Monday, June 28, 2021

Happy 35th Anniversary Coping with Cancer Magazine

This May/June 2021 I am honored to be included in Coping with Cancer's 35 Anniversary Issue!  

As fate would have it I was sitting beside my husband, Randy during his first chemo treatment at the University of Tennessee Cancer Institute in Knoxville, Tennessee when I first saw that I had been tagged on Instagram by Coping with Cancer magazine

It was such great timing!  A much needed reminder of all Randy and I have been through together and managed to survive. 

In February we celebrated our 32nd anniversary with a ski trip to North Carolina. Only instead of skiing we ended up at the ER. Randy was hospitalized  due to a ruptured appendix we now know was caused by appendix cancer. 

In 1994 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer Coping with Cancer magazine was ALL THERE WAS  in any oncologist or doctor's office that focused on surviving cancer. In an era where cancer was still viewed as a death sentence it offered me and countless other cancer patients inspiration, encouragement, and hope. 

When Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy  was released I was thrilled to contribute to and receive an endorsement from Coping with Cancer magazine. I had survived cancer and publishing to arrive via an article in the premier magazine about cancer! 

Today, once again this magazine is providing my family support and encouragement when it's needed most.  

Happy 35th Anniversary #CopingwithCancerMagazine and Thank you! 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Sweet Month

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Friday, November 27, 2020

How Santa's Elves Charge their Gadgets!

 Tis the Season! 


To stuff the stockings! 

             Order on Amazon

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-Tankerous Mommy: The Mommy in the Book.


Twenty-six years I was diagnosed with breast cancer and wrote a version of what's now Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy. The book was turned down by mainstream publishers who didn't see a market for it and believed that breast cancer wasn't something young women would be concerned about.  

In October 2001, Rosie O Donnell, whose mother had died of breast cancer,  announced the publication of the book on her national talk show. Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy went on to be recommended by health care professionals and cancer support groups across the county. 

However, getting the book into bookstores and overcoming the stigma about cancer continued to be a struggle for years.  

When Nutcracker Publishing introduced the Tickles Tabitha character and
implemented the Crack Open a Book Cancer Education curriculum it was a major milestone.
Today's kids and even their parents are usually surprised to hear that when I first became an author there was no way I would have been allowed to read Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy at elementary schools.  Talking about cancer- much less- breast cancer was taboo. 

Cancer was not the only topic that was off-limits.  Mental health issues weren't being discussed either.  My Tickles Tabitha title hit on the depression and rollercoaster of emotions a family battling cancer endures in an era when it was just not talked about.  I've often felt as if I'm either a step ahead or miles behind popular perception when it comes to social norms.

Much has changed since the publication of my book, beginning with its author.  

Several years ago I retired to the mountains of Tennessee,  but October is a month I can't let pass without acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness.  For me, it's been a journey filled with pink pumpkin events and personal angst usually brought on by public speaking. 

I'm proud to say that Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy helped pioneer cancer resources for children. Talking to children about cancer is no longer deemed inappropriate, and the word breast can even be said aloud to a grade school audience. 

The stigma, shame, and embarrassment  I once felt about my breast cancer and the book I wrote on the topic,  due to the ignorance of others, is long gone.  

I once had another cancer survivor tell me she just felt sorry for the children in the book because the mommy was so mean. I guess she didn't realize the mommy in the book was based on me... only nicer. We can't all be perfect mothers delusional, but if I've learned anything along the way it's that Tickles Tabitha's Mommy is not as mean as I thought she was. 

Despite all that's changed Tickles Tabitha's Cancer-tankerous Mommy remains as relevant today as it was the day I wrote it. Young moms are still being diagnosed with breast cancer. Families are still dealing with mental health issues pertaining to cancer,  young children are still affected by it, moms still feel guilty about it, 

AND women, especially young women,  still have to be their own advocate when it comes to breast health!

I found my lump when my four-year-old jumped onto my lap and I put a hand up to protect my chest. I was 34 with no family history of breast cancer.  Mammograms were not advised for someone my age and today they're still not. 

If you're too young for a mammogram please do a self-exam.  

October (Halloween/Fright Month)  is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Whoever decided that must have had a wicked sense of humor. 

Even after 26 years, waiting for the results of my mammogram is still scary.  Relieved to report mine came back clean!  

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

My COVID Quarantine DYE DIY


This past Christmas my mom came to visit and to make her comfortable I succumbed to daughter’s guilt and let her have one of those electric Papa Bear recliners in my living room. I planned to hide the ugly monstrosity in the basement as soon as she left. 

Only it’s too dang large and heavy to carry with ease up and down a flight of stairs. Since my husband and I have a commuter marriage, and he’s not always here to do the heavy lifting I decided to just leave the recliner in the living room. 

Life can be so unfair. Like how my favorite foods are the most fattening and my most comfortable shoes are the ugliest. Or how my mom’s ugly new faux leather recliner made the leather furniture I paid a small fortune for back in the day and couldn’t bring myself to part with look old, faded, tattered.

Since no one was around to complain about the mess I was making or the lasting effects chemical fumes have on brain cells, COVID-19 Quarantine was the ideal time to tackle dying my faded leather furniture. 

There are several ways to DIY leather, and they can all be found on Pinterest. After doing my research I decided to use Fiebing's leather care products. Helpful information on how to use the products can be found here.  I used the following products:

I purchased 32 oz of Show Brown for a large chair/ottoman and sofa. 

If I do this again I may consider using a less expensive option for deglazing or conditioning the leather. However, I would not substitute the  Fiebing's Dye! It adhered great and I had zero problems with any of the dye coming off and onto clothing. 

So here it is my DYE DIY…




It turned out so good it made my zebra rug look shabby and it had to be replaced. Good thing I'd saved all that money DIYing my furniture! 😉  #lifeisgoodduringcovid