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Tag Archives: Cancer Awareness

Vicki Batman is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog celebrate Cancer Awareness Week 2016.

Sometimes #Cancer Keeps Giving @vickibatman #pinktober

  • 150 stitches and staples
  • Right fibula, tissue and vessels removed and transplanted to jaw
  • Skin graft from right thigh to calf
  • Left chest muscle removed and grafted to jaw
  • One titanium plate
  • Five drains
  • Trach tube
  • Nasal feeding tube
  • Three oral surgeries
  • 58 hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments

No one knows how Handsome got cancer. He had an occasional cigar. Worked out. Ate great. Lots of stress. Yet ten years ago, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. The doctors discovered it had spread from base of tongue to lymph nodes in his neck. He had chemo and was nuked–literally.

What we didn’t know at the beginning of this year was the radiation caused bone decay in his left jaw because of poor circulation. Dentists couldn’t diagnose the shadow on the x-ray until we met an oral surgeon who instantly recognized the problem and recommended hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments. It was just like what you think-Handsome was put in a tube and dived for three hours every day. The tissue improved, but not the bone.

The oral surgeon removed two back teeth. But ultimately the jawbone crumbled in a thin spot. Surgery became the only recourse and would take ten hours. His fibula, surrounding tissue and vessels were transplanted to the jaw. A graft from his thigh would replace this area. The doc was optimistic; however, the transplant didn’t work as the blood supply failed-the culprit: radiation. So back to surgery the next day and a chest muscle replaced the rejected bone.

Out of surgery, he had five drains, a cut from ear to ear. He couldn’t eat because of infection to his mouth; so he had a feeding tube through his nose. A tracheotomy because of the swelling. He stayed in the hospital for eight days.

Being a strong guy going in, he started to walk, sat up, learned how to talk with the trach which was removed when he was discharged. For twenty hours a day, he was tethered to a feeding system until the tube developed a kink two days before scheduled removal and was extracted in the emergency room at the hospital.

Since, he has had a swallowing test and therapy to improve his swallowing. He lost thirty pounds and through a high calorie diet, has regained fifteen. There’s a slight limp in his right leg. And a wicked scar on his chest.

I won’t lie to you-this has not been easy.

After surgery, I said to my sons how I didn’t want Handsome to undergo anything like this again. But we don’t know what life will bring. Seventy percent of all cancers are random mutations. My hope for you is to take care of your body. Don’t smoke. Eat well. Lessen your stress. And exercise.

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Temporarily Insane

Temporarily Insane, a romantic comedy mystery: Bad job. Wrong love. And Murder. Hattie Cooks is still searching for her dream job and one might be available…in the Big Apple, far from friends, family, and Allan Wellborn, the man who still makes her heart race. In the meantime, she finds temporary employment at an accounting firm where two auditor friends turn up dead.

Detective Allan Wellborn dropped Hattie for Blonde Bimbo who, coincidentally, is employed at NLB where fishy things are taking place. When Allan interviews Hattie, he must determine why all signs point to her as a suspect.

Can Hattie discover why Allan dumped her and who is murdering auditors before death strikes again?

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The Wild Rose Press
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Livia Quinn is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog celebrate
Cancer Awareness Week 2016.
Much has changed in the last twenty-five years since my
father died of lung cancer. Less than a month after he passed away it was
discovered that my mother had ovarian cancer. Here are some of the words from
the doctor when she came out of surgery…”It’s really too bad, she’s a
beautiful lady. It was everywhere. We couldn’t get it all. I give her a 30%
chance of living two years WITH chemo.” He patted her on the hand and
said, “You’re going to be okay with a little chemotherapy.” She
To say I was berserk knowing the truth and having to pretend
like everything was going to be okay while she went around relieved is an
understatement. But I don’t even know if he’d told her the truth if he could
have kept her positive attitude at bay. She told me years later she just kept
pretending it was happening to someone else and just took each step as
something she had to do. She never ever gave a thought to giving up. She lived
seven and a half years after her diagnosis, giving our family many extra years
of chances to heal relationships and prepare. I’m so so grateful for that.
I admire the strength and determination and denial it takes
to get through a big C diagnosis and treatment and everything that comes with
it. But people I know who have been through it often tell me that now they see
it as just another of life’s challenges. I hope I get to see the cure in my
lifetime, don’t you?
I believe we’re close.

About the Book

My character Jack Lang has gone through a series of
challenges right up to this latest one in Take These Broken Wings.
Title Take These Broken Wings, Destiny Paramortals, Book 5
Genre Paranormal Romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Destiny. Is it Mayberry or Middle Earth?
Jack Lang knows first hand about Destiny’s secrets. Turns
out he was one of them. On Mardi Gras Eve he and his unlikely band of heroes
defeated some particularly nasty creatures intent on taking advantage of the
Paramortals’ vulnerability during the Chaos. They called it Chaos because the
word “Armageddon” was already taken. Destiny survived with the help
of their dragon and some special friends, then Jack received the biggest shocks
of his life. And that was saying a lot.
He’d chosen this town the year before for the normalcy and
safety it could provide his teenager after a life of upheaval with his ex. He’d
been looking for Mayberry. Instead he’d found, not a town, but a world full of
magical beings, odd occurrences, and scary creatures. There’d been one shock
after another and yet, instead of leaving and taking Jordie somewhere “safe”…
he’d stayed.
He suspects he felt the pull of this special place long
before he’d known it existed. But that hadn’t been the only reason. It had all
begun the first time he’d seen Tempest Pomeroy. That was when his world had
turned upside down—along with half the town. He’d surprised himself with his
acceptance of the supernatural. He’d even almost accepted this latest blow, but
that had been before he found out he no longer belonged anywhere. Not with
humans, and not among supernaturals. Something had gone haywire in his family
Now he’s abandoned the women in his life, his
responsibilities–everything except for the need to quench the gnawing hunger
in his gut and this compulsion to jump off the highest levees in the parish. He
was just sorry there were no mountains in Louisiana.

About the Author

Livia Quinn is a DC native who’s lived on the bayou in
Louisiana for thirty years. After experiencing weather disasters in the South,
it was only natural that they would play a part in her Storm Lake world, a
place where supernaturals and mere-mortals co-exist (but on different ends of
the lake. That’s one of the rules. Never let mortals see you use your

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Jordan K Rose is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog celebrate Cancer Awareness Week 2016.

I’d like to start by thanking Kayelle for inviting me to participate. Having the opportunity to talk about my experience will hopefully help others who find themselves in the terrifying position of receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis.

This past July I was diagnosed with an early stage of a rare form of ovarian cancer, specifically- a granulosa cell tumor. To say the news was shocking is an understatement. We received it during a post-op visit where had anticipated hearing great results about a surgery and anticipated a routine recovery. We did not plan to hear, “We think you should have the other ovary removed and have chemo.”
My husband described that visit as “it was like being punched in the nads.” I’d heard men say that expression before, but never had a reference point until that meeting. Apparently, ladies, the “nad-punch” experience is mind-numbingly painful and can cause you to forget any other thought.
We’d been warned not to Google ovarian cancer and get worked up over what we read because this type of cancer was so different and so rare. Of course we Googled, but we Googled granulosa cell tumor. We narrowed our search and we searched high and low and came up with not a whole heck of a lot of data.
Granulosa Cell Tumors make up about 4% of ovarian cancers. There is not a great deal of research to share because of this. Unfortunately, most of the data is “after the fact” sort of information because the cancer is not well known. There is not a central repository for doctors to link patients and share information on what’s happening, when it happened, types of treatments, what worked or didn’t. There’s not a standard protocol for measuring hormone levels in advance of surgery, which would be very helpful for every patient.
This is a cancer with high probability of recurrence, though a great prognosis if detected early with women living many years past the original diagnosis. It’s a slow growing cancer with definite indicators of potential recurrence like monitoring the Inhibin and AMH levels quarterly, then every six months after the first few years.
There are great resources for women through the Granulosa Cell Tumor Research Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. There is also a Facebook group of GCT Survivor Sisters! (you must have a diagnosis of GCT to be a member of the FB group).
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of receiving this diagnosis, please utilize the groups above and feel free to contact me at I’m more than happy to share what I’ve learned or to lend an ear and be a support to you.
I sought a second opinion at the Dana Farber Institute in Boston. I encourage anyone receiving a cancer diagnosis to receive a second opinion before deciding on treatment.
After all my research I decided against chemo or surgery as there was no indication any cancer remained in my body. Thus doing something drastic “just in case” made no sense. But everyone’s decision is personal and patients need to make decisions that feel right to them.
At the Dana Farber Institute I’ve signed up to participate in a research study to allow them to better understand the genetics of this cancer, thus leading to a cure. I’m happy to participate and hope other patients will consider doing the same to help find a cure.
Below please find the information on one of my free books, Her Vampire’s Promise, Novella One in the Romance In Central City Series. Losing myself in books has gotten me through some difficult times and I wanted to share a book that everyone can afford. As well, if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get the second novella in the series, The Vampire’s Partner for free.
Wishing every cancer patient all the best in diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
(reprinted from 2015)

Her Vampire’s Promise

Reade Hayes knows better than any vampire that nothing good ever comes out of Central City. So he isn’t surprised the beautiful blonde he meets in the dive bar is crazy. What does surprise him is how fast she moves, how hard she hits, and the fact she’s wearing a ring he last saw two decades ago on the hand of his dead friend.
Was this the little girl he swore a blood pact to protect? Why had her uncle lied about her death? And what had he done to make her so lethal?

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About the Author

Jordan loves vampires. She also loves to laugh. And if you know anything about Jordan, you know her vampires will make you laugh.
A few years back Jordan received a copy of Twilight from her husband as part of her anniversary gift. By the end of that week she’d read the entire series and moved onto Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Eight weeks and eighteen vampire books later the idea for her first book came to her followed very quickly by Eva Prim.
Having lived in Rhode Island for most of her life Jordan uses the state as a backdrop for all her books, though many of the cities and towns and businesses (especially the ones run by vampires) are all fictitious.
When she’s not writing about one vampire or another Jordan enjoys spending time with her husband, Ken and their lovable Labradors, Dino and Enzo on the beautiful beaches of New England.
For more free books join Jordan’s newsletter at

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Author Lloyd Meeker is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog
celebrate Cancer Awareness Week 2016.
I was twenty-three when cancer first changed my life. My
childhood friend Michael died of testicular cancer, which metastasized to his
lower back and spine. He had one of those warm, lyric tenor voices that
conquered a room in the first measures of a song. He loved to sing country and
western, and I couldn’t stand it, but I listened, mesmerized, every time he
sang. We’d been friends since we were seven.
For a long time cancer was a disease that visited others.
Then in 2003, I was diagnosed — stomach and bladder. I’m one of the lucky
ones. I’ve been cancer-free since 2004. But in the twelve years since that
time, I’ve lost family and friends to the disease. A friend of mine was
diagnosed last month, and it’s been a privilege to sit with him, help him stay
focused on next steps, honoring his fear while reminding him that it’s not an
automatic death sentence, having him over for dinner or just to hang out if he
doesn’t want to be alone.
In writing terms, having cancer is a kind of hero’s journey.
Regardless of outcome, I’m convinced that being forced to face fear, pain and
hopelessness, to find inner strength, to learn to rely on trustworthy allies,
and to celebrate the triumph of finding the gold that lies in the darkness of
our frailty makes us stronger, better people. Regardless of outcome.
The hero’s journey is never a journey chosen by the hero.
She or he is forced to undertake it by events and powers beyond her/his
control. But as hellish as the journey may be, there are gifts. Hard won,
perhaps, but powerful. I received two gifts, that have stayed with me since my
first hospital stay.
Cancer made me get serious about writing, which I’d always
planned to do “one day”. I’m about to submit the manuscript for my
sixth novel, my ninth or tenth title overall. I’ve learned so much about myself
through writing, and I’ve embraced a craft I can pour myself into, working
constantly to get better.
Cancer also taught me how beautiful my mortality is, how
sacred it is to be fragile, and loving, and loved. It showed me what matters
most in my life, and I’ll be grateful forever for being led to that discovery.

About the Book

Title Blood and Dirt
Author Lloyd A Meeker
Genre Mystery, Suspense, Gay Romance
Family squabbles can be murder.
Psychic PI Russ Morgan investigates a vandalized marijuana
grow in Mesa County Colorado, landing in the middle of a ferocious family feud
that’s escalating in a hurry. Five siblings fight over
the family ranch as it staggers on the brink of bankruptcy, marijuana its only
salvation. Not everyone agrees, but only one of them is willing to kill to make
a point.
Russ also has a personal puzzle to solve as he questions his
deepening relationship with Colin Stewart, a man half his age. His rational
mind says being with Colin is the fast track to heartbreak, but it feels
grounding, sane, and good.
Now, that’s really dangerous…

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Author Tina Gayle is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog
celebrate Cancer Awareness Week 2016. RLF has added pink racing stripes to the left side of the blog’s background to represent a pink ribbon, but this week is about all types of cancer. Join us as we delve into rich stories about life.
Even the threat of cancer can cause stress. The days before
a doctor gets the results of the test can seem like forever. When I was in my
teens, my mother found a lump in her breasts. The only way for them to tell if
it was cancerous was to do a biopsy. Back in those days, a woman had to check
into a hospital to have a biopsy done. The days before the biopsy, I remember believing that those
may be the last days of my time with her. We grew very close during that time
and remained close afterward. When I decided to write CEO’s Widow, I remembered the pain I
suffered and tried to add that to the story. This book does not go into the
technical aspects of the treatment. Instead, it is about the emotional pain the
cancer causes.

About the Book

CEO’s Widow – Book 4 of the Executives’ Wives’ Club series
Genre: Contemporary romance with strong women’s fiction
Four women…
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…
CEO’s Widow
After surviving the grief from her husband’s death, Marianne
Clark has built a new life with the help of the other Executive Wives. She
plans to enjoy grandchildren and friends until her doctor tells her he found a
lump in her breast. Her world is turned upside down. She re-evaluates her
priorities and decides she grab hold of life with both hands.
Knox Turner lost his first wife to cancer. He’s determined
not to let Marianne face this challenge alone.
Can this couple face the trails ahead and build a future

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Fall of Jacob Del Garda 
From Kayelle Allen: This week on Romance Lives Forever I’m sharing
stories by authors who have faced cancer either in themselves, or a family member.
The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is vital. One
key to success is being able to ask for help — and then being willing to accept
it. It’s a lesson I’ve had in my own life during various times. I don’t accept help
well. It’s something I fight with all the time. I’d like to think “I’ve got
this” but sometimes I don’t have as good a grip as I thought I did. I have
a friend who’s dealing with cancer right now. A friend’s brother died from cancer
last year. Cancer affects all of us. I hope I’m even half as good a friend as those
you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these posts as an opportunity for the authors
to share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. There’s a short
list of ways you can show your support at the end of each post.

Have No Fear, by Christine MacKenzie

“Thank you so much, Kayelle,
for having me on your blog today to highlight such a worthwhile cause.
When a woman hears the words ‘You
have Breast Cancer’. The first thing that hits her is how immensely powerful
the word, Cancer, actually is. Dealing with the shock, and then immediately
telling my mother, my daughters, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my
life. Then we’re caught up in the whirlwind of surgical appointments, the surgery
itself, the outcome of tests, and it sometimes feels as if we’re trapped on a
roller coaster and can’t jump off.
Three years and a mastectomy
later, and I’m truly blessed to be cancer free. People ask me how I remained so
upbeat and positive. My response is that I didn’t have a choice! But the real
answer is that cancer did me the biggest favor of my life. My secret dream was
‘One Day’ to be a writer, a romance writer. However, in spite of winning
competitions, receiving positive feedback, the fear of not being good enough
always held me back.
The day I was diagnosed with
breast cancer was the day I lost the fear of failure. And I also realized that
‘One Day’ may never come unless I grabbed every opportunity that came along.
Eight books later, with eleven more in the pipeline, I’ve never been happier.
And this is where I come to the
two young women who inspired me to write, The Fall of Jacob Del Garda. Two
years ago, I was sitting in my breast surgeon’s waiting room. Sitting next to
me were twins, girls aged twenty-three, blonde and gorgeous. They were laughing
and joking with each other, and I assumed they were there offering support to a
mother or even a grandmother. It didn’t occur to me that breast cancer would be
an issue for them. So we got chatting, and it became clear that one of the
girls had undergone a double mastectomy six months before, and she’d just been
diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. The positive way she was dealing with
such a blow, truly inspired me. Then her sister told me how she, too, was about
to undergo a bilateral double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed that
the twins carried the BRCA1/2 gene mutation. But surely they were too young?
After a long chat with my surgeon, I realized that diagnosing breast cancer in
women under thirty-five using traditional mammogram technologies was extremely
difficult due to the tissue density of young breasts. What was needed were the
new digital mammograms manufactured by Siemens. Our local hospital was in the
process of raising money for a new mammogram suite. I remember promising my
doctor I would write a story about twins who were dealing with BRCA1/2 genetic
mutation. And that the proceeds of the book would go towards the cause.
On an update on the twins –
they’re both well and married to two wonderful men. How’s that for A Happy Ever
After! I couldn’t write a better ending myself.

About the Book

The Fall of Jacob Del Garda
Twin sisters – twice the trouble
Twelve months after disappearing from Jacob’s life, the woman
who broke his heart, supermodel Gabriella Dolman, is back. But things have changed.
Now Gabriella is a photographer – still fabulously beautiful – but no longer glamorous,
and no longer looking for love. Though Gabriella claims she just wants to move on
without him, Jacob’s pretty certain that her reaction to their red-hot kisses implies
Tobin Gillespie believes in taking a stand, and he never turns
his back on a challenge. So when his work as a PR guru brings research scientist
Sophie Dolman back into his life, her obnoxious behavior and lethal put downs aren’t
enough to put him off – quite the reverse. And the more they clash, the more determined
he is to break down the wall around her heart and claim it for his own.

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Cancer Awareness Week 
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