Thursday, August 30, 2012


So, a few weeks back I was spending some quiet time...reading blogs...praying....thinking...and came across a conference that is being held in Minneapolis in a few weeks.  Do you remember a few weeks back when I shared the book Overcoming the Nevers by Teri Johnson? (Her website is Keeping It Personal .)  Well, Teri is the coordinator of the a conference called the Refine Conference.  Have you ever read something and felt little butterflies in your tummy?  Well, when I first read about the Refine conference, I could hardly contain the butterflies.  (I was so excited, I was sure I was going to fly off the couch.) Should I be embarrassed to admit that I can recite the program, speakers and break out sessions?  After my initial excitement, reality settled much as I wanted to go to the conference, timing and budget constraints were two big hurdles.  So...I thought to myself, "just because it doesn't appear you will be able to attend, it looks like a wonderful opportunity and I started to share the information with friends and on my facebook."   And, I subscribed to Teri's blog....Soon I found myself thinking "Seriously....only God"...
The first post update I received was written by Carey Scott from Carey Scott Talks.  I absolutely love Carey and have been following her blog for some time.  How cool that the first blog post I read from Keeping it Personal was an author that I have read many times.
 The next day the post was from Elizabeth Hagen. Elizabeth is a nationally recognized business coach, professional speaker, organization expert, and author.  Since Elizabeth resides in my local area, I have also been a follower of her blog.  How exciting to see she was a guest blogger for Keeping it Personal.
Every day I anticipated reading the blog posts from Keeping It Personal...these women were speaking just the words I needed to hear.  Shortly, there after, when lunching with a good friend, I mentioned this conference to her...thinking it might be of interest to her.  I sent her the website.
After the neck pain started to increase, I put all thoughts of attending this conference in the back corner. Then....last week, I found out that the plans I had for the weekend of this conference were cancelled.  This week, through therapy (and prayers) the neck pain is decreasing....and last evening, my friend called and asked if I was still interested in attending the Refine conference?? 
 For those of you who have no idea what the refine conference is:

The REFINE Woman's Conference -- Sept. 21 and 22, 2012, DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington Minneapolis South -- Come as you are, take your next step with purpose.
Description: WOMEN --> YOU are invited to COME as you are! Join us as we keep it
personal with ourselves, others, and God seeking to REFINE our lives
emotionally, spiritually, financially, professionally, in health and
wellness, and in relationship.
Our desire for you is to walk away from these two days feeling renewed and encouraged.
Our goal is that your heart will be fulfilled, your mind inspired, and your soul nurtured no matter where you might be on life's journey to... take
YOUR next steps with purpose.
Overcome. REFINE. Become.
If I could have ever designed a conference for survivors, it would be one just like this.  Just look at these break out sessions:
Health/ Wellness
Recently I read these words in the book To Be Told by Dan Allender.
One wise person said anonymously, "Adversity introduces us to ourselves."  And adversity comes in too many forms to number.  It is the diagnosis of cancer that throws us face to face with mortality.  Seeing the real possibility of death creates a  newness and drama and calls most people to rewrite the story they previously had assumed was the dominant plot of their life.  The introduction to ourselves can also come in the upheaval of unwanted change--tragedy that disrupts the status quo and compels attention, focus, engagement, and choice.  This change drives us to write what we really want to say, because we have only a few blank pages left and little ink in our pen.
Tonight finds me pondering...and writing this blog...praying...listening (and nibbling on this special treat from Jema....which just so happens to be in desk drawer for emergency pondering sessions...)
Tonight is the last night to register and receive the discount....still be continued....
Question:  When faced with opportunities like conferences, how do you decide which ones to attend?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Surprise and Blessing!

Before I update you on my doctor's appointment and lingering neck pain, I want to share with you a special surprise and blessing from this past week.

We met through our blogs a few years back...I was inspired by her words and her art--she liked my realness.  We lived miles apart, never did I think we would meet in person.  She took a detour on her trip to Rapid City--and I had a delightful surprise!

We chatted like long lost friends, barely coming up for air...practically skipping hello's to sharing our past and hopes for our future.  What a privilege to introduce you to my blogger and now "real life" friend Jennifer (Jema).  Jennifer is a beautiful wife, mother of 4, artist and in her spare time you can find her blogging at Studio Jema.  Our time together was precious...a blessing and memory I will forever cherish.

Jema blessed me with some of her beautiful art work.

Here's a pic of where I placed my new treasure!

Thank you Jema for sharing your time, your story, and your dreams.  My prayers are with you and your family as you "Inspire to Inspire!"

Question:  Care to share one of your surprise moments?

Oh, almost forgot--doctor's appt. 
I did labs--normal! 
She gave me some muscle relaxant--pain decreasing!
PET scan was ordered--I asked to postpone for a week or so.
Physical therapy to start on Friday.
Boot camp--on hold! (bummer)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The three F's--Failure, Fatigue and Fear

"Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid."--John Keats

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

Well....let's just say--I over did it the months of April, May, and the last few weeks, I have felt like our poor back yard--dead, with the only thing growing--weeds.

So, I cleared my calendar...and this is how I have been spending my spare time:

Why, oh, why? Remember, boot camp?  Well, it was really good for me, however...I am finding out, even good things can tip the balance scale.  Five weeks ago, I noticed my neck starting to hurt, which led to my back hurting, which led to headaches, which led to increase in fatigue, due to pain waking me up at night.  Now, I am pretty sure that this pain is related to over training, but to reassure some concerned family members, I do have an appointment at my oncologists office this week. 

A few weeks ago, due to the pain, I significantly decreased the intensity of my exercise workouts.  At first, I felt like a failure and was real disappointed in my body and it's lack of ability. Mr. Keats words helped me realize that my inability to do boot camp, doesn't mean I am a just means, (at this time) I have to avoid the intensity. So, for now, my exercise routine consists of daily stretching and walking for at least 30 minutes.   

I share this recent bump in the road, to offer encouragement to other survivors who find themselves struggling with some of the limitations and frustrations which can come after cancer treatment.  Many of us are walking in uncharted waters, without much guidance on "life after treatment."  By sharing our collective experiences in cyber world, we can help each other.

With my recent neck/back pain...I really struggled with some questions--
1) Who should I  call for advice? My internist or my oncologist?
2) The rule of thumb after cancer is the 2 week rule, if something still hurts after 2 weeks, we are to notify our physician.  However, I find this rule isn't always "cut and dry." For instance, last year I had planter fascitiis--cancer in the heel is very unlikely. This spring I had shin splints--again cancer here very unlikely. Now, I have the back pain--again, I think it is due to over training...but with the cancer history--it brings questions??

Now, most days...I seldom think about cancer.  Cancer is part of my life history, but it doesn't make up my life.  That is why the other evening...I was caught  off guard when my mind decided to pay a visit to Uncle Fear.  You see, I thought Uncle Fear was dead and buried, but when your body and soul are dry...fear, like the ugly weeds in our yard, seems to grow best in the dry conditions especially when fertilized with fatigue.  Thankfully, my visit with Uncle Fear was only a few minutes, as I quickly kicked him out of my mind and instead enjoyed a cup of tea with God's word.  For I have learned, it His Word that comforts me and reminds me...

"For I know the plans I have for you, " says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Question:  What refreshes you during a dry season? or comforts you when you have fear? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

5 minute Friday

Even though it has been awhile, do you remember the game? 

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::


What a perfect word for the place I am in my healing journey.  I love to connect with others...whether it be my coworkers first thing in the morning, my friends or my family.  Seriously, I think  if visiting with others could be a career...I would be at the top of the that ladder. There is nothing I like better than connecting with others and sharing in their life. I love to hear the stories and cherish the memories.

However, there is one person I often fail to connect with...myself.  Like so many others, I often get too busy.  Between work, family, friends and other social obligations, it is difficult to connect with myself.  So, maybe that is why I have had an increase in body is my body saying, "ENOUGH.  We miss you!  Please take the time to connect with yourself." 

The last few weeks, I have been more intentional with "inking in" an appointment with "MYSELF" I could connect with me--which for me always includes connecting with HIM! 
My prayer for you this weekend--may you find time to connect with yourself and our Heavenly Father!

Q. Have you been able to connect with yourself lately?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Exciting Offer by Teri Johnson

Oh, blogger friends are you all in for a special treat! 

I am excited to share with you a special offer made by  Teri Johnson, the author of Overcoming the Nevers.

You may order Overcoming the Nevers through her website and receive a 50% discount!

Here’s the link:

The Coupon Code: Karen

Signed Soft-cover Copy with the code is $7.50 + Priority Mail Shipping of $5.99 = total $13.49

Ebook delivered immediately = $4.00

A great big thank you to Teri for her generosity!

Monday, August 6, 2012

From Failure to Overcoming the Nevers

If we aren’t failing, then we aren’t doing anything interesting.
Expect failure. Better yet, embrace failure.
~Kristine Lamb

Today, I read the above words from a fellow blogger, Kristine Lamb…and they gave me courage to hop on this blog and write something…anything…to get over the fear of failing. You see, I look at my last post update, and I get so disappointed in my lack of discipline in posting on a more regular schedule. Kristine talks more about discipline and fear post today called “Unlocking Your Great Future—5 Keys to Writing Success.”

Since I last posted, I have had many blog posts written in my mind, but time didn’t permit me to sit long enough to share the words and stories…

From creating simple memories like watering my flowers with my 3 year old grandson, while family and friends enjoyed a game of croquet in our backyard to some grander memories like sharing an adventure with my two daughters, I have had an enjoyable summer.

However this past month, just being honest and sharing, I have been struggling. While I was busy creating memories, pain and fatigue crept back into my life. As, often happens, they bring their buddy fear with them. I keep telling them, I don’t have time for their visit—but I think they like me, as they just don’t want to leave. Except fear, that is…he stepped one foot into my mind and when I started reading God’s word to him—you should have seen him run. So, the last few weeks, I cleared my schedule—limiting my time to family and work, decreasing the intensity of my exercise schedule…and increasing my awareness of proper nutrition and sleep, hoping that pain and fatigue will discover they are NOT welcome here.

One good thing about taking the time to rest, I have had been able to spend a little more time reading. On Saturday, I was reading a blog post on Karen Ehman’s site. She introduced us to Teri Johnson. Teri is the President and Founder of Keeping It Personal ( a company that specializes in self-development training and discovering your life purpose and The Refine Conference for Women ( (Conference is in Minneapolis, MN…so close, yet so far…definitely something on my “to do” list next year.) Teri is also the author of the newly released book, Overcoming the Nevers. I spent the last few days with Teri, her web site and her book. Even though I have only read the first three chapters of her book, the message Teri share’s is helping give me the tools to move forward…towards leading a life God has called me. I will share more as time and energy permits. If you are interested in a personal growth book—you definitely need to read this book.

Q. What new book have you discovered this summer?