cancer-free; others still have it.”
And still the main problem seems to be convincing people, particularly women, to be tested. Here are some of the things you may not be aware of about cutting your risks of getting cancer. (Some are still controversial with doctors, like mine who is on the side a one glass of red wine a day. Nevertheless, these are some things you can do to reduce your risk.) We need to face some hard truths about our habits.
1. Obesity is the largest risk factor that is preventable.
2. Get mammograms or tests for your genetic risk factors.
3. Risks increase with age so all the more reason to get other risks factors in check.
4. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Self check. Report ANY changes to your doctor.
5. Breast cancer isn’t always hereditary and around 90% of lumps aren’t cancerous. But that leaves 10%. EARLY DETECTION is imperative.
6. Any alcohol, according to research, increases your risk, even wine.
7. Breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. And one thing about the recent Obamacare laws was to make one mammogram a year and health exam is covered by your insurance. Check to make sure this is still true with yours but for many there is no monetary reason to avoid mammograms.
8. Other risk factors, tobacco, sun bathing in any form, lack of exercise.
Uh,boy. I need to up my game…
This Tuesday my book At Long Last Love releases. Talk about overcoming hereditary challenges and accepting help from your loved ones…

At Long Last Love by Livia Quinn

Genre Contemporary Small-town Romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG-13
Love happens…when you least expect it! And sometimes it brings a long-awaited second chance.
Madison Hart has been in love with Beau Larue for most of her life. When he comes home unexpectedly, Maddie’s traitorous heart leaps at the thought of a second chance. But an accident Beau’s Hollywood movie set has sent him home a changed man, in more ways than one.
Maddie makes a sacrifice that pushes Beau even farther away. Will her love be strong enough for both of them to finally find their happily ever-after?
A series with so much love and heart you’ll be cheering for each couple to get their happily ever after.
Preorder AtLong Last Love and book 6 until release day for $0.99 as well. (7 books in the series)

Where to buy At Long Last Love

Publisher Campbell Hill Publishing
Books 2 Read
Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
It will also be available on

Livia Quinn Social Media

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives by the bayou in Louisiana with her husband and Cajun husky, Dusty. She gets her inspiration from the state’s fascinating culture and weather. She loves stories with emotion, family and love of community so you’ll find small towns, humor, quirky characters and lots of love in her stories. She has published twelve books, both paranormal and contemporary romance.
Livia Quinn’s Books2Read Page
Amazon Author page
Livia Quinn Readers Group

Save Lives: Do Annoying Tests and Keep Doctor Appointments Stacy McKitrick #AttackingCancer #Cancer Author Stacy McKitrick shares a dual story of surviving cancer.

Cancer hit Hubby and me three times since 2016. Thank GOD we see doctors regularly and follow through with scheduled but annoying, tests. Because they probably saved our lives.
In January of 2016, Hubby felt a tickle in his throat that wouldn’t go away. He went to his doctor who promptly got him an appointment with the ENT who promptly scheduled surgery. Diagnosis: tonsil cancer. Two more surgeries (and a PET scan) later, Hubby was diagnosed cancer-free. But cancer was apparently hiding. In January of 2017, Hubby felt a lump on his neck. Yep, cancer. The same cancer DNA as the first: HPV. Hubby probably had this in his system for decades and never knew it.
This time around he not only had surgery to remove the lump, but now he needed chemo and radiation. Overall, he lost 100 lbs. Not the best way to lose the weight, but he’s determined not to gain it all back.
While he was recovering from all that, I had my annual mammogram in July of 2017. Results came back wonky and they suggested I have a biopsy. This was not unfamiliar territory for me. I’ve had several wonky mammograms followed by biopsies, cysts drained, and two lumps removed (both fibro abnomas). Even though I was sure I didn’t have cancer, I went along with the biopsy because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
When the doctor told me I had breast cancer, I really didn’t believe him at first. Thought it was some kind of mistake. Then he went over my choices: lumpectomy w/radiation or mastectomy.
I thought: Holy crap! I have breast cancer.
I couldn’t think. Couldn’t make a decision. I needed Hubby with me (I went alone because I didn’t think he was needed for that appointment!).
I also thought: I don’t want to miss my trip to California!
My dad was getting up there in age (92) and I had plans to see him in October. They wanted to do surgery then.
Getting a mastectomy would have put a stop to that trip, so I chose the lumpectomy. And I’m so glad I did. My father passed away a couple of weeks after I returned home.
Radiation happened during Christmas, but it wasn’t so bad (I’ve seen people get burned) and I was sure I wouldn’t need chemo because the cancer wasn’t found in my lymph nodes. Then I was told about the tests the doctor ran on my cancer to determine the probabilities of it returning in my bones. Seemed I fell into the “no man’s land”: chemo MIGHT prevent it or it MIGHT not. Great. I love when things are vague, don’t you?
As I struggled to make this decision, I discovered one of the many side affects of the chemo was that I could develop another type of cancer. I wasn’t willing to trade the possibility of getting one cancer for the possibility of getting another, so I decided against chemo. Thankfully, Hubby supported my decision.
Hubby and I are doing well now. He got his port removed in August and is at a weight that’s healthy for him. And my last mammogram came back clear, although I’m getting them done every six months for awhile. There’s still the possibility cancer can return, and if it does, I’ll deal with it. Because you CAN beat cancer. Hubby and I are proof.

Ghostly Interlude by Stacy McKitrick

Genre: Paranormal romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Maggie Russell—legal assistant by day, horror writer by night—gets the scare of her life when she wakes up in a strange café without any idea of how she got there. But if she tells anyone about her sleepwalking escapades, she could lose her grandmother’s house, and she’d fought so hard to keep it.
Dean Parker is a private investigator whose office is next door to Maggie’s law firm. He’s been eyeing the pretty brunette ever since she started working there, but getting involved with anyone isn’t in his game plan. When he finds out she’s been having sleeping problems, he suspects her money-grubbing cousin is involved. Instead, he discovers something worse: a ghost is living with Maggie and it appears another may be possessing her.
Dean is determined to help Maggie rid her home of the uninvited guests. He just never figured his attraction to her would be reciprocated. Keeping his distance is no longer an option, though. If he fails, Maggie could very well be possessed forever.

Where to buy Ghostly Interlude

Barnes and Noble

Stacy McKitrick Social Media

Stacy McKitrick fell in love with paranormal romance, decided to write her own, and found her passion in life. She used to work in accounting, now she spends her time with vampires, ghosts, and aliens, and is the author of the Bitten by Love and the Ghostly Encounters series. Born in California, she currently resides in Ohio with her husband.
Amazon Author Page


Like-Hearted Adventurers and a New Life: Lloyd A Meeker @lloydameeker #AttackingCancer #CancerLike-hearted Adventurers

Lloyd A Meeker’s Fighting Cancer Story

In the fall of 2003 I had surgery for stomach cancer. I was living in Washington, DC with the man who has since become my husband. I was in my mid-50s and had never spent a night in a hospital before. I’d been sober for four years and happily partnered for one. A brand new life was unfolding before me, and I was ill prepared for the shock of discovering that I had cancer.
After the surgery, that first night in the hospital, floating on a cloud of morphine (I’m sure I clicked on my dosage button far more times than the dispensing machine would respond) I heard a voice – which sounded a lot like the voice of the therapist I’d worked with while coming out. It said, “You know, you’ve always said you wanted to write novels. Well, you’d better get on it because you’re now on bonus time.”
The next morning I asked my partner to bring in my laptop, and I began work on finishing the story that had been languishing on my hard drive for several years.
Four months later I discovered I had a different kind of cancer in my bladder, much more aggressive. Once again I was challenged to pay attention not only to the fact that I was mortal, but to how I wanted to live. I made changes to how I lived. I resigned from my programmer’s job for a defense contractor, and got a new one working for the Peace Corps.
I’ve always said I’ve been grateful for those experiences with cancer because they forced me to review my priorities and reminded me that I had no time to waste on anything but living the most authentic life I possibly could, surrounded by like-hearted adventurers, challenging myself to live a life of conscious decency and creativity as I understood what that meant.
All my tests since that time have come back negative for any reoccurrence, and I think I’d grown a little soft in my gratitude for cancer — simply based on the assumption that it was far behind me. Earlier this year my annual cystoscopy came back clear just as I had expected, but a week after the exam my urologist called me to inform me that my PSA was over twice what it had been previously. We scheduled a second blood draw. Yesterday he called me again, to inform me that this time the reading was even higher.
So today, less than 24 hours after this news, I am adapting to the possibility that cancer may not be only in my history but a very real part of my present. I am, of course, planning the next steps in my care, but I’ve also done a pretty good job of depressing myself reading about what sex is like for men without a prostate and challenging myself on my ego attachment to functioning the way I’ve always experienced myself to be. I’m actually supposed to be writing to meet my extended deadline instead of doing all that, but I need some processing time to let this news land. Premier League football, Freecell and food seem to have been an acceptable compromise this morning.
But one thing is sure. As soft as I may have grown in my dedication to a life of authenticity as I understand it, that dedication is ferociously hard and sharp again, an unrelenting commitment to being actively present in a world that clamors for peace, begs for compassion and demands social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Once again I have been liberated from obligations that have slowly grown on my heart like barnacles. Once again I’m thankful for what cancer can teach. Regardless of what my biopsy results might be, I’m in a new chapter of my life. Since November 2016 my writing has sought to address issues important to me in diplomatically nuanced ways, but now it will carry a much firmer and direct advocacy for the values by which I live.

Traveling Light by Lloyd A Meeker

Ian McCandless is a hospice nurse, training to become a shaman. When his mentor orders him to make peace with his estranged family, Ian reluctantly agrees, anticipating another conflict-filled visit. On their way from the airport, Ian’s older brother Will interrupts a convenience store robbery and is shot. As he dies in Ian’s arms, Will begs Ian to avenge him.
Ian uses his shamanic abilities to track down the killer, but his quest soon becomes a hunt for revenge—forbidden to any shaman. His actions jeopardize his relationship with the spirit-world, endanger the lives of those he loves, and threaten to banish him from the path that gives his life meaning. Ian must choose between vengeance and service to community as the root of his shamanic covenant. Evil or noble, every choice is sacred to the Great Web, and every choice has consequences.

Genre Paranormal LGBT Fiction

Lloyd A Meeker Social Media

A mystic, writer, healer, lover, cancer survivor, father, friend, he writes (mostly) gay fiction featuring all those paths and more. Having led what he describes as a checkered life, he can honestly say he’s grateful for all of it. He’s been a minister, an office worker, a janitor, a drinker, and a software developer on his way to finishing his first novel in 2004. Basically, he’s a psychic empath, a little weather-beaten and still learning how to live in the world just the way it is. He experiences the world as so much more than is generally accepted. That’s the challenge. Writing stories is the best way he’s found to examine and share the questions, the wonders he engages daily.
He and his husband have been together since 2002, married since 2007. Between them they have four children and five grandchildren. They are based in south Florida, where the couple works hard to keep up with the astonishing life they’ve created for themselves.
Amazon Author page


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