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Tag Archives: Cancer Awareness

CC Mackenzie 
From Kayelle:
For three days I’m sharing stories by various authors about
how they or a family member faced cancer. Reading their posts is inspiring and
touching. The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is
vital. From what I’ve read, the key to success includes 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. My business partner’s brother just died from cancer. It affects
all of us. Reading these helps me understand better. I hope I’m even half as
good a friend as those you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these as an opportunity for the authors to
share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. Links to follow
the authors and to purchase their books are provided.
Today’s authors are Terry Irene Blain and Christine MacKenzie. Jump to the end for info on how you can help purchase mammogram equipment.

The Only Negative Terry Irene Blain

I had surgery for breast cancer in June of 2013, followed by
chemo and radiation and currently on a hormone therapy. All this is part of the
clinical trial to see if chemo is really necessary for the type of cancer I had.
This is the positive as this maybe help not only my daughters-in-law but my granddaughter.
The chemo really wiped me out, but fortunately my husband was
there to take care help me out as all the energy just left me. The doctor always
commented on my positive attitude. How could I not have a positive attitude when
I had the support of my husband, our kids are grown and on their own. I saw so many
others who were worse off than I; how could I complain? Women who still were trying
to work, or had small children. Or on their second go round of chemo. I felt lucky.
I wasn’t able to do much writing while on chemo as I had absolutely
no energy. When chemo finished and during radiation I started to do more. Finally
able to go grocery shopping instead of sending my husband with a list. Also started
to get back to the computer and do some writing. Going to my RWA Chapter meeting
and talking to other authors was uplifting. Friends are great at helping you out.
It’s taken me about a year to feel like I’m back to normal. To
top it off, my annual mammogram was good. So I’m now an official survivor. The only
negative? I’ve never liked the color pink. But you can’t have everything.
Terry Irene Blain

About the Book

Looking for thrills, practical Sarah signs up to be a schoolteacher
on a western movie set and gets more than she’s looking for with cowboy
stuntman Kit Stewart, adventure with a capital A.
Her Cowboy
He was tall and whipcord lean, just like a hero out of the
old movies that were her favorites. His grey hat was pushed back on his head,
revealing again that curly dark blond hair. Today he wore no chaps, but that
didn’t stop her from instinctually checking out his backside. Nothing like
Levi’s and boots to make a man look manly.

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About the Author

Sarah’s Cowboy
Terry Irene Blain was lucky enough to grow up in a
large Midwestern family with a rich oral tradition. As a child she heard
stories of ancestors’ adventures with Indians, wildlife, weather and frontier
life in general, so she naturally gravitated to the study of history and
completed a BA and MA then taught the subject at the college level. Married to
a sailor, now retired, she’s had the chance to live in various parts of the
country as well as travel to foreign places such as Hong Kong, Australia,
England and Scotland.
Escape to the West with a romantic adventure
“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.
And so The Fall of Jacob Del
Garda is out now. All author royalties from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook,
GooglePlus, Smashwords, received during the month of October will be donated to
the appeal.
And 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.
–Christine.

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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
otherwise.
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.

Buy This Author’s Book – Help Purchase Mammograms

World-wide October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. All author
royalties earned by The Fall of Jacob Del Garda for the month of October will be
donated to an appeal for a digital mammogram that detects changes in breast tissue
for women aged 20-40. Please share.

Buy This Author’s Book – Help Purchase Mammograms

World-wide October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. All author
royalties earned by The Fall of Jacob Del Garda for the month of October will be
donated to an appeal for a digital mammogram that detects changes in breast tissue
for women aged 20-40. Please share.
Romance Lives Forever 
From Kayelle:
For three days I’m sharing stories by various authors about
how they or a family member faced cancer. Reading their posts is inspiring and
touching. The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is
vital. From what I’ve read, the key to success includes 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. My business partner’s brother just died from cancer. It
affects all of us. Reading these helps me understand better. I hope I’m even
half as good a friend as those you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these as an opportunity for the authors to
share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. Links to follow
the authors and to purchase their books are provided.

Today’s authors are Lloyd A Meeker, Mackenzie Crowne, and Marjorie Belson.
— 

Lloyd A Meeker: A Change in Priorities

The Companion 
In June of 2003, I went on a four-day
bike ride to raise money for AIDS services, and apparently the tumor in my stomach
(which I already knew about) started to bleed under the strain of covering close
to 100 miles a day. I soldiered on because, well, because it’s manly to soldier
on, until a month later a pulmonary embolism slowed me down and sped up the stomach
surgery. At the age of 55 I spent my first night in a hospital. It was the beginning
of my new life.
That night, hopped up on morphine,
I got a very clear message from myself. I’d always Carpe diem! said I wanted to write novels.
I’d even started one when I’d come out eight years earlier. The message I got was
that if I was serious about writing novels I’d better get busy, because I was now
on bonus time and there was no telling how long I’d have.
Since that night, writing has been
my creative priority. That means I’ve not done a bunch of other fun things, but
I’m set on getting down as many stories as I might have to write before I say good
night. I had another cancer diagnosis and more surgery in 2004, but I’m now ten
years clear and working on my fifth novel.
I am so grateful for the cancer that
forced me to refocus my life and own my new mission. Since my diagnosis I’ve lost
a niece and several friends to cancer, so I know not everyone is lucky enough to
get as far as I have. In spite of everything, the last eleven years have been the
sweetest and finest of my life, and I’m not done yet. If I can make it through,
I know others can, too.
It hasn’t been a joyride, exactly.
If you’re dealing with cancer now I hope you have someone you can lean on when you
can’t be strong all on your own. My husband Bob held me and encouraged me and let
me cry when I was so afraid and full of despair that I couldn’t think right. Let
someone who loves you help hold you on course, help you focus on what matters. I
wish you every success on your journey. Never forget, countless brave souls are
cheering you on—you won’t be the first to win, but you’re in great company!

About the Book

Genre: Mystery/Suspense
The Companion
Shepherd Bucknam hasn’t had a lover in more than a decade and
doesn’t need one. As a Daka, he coaches men in the sacred art and mystery of sexual
ecstasy all the time, and he loves his work. It’s his calling. In fact, he’s perfectly
content—except for the terrors of his recurring nightmare and the ominous blood-red
birthmarks on his neck. He’s convinced that together they foretell his early and
violent death.
When Shepherd’s young protégé is murdered, LAPD Detective Marco
Fidanza gets the case. The two men are worlds apart: Marco has fought hard for everything
he’s accomplished, in sharp contrast to the apparent ease of Shepherd’s inherited
wealth—but their mutual attraction is too hot for either of them to ignore.
Shepherd swears he’ll help find his protégé’s killer, but Marco
warns him to stay out of it. When an influential politician is implicated, the police
investigation grinds to a halt. Shepherd hires his own investigator. Marco calls
it dangerous meddling. As their volatile relationship deepens, Shepherd discovers
his nightmares might not relate to the future, but to the deadly legacy of a past
life—a life he may have to revisit before he can fully live and love in this one.

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Author Social Media

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/MBe1gp

Dancing on the Other Side: Mackenzie Crowne 

Believe it or not, I experienced many
encouraging moments in my battle against stage III breast cancer. Yes, I’m a survivor.
I say that now, proudly and with conviction, but that wasn’t always the case. When
I was first diagnosed in October 2007, I looked upon the many survivors I met and
didn’t feel I deserved the title. They danced, victorious,
on the
A Song for Sophie 

other side of the abyss, while I staggered under quiet disbelief.

It’s said a person doesn’t get cancer,
a family does. I agree with that sentiment, but the statement is incomplete. The
author forgot to include friends. Mine were with me every step of the way as I navigated
the abyss to join those survivors on the other side. My friends helped in so many
ways, but one in particular makes me smile to this day. My protocol included several
radical treatments, including chemo. When I mentioned dealing with the certain loss
of my hair by purchasing a few hats, my girlfriends promptly planned a Mad Hatter
party and, in the midst of surgeries and debilitating treatments, sixteen awesome
women lifted my tired spirits with an evening of silliness and love.
In the end, thanks to my friends and
family across the country, seventy-four hats were presented to cover my soon-to-be-bald
head. They ranged from a gorgeous creation one might see along the promenade at
the Kentucky Derby to a ridiculous monstrosity in the shape of a turkey. I still
have the few I wore proudly during my battle and donated the rest to a local breast
cancer center.
Obviously, my girlfriends rock, but
there is a deeper lesson I hope this post imparts to those of you fighting your
own battle. That is, the importance of accepting help. With a cancer diagnosis,
it’s only natural to internalize your focus, but cancer affects more than just the
patient. It touches the lives of everyone who loves them. Don’t get me wrong, fighting
this battle sucks, but friends and family have it worse in many ways. They stand
on the sideline, watching helplessly while you do what’s necessary to beat this
senseless disease. They need to help where they can. Let them. You’ll be glad you
did.
In the meantime, stay strong, breathe
deep and take each step as it comes. I’m dancing on the other side. I’ll see you
there.
Mackenzie Crowne

Buy This Author’s Book

A Song For Sophie
Will one night of passion convince Sophie she’s woman enough
for Beau, or destroy their friendship and his budding belief in true love?

Author Social Media

Nothing is Promised: Marjorie Belson

Undefined and vulnerable, I often
felt as if I were crashing backward through space, and found myself slipping into
a post-operative depression after my bi-lateral mastectomy on August 2, 2001. In
order to keep what remained of my sanity, I returned to work too soon, but misjudged
the level of my stamina, as well as the fact that much of one’s life is uncontrollable.
My first day back at work: September
10, 2001.
How could I, as well as thousands
of others know that the next day, September 11, 2001, evil men with twisted minds
had marked my city, New York, as a site for mass destruction, and would take perverse
delight in their slaughter of innocents. In seconds, a still autumn sky would become
animated with flames and smoke, choking the air with the sickening smell of lives
dissolved.
My response to the news of the first
tower being hit was one of disbelief. After the second plane crashed into the second
tower, I knew my city was under attack. My first
Nothing is Promised 

thoughts were for the safety of
my own family. Desperate to know if my son and daughter-in-law were safe, and only
after seeing them both later that day, could I believe that they were indeed out
of harm’s way.

The relief in being alive was tempered
by the overwhelming loss of so many in a matter of minutes. Like countless others,
I watched television, transfixed by its unrelenting coverage of our nation’s greatest
catastrophe. So many had survived personal tragedy only to be brought down, the
victims of time and place. Humbled by a world gone mad, I offered my prayers for
the souls and families of those who’d perished. In an instant, I’d become an insignificant
speck and found it difficult to justify space for my personal trials.
While struggling to make sense out
that which made no sense at all, I made an effort to accept that each step of my
own unpredictable journey was a sign for me to live my life responsibly. I believed
that I’d been given a chance to redefine my soul and thereby grant myself a sanctuary
from the world in which I had come to dwell.
For me, as for many of us, each step
forward was painful to take, but the need to move forward was far greater than the
pull to go backward. Unless I accepted that my life had been deeply altered, I could
remain trapped, frozen in a world of memories.
In truth, I’d been granted the opportunity
to redirect and renew my faith in myself and in my ability to move to a level of
profound and urgent awareness of the potential richness of my life. Cancer had attacked
my body and challenged me in my entirety to face my life as it was and to decide
whether I would choose to self immolate or rise again like a Phoenix.

Author Social Media

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Romance Lives Forever 
From Kayelle:
For three days I’m sharing stories by various authors about
how they or a family member faced cancer. Reading their posts is inspiring and
touching. The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is
vital. From what I’ve read, the key to success includes being able to ask for
help — and then being willing to accept it. It’s a lesson I’ve had in my own
life. 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. My business partner’s brother just died from cancer. It
affects all of us. Reading these helps me understand better. I hope I’m even
half as good a friend as those you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these as an opportunity for the authors to
share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. Links to follow
the authors and to purchase their books are provided. Today’s authors are Vicki Batman and Ally Shields.

Vicki Batman

Most people know I refer to my husband
as Handsome. What some don’t know is eight years ago, he was diagnosed with throat
cancer.
He had a swollen lymph node that all
doctors thought was allergy or infection-related. The drugs and antibiotics prescribed
didn’t knock it out. He had a needle biopsy which came back clean. His ENT doctor
said she wanted to remove the lymph and when doing so, found the cancer in three
spots.
My son and I had been waiting for
the doc to tell us all was well with the surgery, but she took forever. When she
did say, she asked if we wanted to tell Handsome. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even speak
or hardly look at him. Waiting in the recovery room for her to discuss all

was terribly
hard.

Handsome was shocked too, but he was
very determined. He said, “Something to check off my yellow pad: Fight Cancer.”
He showed none of the classic symptoms
that lead to throat/esophageal cancer. He smoked the rare cigar. Drank an occasional
vodka or wine. Worked out. Not overweight. Little family history. Yet, he had it.
And so the battle strategy was formed
with an oncology doc, an ENT specialist, and the head of radiology. We had our dates,
we had our plans, we were marching forward.
At first, I stuffed him with everything
imaginable, but mostly lots of cheese-related products, milkshakes, and pasta. He
eventually did lose 35 pounds because the radiation scarred his throat and swallowing
became difficult. He worked until fatigued, then worked at home. The only one who
cried was me when he shaved his head. Eight weeks later, the treatment was over.
And every subsequent test and examination has shown him to be clear.
I believe a combination of many things
helped him through: his faith, our hope, family and friends, the skill of the doctors.
And the determination to check off
his yellow pad: Fight Cancer.
Temporarily Employed 

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Temporarily Employed
Genre: romantic comedy, cozy mystery
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Author: Vicki Batman
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
New Job. New Love. And Murder.
Hattie Cook’s dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated.
Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a
temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam
tied to the death of a former employee–the very one she replaced. The last thing
she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he
makes her heart pound.
Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all
his life. When the police determine there’s more to the death of a former Buy Rite
employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect,
he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie’s time is up?

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author Vicki Batman
has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement
park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative
assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything
gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts,
written essays, and sold many short stories to True Love, True Romance, True Confessions,
Noble Romance Publishing, Long and Short Reviews, Museitup Publishing, and The Wild
Rose Press. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004,
she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA
awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking
“What if??”

Author Social Media

Ally Shields

The diagnosis of breast cancer came
out the blue. No family history, no warning. I was

too young. But the moment I felt
the lump during a shower, I knew what it was. The news went downhill from there.
Seventy-five percent of the nearest lymph nodes were involved. Prognosis guarded.
Three months of chemo later, they found spots in my lungs. It appeared the cancer
had already spread, and I was reeling when I heard the words…four months.

Cross Keys 
But I was scheduled to begin immediate
training at the Federal Law Enforcement Academy for a course on identifying and
rescuing abused children. My friends, my cop partner, and employer encouraged me
to go, and I did. I was determined to live up to their faith in me that my time
there wouldn’t be wasted, and it helped me stay positive. I met an incredible group
of people. When they learned of my diagnosis, they went out of their way to make
sure I stayed positive throughout training.
Upon return to Des Moines, my cancer
doctor recommended a lung biopsy. There was a one in a million chance it was something
else. He thought I might be that one. The biopsy revealed the spots were scars from
an unrelated prior illness. The cancer hadn’t spread after all, and I went into
additional chemotherapy believing I could beat this thing.
Twelve difficult months later-with
friends and family beside me all the way- I was cancer free, and have remained so
for 25 years. Of course the medical team was fantastic, but I credit my recovery
to everyone who was around me at that critical time. The effects of friendship on
our minds and bodies can be a powerful thing, a little touch of human magic.

About the Author

Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest and currently resides near
Des Moines, Iowa. Writing has always been a part of her life, but in 2009, after
a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing. Her first
urban fantasy novel, Awakening the Fire was published in 2012 and that series continues.
She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings
into her books.

Buy This Author’s Book

Cross Keys, an Elvenrude novel
Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Conspiracy, murder and magic… A dark elf hunts the streets
of New Orleans.

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