Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir
In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that "the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radian. It is a story of survival and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.
“My journey with ovarian cancer has had its valley and mountaintops, its darknesses and rays of sunshine.” I thank Author Karen Ingalls for sharing her fight against the silent killer, ovarian cancer. Thank you for your bravery and openness- you are indeed outshining cancer.
Author Ingalls begins her story with D Day, the day she was diagnosed as a result of her routine annual checkup. In a calm, and reassuring manner, she tells the entire story from diagnosis, to surgery, chemotherapy and follow up. She not only tells about the medical aspects, but also is open about how she and her husband dealt with their feelings of grief and worry. The information that she shares would be helpful and comforting for anyone facing a health problem, as well as their family and friends.
The author listed characteristics of a survivor personality, including a strong spiritual belief, sense of humor, good nutrition and exercise, and openness to new experiences. I don’t mean to minimize the challenge and suffering that goes with a cancer diagnosis, but these characteristics are good for all of us to practice. Throughout the book the author describes how she filled her life with these physical and spiritual practices during her diagnosis, treatment, recovery and beyond.
“After I completed chemotherapy, it was my time to declare victory over cancer. I won the battle and only time would tell if I won the war. I feel great.” The book ends with the author realizing that she has lot to live for. She plans to organize her family photos, pass on kindness to people she meets, and knit afghans and shawls for chemo patients. She has also written and published two award-winning novels. She is doing her best to thrive.
The memoir also includes a list of recommended resources, and an Appendix with ovarian cancer warning signs, and risk factors. I highly recommend this book for readers who have a personal need to learn more about cancer and for anyone who wants to be inspired as to how to live a meaningful life in the face of a serious situation.