October 13, 2014

On the Yellow Pad: Fight Cancer @VickiBatman @ShieldsAlly #FightCancer #RLFblog

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.
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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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Temporarily Employed 

Buy This Author's Book

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

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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.

Author Social Media


10 comments:

  1. Vicki and Ally, I'm excited and honored to share your stories. thank you for reaching to and sharing what must have been painful and frightening. Knowing others survived helps those of us who are facing this with friends and family.

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  2. Hi, Kayelle! My pleasure. Cancer can be a very hard fight and Handsome did it. Check. ox

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  3. Wow, Vicki and Ally, I'm so glad for both of you. I always believed a positive attitude and a loving husband, family and friends got me through my heart surgeries. You and your families proved it to be true.
    Stay positive and healthy.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Marian! Thank you so much. I believe your attitude and your support helped you too. You are wonderful and beautiful and love being with you. Hugs.

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    2. You've enriched my life with your friendship and love, Vicki.

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    3. I'm hoping to see you this summer, Marian!

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  4. Thank you Vicki and Ally for sharing your story of defeating cancer! You're so inspiring to me and proof that life overcomes cancer. :) Hugs to you both!

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  5. Hi, Princess of the Light! Handsome had the first cancer scare in my family. What got me the most was my friend telling me she had him at the top of her prayer list every day. This friend had just been rediagnosed with stomach cancer. When she told me, I cried inside because I knew she knew she wouldn't make it. I did a tribute to her in a story called "Taking Flight," in MuseItUp Publishing's cancer anthology, Lavender Dreams.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes when we are the lowest, we pray the hardest for others. That is pure grace in action.

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    2. Not long after Handsome was diagnosed, cancer occupied my mind and it went to many places, some dark. As I passed from the kitchen to the back door, something passed around my shoulders and held me. I sensed a warmth and well-being. Then a thought "It's going to be all right." An angel? Who knows?? I needed whatever happened at that time and I was comforted.

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