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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.

Dee Owens from Personalized
Marketing Inc is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog celebrate Cancer
Awareness Week 2016. Dee handles the websites for Kayelle Allen, The Author’sSecret, Marketing for Romance Writers, and several others. Her new design for the
new Romance Lives Forever Blog will encore in
2017.

Hello Everyone,
My name is Dee Owens, single mother, grandmother, cancer survivor and
supporter
for Cancer Awareness. I have had several family members, friends,
coworkers face different types of cancer. I myself have had my own dealings
with breast cancer. Cancer does not care what color we are, where we grew up,
how rich or poor we are. No one deserves to have to deal with cancer and no one
ever asks for it. Over the decades we have become more aware of what cancer is,
where it comes from and ways to detect it. Many do not realize that Cancer is
GENETIC, this means that if someone in your family has had it your chances of
getting it have increased. If we think about it, it makes sense that it can be
passed genetically, allergies, eye color, hair color, body types, diabetes are
all genetically passed from one generation to the next.
Cancer does not just affect the person who has it but also those that
take care of them. Fighting cancer is more than going and getting treatments,
eating differently, or trying to live heathier, it is also about the emotional
and financial drain it can have on you and your loved ones. Cancer treatments
are often covered by medical insurance but not always and never 100% cost. When
you think about how much it cost to just drive to the store, then imagine
having to drive that 2-3 times a week, every week for an extended period of
time. Or think about the additional equipment that is added to homes or the
missed ballgame because of treatment or just feeling bad. These are all tolls
that hit a family hard. That’s why I decided to help support those fighting
cancer and their loved ones by donating my time, finances, effort and skills.
My company provides free domain name, hosting and maintenance for an online
Cancer Awareness Community, http://Keep-HOPE-Alive.com
We also do yearly donations to local charities or organizations that
help others. Plus, we take time to show support of others by simply letting
people know they aren’t alone. Which in our opinion is probably one of the
single most important things we can do in the Fight Against Cancer.
I am also the Owner/CEO/Founder of Personalized Marketing Inc, also
known as Personalized Marketing and Promotions. Being a single mother and
needing a way to support my family but also be a stay-at-home mother, meant I
needed a change. I began my journey in 2005 when I published my first novel,
got a basic website and wanted to learn more. Personalized Marketing Inc opened
in August of 2008 when a friend needing videos wondered why I didn’t offer them
as a service. We have the same Mission Statement today as when we opened, “Personalized
Services tailored to you”. We continually strive for 110% effort to bring
you the best services we can provide.
Personalized Marketing Inc now offers all your online web presence
needs under one company. We offer Domain Names, Hosting, Emails, Network,
Social Site Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SSL, Artwork, Website
Development and Ghostwriting. At Personalized Marketing Inc the first thing we
do is get to know you, we want to understand the efforts you have put in and
what areas you want help with. There have been times that we also suggest
additional items but never just “bloat” your services. If you would
like to get to know more about Personalized Marketing Inc or myself, please
visit any of the links provided below.

Thank You

As a special
thank you, I am including two discounts for Romance Lives Forever Bloggers during
the Month of Oct.

PM Inc Consultant Services

Get 15% off any service ordered
Free 3 Months Hosting with Website Design Service (Contact
Dee prior to placing order) http://personalizedmarketing.info/rlf-bloggers/

Hosting | Domains

Use Promo Code CancerRLF1 to get 10% off at http://hosting.personalizedmarketing.info

About Personalized Marketing

Hosting | Domains
| SSL and More: http://hosting.personalizedmarketing.info/

Social Media

Excerpts and
Promotions Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Excerpts.and.Promotions/

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When words are not enough--losing a friend #Cancer #Pinktober @kayelleallen
Kayelle and Reaghan; airport San Francisco
I first met writer Reaghan Moore when she joined my critique group. Back then, we were all on MeetUp.com and she joined ahead of moving from California to Georgia. We saw a few posts from her before she moved, but I’ll never forget seeing her walk in the door. I recognized her at once from her pictures. There was a feeling that I’d known her for a long time, when in fact we were meeting for the first time that day.
From the beginning, our group knew she had lung cancer and that she had moved out here to stay with her sister, because Reaghan was unable to live alone. It would save money to be with family, and she had absolute faith in her sister. I’ve gotten to know Kim, and Reaghan was right. Kim is a rock. She doesn’t think so, but she is.
Reaghan began a drug trial and bounced back so well that the two of us made a trip to San Francisco together last year. She wanted to visit friends there (her original hometown) and I love to travel, so it was a good fit. We had a blast. We had planned another trip in late June to visit some of her friends in Arizona. The night before we were to leave, she collapsed.
She ended up in the hospital, and the friends she had visited in other states all came to her. It was a party in her room with friends and family. The doctors encouraged her to enjoy her time, because the cancer had returned full force. There was no longer anything they could do. Her sister told us Reaghan had weeks, not months.
I put together a Facebook group for Reaghan’s friends so we could coordinate visits with her. It also gave Kim a single place to update people and to ask if she needed help with picking up things or walking the dogs. We used the group to gather photos and another friend put them in an electronic picture frame so she could have pictures of her friends with her 24/7. Another person brought her two stuffed dogs that looked like her own Maltese and Schnauzer, Pacman and Baron. The stuffed versions of her fur-heroes stayed where she could see them every day. Her sister brought the real ones to visit her in hospice. I was sorry I missed seeing that reunion.
When words are not enough--losing a friend #Cancer #Pinktober @kayelleallen
Kayelle and Reaghan
San Francisco (2015)
Three weeks later, at the end of July, Reaghan was gone. It happened so fast. For all you think

you’ve prepared yourself, you just can’t. I’ve been forgetting to eat (trust me — not like me!) and sleeping far more than usual. I haven’t been able to focus. I’m talking to a grief counselor, and it’s helping. I’m convinced, however, that only time will assuage the pain of missing such a dear friend.

Reaghan entrusted me with finishing her books; a trilogy, an anthology, and two novellas. The work was over 90% done when I got it. I haven’t been able to face any of it. Just can’t. I hear her voice in the words and it breaks my heart. We had gotten close over the last couple of years. The two of us had breakfast or lunch together once a week. We had lunch with the critique group every Tuesday. We traveled. I drove her to doctor visits when she was beginning her treatment. We drove in a blizzard together (in Atlanta!) and we almost ran out of gas one time by going too far on fumes. I worried; she laughed. We were very different, but we were the best of friends. We told each other things we’d never tell anyone else. We spent time together. So the sudden cessation feels empty. Hollow.
When I asked my critique group to write a few words about her, no one could. Not because we didn’t love her and didn’t admire her absolute tenacity and will to live. But because of those very things. One of them shared with me why she can’t, and I think it works for all of us. “You want a celebration of a life fought for. Just writing these few lines made me cry, not because of what I have said, but because of what I haven’t.”
How do you write about someone you’ve recently lost? I’m supposed to know. I’m a writer. I’m supposed to put all of this into perspective so I can harness the emotions to write even better. I will. Eventually. Right now, I need time to grieve. I will come back. I will write about Reaghan’s amazing life. I will finish her books. It was a deathbed promise and I will honor it.
One thing I have learned about cancer is that those who fight–live. Those who refuse to stop–keep going. But this is a powerful disease. It’s one reason I set aside a week on this blog for guest authors to come and share. We must never give in. We must never let cancer win. We must be victorious.
Please, never stop fighting. Never stop moving forward. And never stop doing everything you can to help find a cure.

Kayelle Allen
https://kayelleallen.com
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Vicki Batman is helping Romance Lives Forever Blog celebrate
Cancer Awareness Week 2016.

  • 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.

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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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
smiled.
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
DNA.
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
magic.).

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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 contactjordan@jordankrose.com. 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.
Jordan
(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 http://bit.ly/1Vk2TWn

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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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Website www.lloydmeeker.com

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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
elements
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
together?

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The
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.
–Christine.

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.

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Cancer Awareness Week 
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Nothing is Promised 
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.

No Promises by 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 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.

About the Book

Marjorie is diagnosed with breast cancer immediately after
her most joyous day, the wedding of her son Matthew. A month after undergoing a
bilateral mastectomy, on her second day back as an early childhood teacher in
Brooklyn, the world is enveloped by 9/11. As she continues to mend, she
discovers that Matthew has enlisted in the Armed Forces and is to be deployed
for six months to the Persian Gulf. She has chronicled it all so that others
can grasp the joy of survival through her story.Discover and delight in her
experiences: how she overcame the apprehension about her sexuality after a
bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction; how she let her family back in; how
the man in her life coped; how trips to Atlantic City became therapy; how
friends helped her search for the perfect breast implant design; and how she
learned to sleep without Ambien and Vodka.
Marjorie Belson is a quintessential New Yorker. Born in New
York City in 1945, she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees
from the City University of New York. As a single mother, she chose to teach
early childhood education rather than work on Wall Street.
Motivated by her experience, she started writing this book
in 2004.

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Author Social Media

Cancer Awareness Week 
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Season of Surprises 
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.

To Do: Fight, by 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.

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Season of Surprises holiday stories full of wishes and kisses
from eight Amazon best-selling authors including
“Holiday Handbag Extravaganza” by Vicki Batman: Christmas
Countdown is on! Hunk-a-licious customer, Jack Treadaway, pesters boutique owner,
Callie Woods, to locate a vintage handbag for his mother. Too bad the wedge between
them is his sister, the meanest girl in town.

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

Ways you can show your support

Cancer Awareness RLF blog
Share this post on social media
Follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, or other sites where
you’re active
Encourage the author by sharing what they share
Purchase the author’s books
Review the author’s books
Leave a comment on the blog

Thank you for being part of the Romance Lives Forever community.
Share