It’s WORLD CANCER DAY!!!  It’s a day to honor the lives of those who succumbed to it, but also a day to celebrate those who overcame it.  It’s a day when we will try to fly the flag of hope for the future.  Hope for better treatments, hope for more cures.


How many cancer awareness ribbons are there?  SO many.  Here are just a few:

  • Clear, pearl or white:  Lung Cancer
  • Yellow:  Bone Cancer
  • Blue:  Colon Cancer
  • Orange:  Leukemia
  • Light Blue:  Carcinoma, Prostate Cancer
  • Lime green:  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Purple:  Testicular Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer
  • Lavender:  Cancer of all kinds
  • Pink & Blue:  Male Breast Cancer
  • Gray:  Brain Cancer
  • Black:  Melanoma
  • Pink:  Breast Cancer, Abdominal Cancer
  • Green:  Kidney Cancer
  • Teal:  Cervical Cancer, Ovarian Cancer
  • Violet:  Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Gold:  Childhood Cancer
  • Burgundy:  Oral Cancer
  • Burgundy & Ivory:  Head & Neck Cancer

Wow – so many colors…  we will call it a rainbow of hope.

I’m not a stranger to cancer.  My earliest memory of cancer was way back in the early 1970’s when my Aunt Frankie started writing letters to my mom about not feeling well.  She thought she had the flu, but tests were done and an exploratory surgery revealed that she had cancer – to quote the doctors – “everywhere”.  It was so advanced there was nothing they could do but keep her as comfortable as possible.  My cousins lost their mother when she was only in her 50’s.

In the 1970’s Aunt Mary had radiation treatments for cancer but I don’t know what kind.  I was still young enough that details were being kept from me.  Aunt Bea had breast cancer that she fought and won a couple of times.  My cousin fought thyroid cancer and will be on THRT (thyroid hormone replacement therapy) the rest of her life.  My mom’s family seemed destined to get some form of cancer.  I kept waiting for it to be my mother’s turn.  When she was 81 she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  There was nothing they could do.  I feel blessed to have had her until she was 82.  I was surprised to lose my dad to cancer since he had no family history of it.  In 1988 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and lived a few months.  He was taken by a blood clot and not by the cancer at the age of 62.

The theme for World Cancer Day 2015 is NOT BEYOND US.  A day of encouragement for everyone.

The point is, cancer is everywhere and we pray for better treatments that are not so radical.  Some folks say the treatment is worse than the disease.  The treatments do seem to get more tolerable as time goes by, but some chemo is still very rough to go through.

I keep hearing about the advancements in the testing.  Cancer is being found in earlier stages now, which makes it better to fight, which gives a person better odds of survival.  Some people survive it – I’m one of those very blessed individuals.  Ovarian cancer is quite deadly if not caught in time.  Once it spreads it is almost certainly fatal.  I don’t take one day for granted and I make the best of every day I’m given.  As I speak with other cancer survivors, I hear the same thing.  Surviving cancer gives you a brand new perspective on life.  I have a much shorter list of “bummers” than I did before.  I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore – there is no more small stuff.  Cancer is the biggest bummer of all – and God saw fit to see me through it – so nothing else matters.  Now – I live.  Living is the goal and living cancer free is the greatest blessing.  🙂



There are many “firsts” in the world, but today we celebrate the life of the first American woman to go into outer space! Today is SALLY RIDE DAY!!! Sally Ride was born on May 26, 1951 and served as an inspiration for many little girls and her life was incredible and adventurous. She is definitely someone who lived it to the fullest. Dr. Sally Ride joined NASA in 1978, and on June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on Space Shuttle Challenger for STS-7.

Today is a great day to learn more about the U.S. space program, and to encourage those young people with dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Accomplishments like that are amazing and deserve to be recognized and celebrated. Sadly, Sally Ride died last July of pancreatic cancer. She was only 61 years old.

How many “firsts” would we like to see in our world? For starters, a real cure for cancers like pancreatic cancer would be great! My dad died at age 62 of pancreatic cancer. My mom died of colon cancer. I hate cancer because it took my family. I know a whole bunch of Diabetics (both 1 and 2) who would love to hear that a cure was available for their chronic disease! The list of diseases that need a cure is so long and I don’t have the desire to name each one. It would be too depressing.

The accomplishments made in space are fantastic and brought us a long way, but there are more personal accomplishments closer to home that I’d like to see take place – wouldn’t you?


I know we just need to hold on and exercise our faith in God, though I am tempted to ask God why some things have to be the way they are, I have to accept His plan for my life. He is God and I am not.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone came along and said they could cure chronic pain conditions and chronic diseases? We need some more “firsts” – we need some good news. 🙂




In honor of TELL A STORY DAY, I’ve collected some stories that I think need to be told.  We have what many refer to as an “invisible disease”.  Diabetes is not something that is typically visible, rather a very personal battle that happens behind closed doors.  To look at a person you cannot tell they are diabetic.  Just because it seems like a person is coping well with their disease is not a reason to assume that everything is just fine and dandy.  It is not.  We need a cure.  Soon.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is the name given to disorders in which the body has trouble regulating its blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively.

Max Sonnenschein writes:

Once Upon a Time my kid ate anything he wanted. Those were the days my friend. Oh how I miss the drive through windows and the pizza delivery boy. All that came to a screeching halt when a bomb name Type 1 dropped in our world so we had to give up all drinks w/ sugar and learn a carb to unit ratio that started to rule our meals. Oh yeah, bomb 2 blew up next. This time it was called Celiacs and something called gluten had to go. Well, can I tell you it’s in everything including pretzels. Just recently we discovered Glutino chocolate covered pretzels, gluten-free of course. Jake loves them. Did I mention that for a small bag they cost nearly $7! So pretzels are back on the island and life goes on. But we still have to count the carbs and inject insulin so even our gluten-free $7 pretzels have a larger price.


LaTisha Conners writes:

Once Upon a Time we were a “normal” American family.  We functioned pretty much like other families.  We all did our daily activities and when the day was over, we slept.  Then my daughter began wetting the bed.  Not just once in a while, but quite often.  It was not just once during the night.  When we went in to see the doctor, we heard a diagnosis that changed our family life forever.  Type 1 Diabetes!  Our world has not been the same and we don’t sleep much at night anymore.  My daughter has had to learn to give herself insulin shots, using an orange and syringe filled with saline solution.  No, the disease does not cause any outward “signs”, but every activity of every day revolves around it. 


Michelle Wheeler writes:

Once Upon a Time we did not have to think about what we fed our child.  But when my baby started vomiting uncontrollably, I had to get him to a doctor immediately!  The doctor said it was more than likely a virus that was going around and told me to keep her hydrated with juice and pedialite.  Just two days later, she was listless and nearly lifeless!  We took him to the emergency room and he was so dehydrated they could not even start an IV.  They stuck a feeding tube down his throat and did the standard blood tests.  That’s when we got the devastating news that our child was a Type 1 Diabetic.  Our small son has a disease?  It took a while for this to sink in, but we gathered our strength and began the fight.  That night at the emergency room his blood glucose was close to 1000!  He went to intensive care for the night, then was transferred to a room.  We learned all about our son’s horrible disease – how to give him shots and what we need to feed him.  I don’t think people understand how life-threatening this disease is.  Maybe people understand but just don’t know what they’re supposed to do with that information.  I think we all feel a bit helpless about the disease.


Here is the story I wish – I wish – I wish I could tell, and hope to tell one day soon:

Once Upon a Time a lot of my friends and I had Diabetes.  Now, we do NOT!!! 😀