Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Helpful Tool for Cancer Survivors

As a five year cancer survivor, I have a great interest in finding helpful tools for getting through cancer treatment and dealing with the challenges of survivorship. This book is a real gem! Not only does it give recipes to help eat when plagued by side effects of chemo and cancer symptoms but it offers recipes for several types of special diets.
'Ann's Tips' interspersed throughout the book offer practical and useful solutions to meal planning and cooking.
The beautiful photographs included definitely inspire a desire to cook and spark interest in eating the finished product too!
I appreciate the ease of some of the recipes such as Cozy Rice Pudding. The Tomato Upside Down Cake is a savory that has now been added to my favorite recipes list.
I sincerely wish I would have had this book while undergoing my chemotherapy treatments! It is one I highly recommend for anyone diagnosed with cancer and also their caregivers, family, and friends that want to help them in their cancer journey.
I was supplied a digital copy this cookbook by the publisher for an honest review but now plan to purchase several hard copies as gifts, including one for myself!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A beautifully expressed account of living and dying...

As a Stage IV lung cancer survivor, I could very much relate to many thoughts the author expresses in this book. The following is a touching example:
"Time for me is now double-edged: every day brings me further from the low of my last relapse but closer to the next recurrence—and, eventually, death. Perhaps later than I think, but certainly sooner than I desire. There are, I imagine, two responses to that realization. The most obvious might be an impulse to frantic activity: to “live life to its fullest,” to travel, to dine, to achieve a host of neglected ambitions. Part of the cruelty of cancer, though, is not only that it limits your time; it also limits your energy, vastly reducing the amount you can squeeze into a day. It is a tired hare who now races. And even if I had the energy, I prefer a more tortoise-like approach. I plod, I ponder."
This book is beautifully written and full of the candor of a man who knew and appreciated the life he was given.

When Breath Becomes Air

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Be Daring

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

 Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Laugh A Day

 "Laughter is an instant vacation." Milton Berle 
Cancer recovery requires lots of stress relievers.
None are better than touches of humor from dear friends.

Friday, December 11, 2015

I Hope You Dance

Dance of HopeI Hope You Dance

I love the well known song by Leeanne Womack
Worry, Dread, Fear, and Pessimism are not ways to live life to it's fullest.  Besides the fact that they make one miserable, these negative feelings steal energy, joy, and the ability to connect in healthy ways with others.  
As a cancer survivor, I have had my share of dealing with these downers.  We have to recognize and acknowledge the grief, disappointment, and other roots of these feelings. It is important to be kind to ourselves and give our hearts time to recover.  But it is also important to know when to rise back up, find new purpose, and move forward.  
May your 'dance of life' be one in which you choose hope, gratitude, joy, and love as your favorite steps!

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: It Is Well With My Soul, Meditations for Those Living with Illness, Pain, and the Challenges of Aging

"We are never too old or too young to change, never too far for God’s hand of mercy to reach us, and never beyond the hope of God’s redeeming love."
Shelly Beach wrote the above statement in Section Six of this book, It Is Well With My Soul,  Meditations for Those Living with Illness, Pain, and the Challenges of Aging.
She illustrates this truth beautifully with her openness in telling her own story and ones of many others throughout this inspiring book.  Full of real human life struggles and emotions, the book applies God's Word in practical helpful ways to bring hope and healing to hurting hearts.  As a Stage IV Lung cancer survivor, I found this book greatly beneficial.
(I was provided an electronic copy of this book by the publisher for honest review.)
It Is Well with My Soul:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Silver Linings

...focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 TLV)

Upon looking back at the last four years now of being a lung cancer survivor, I observe there are often silver linings in the midst of pain.  For the first year, I wanted my life back just as it had been before cancer-without the loss & grief that critical illness brought into my life.  But looking now at who I am today, I realize I like myself much better than I used to!  
When you are given a 16% chance of survival, there isn't much time for pretense any more.  Just simple living with real raw feelings & relationships that are truly meaningful in life.  No wasted efforts spent on things that are not enjoyable or important- only time pursuing what really matters to me in life and gratitude everyday for the big and small pleasures that come.  
I have many imperfections, just as before cancer, but am better able now to let GRACE do its work within me and not strive in my own vain efforts....
Not I, but CHRIST is the author & finisher in my life!
I think Milton expresses it well in the words below:

I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.

~John Milton