CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Angelina Jolie Shares Her Second Surgery With The New York Times

Angelina Jolie has stepped forward for a second time sharing her experience with doing everything she can to prevent cancer.  This time she journals of her heartfelt decision to try and prevent ovarian cancer.  Please select this link from the New York Times and share it with those you love.

Her words speak reality, uncertainty and hope.

I am one of thousands of grateful women who thank her for raising awareness of ovarian cancer and how we can strive to prevent it. 

God Bless Angelina.


Here are more links from news media about Angelina Jolie's decision:

KLG and Hoda on the Today Show


NBC News

Huffington Post

BBC News


Peace and Blessings


Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Didn't Know I Loved Gorillas So Much

Tonight something entirely unexpected happened after watching a "60 Minutes" segment, I knelt down on my knees sobbing.  It wasn't just one of those short hard cries that somehow finds a way to end with a giggle or sigh of relief.  No, this was one of those deeply sorrowful tearful, painful, agonizing moments when no solace could be found, except through God.

My cat doesn't know what to do during these rare moments because I cry out loud and can't breathe. It reminded me of the kind of crying that comes when someone you love dies.  I got shocked when I saw my red bleary eyed face in the mirror as I went to grab a tissue. Marilyn was probably hiding under the bed, poor kitty.

How did this evolve, you way wonder.  It was just a normal evening. I had turned on the television and found an episode already streaming on "60 Minutes" about a man who wants to save all the animals in captivity. Wonderful.  His name is Damian Aspinall.  Mind you, the segment had already begun playing and the images I saw were amazing.  I had missed the introductions. 

This man is frolicking with apes and playing with tigers.  Wow. I hear about his mission to end all zoos, including his, and I think "Fabulous"! Truly it is a Godly gift that any human can play with gorillas and live to tell about it.  This man is very special, I am thinking.

We see him teaching gorillas to live in the jungle after being in captivity.  Then this man takes them to a private island where these Godly creatures live freely and are safe. Upon his return, the gorillas are happy to see him, one especially.  The one gorilla loved this man so much he literally would not let him go. I am grinning from ear to ear, my heart is warm and fuzzy. 

Then we see this man has started, but not finished a bridge.  This bridge is the bridge to the real wild. It would allow the gorillas to leave this safe island haven of freedom in Africa. We are told that if they cross this bridge the gorillas will no longer be safe, they might die.  

I do not have the answers but I do know what isn't right.  Those gorillas loved him!  They trusted him and he let them walk the plank.

Dear Damian Aspinall,

Please no longer release the animals that love you, that trust you, into the wild.  Allow them to remain living with joy on your family estate in Africa and pledge your resources to stop animal cruelty and poaching.

Your ideal of closing all zoos is admirable. I pray you have learned that your beloved Gorillas need you to keep them safe on your island sanctuary.  You were given an exceptional gift from God that allows large wild animals to trust and love you.  Please honor that love and trust.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Mobile APP

How are you today?

I was doing some research on organizing tips, such as for medical records, and I found this great APP from Cancer.Net!  Where was this when I was in front line chemo?  HA

I highly recommend that you take a look at this, whether you are a caregiver or a patient.

It is a repository of sorts for tracking symptoms and side effects of treatments, medications, notes and issues related to your condition and a resource with links to important resources within the Cancer.Net website.

I remember back in 2010 that it was a nightmare keeping logs, lists of meds, notes for doctors and finding resources. It was a job in the most literal sense to manage having cancer.  This APP could have saved me and my family a lot of extra stress, time and effort.

I am creating my symptoms tracker. This tool has common symptoms pre-loaded for selection and you can customize symptoms as well. I believe I will need to set reminders to go through them at the same time each evening and rate them, until this becomes a habit.  I have promised some people that I will report how this APP helps me.

I am a little excited about this because having these details readily available to your oncology nurse and doctor could greatly improve your overall treatment experience.  Especially at times when we are really tired and suffering, putting the symptoms into words can be difficult.   I hope you find this helpful.

Peace and blessings


Saturday, March 07, 2015

Women With Cancer Retreat at OLCC

Women with Cancer:  Spiritual Exercises and Prayer Retreat

Dear Child of God, 

May the peace of Christ reign in your heart.  This is an invitation to attend a Women with Cancer: Spiritual Exercises Silent Retreat this fall at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center.  We hope that 22 women from across the United States will make this retreat to grow in faith and love of God and to experience His  Healing Grace.  We encourage you to consider joining us for this year’s retreat Thursday September 17 through Sunday September 20 of 2015.

Our Lady of Corpus Christi offers you a place of peace, of silence and of prayer.  Our Lady’s Retreat House is equipped with 22 private rooms with private bathrooms. While on retreat, you may want to spend time with the Lord in our quiet and intimate chapel in Our Lady’s Retreat House or take a short walk to our Perpetual Adoration Chapel, “the Blue Dome”, where our Lord is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament 24 hours a day.  Our Lady of Corpus Christi has 60 acres of grounds to explore, and a peaceful meditation garden to immerse yourself in God’s Creation; to rest, reflect and pray.

Except for participating in Mass, talks and other events, at Our Lady of Corpus Christi you experience the beauty of silence.  There is plenty of free time to rest, relax and listen to the Voice of God speaking to your heart, through silence. There are no TV’s, telephones, or any other type of media to distract us from our Creator.  You are asked to set aside all your thoughts related to your job, your family, and anything else that would prevent you from opening yourself up to Jesus. 

Mass is offered each day, and priests are available for confession and spiritual direction throughout the retreat.  The talks presented throughout the weekend will be based in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, but will have an emphasis on healing for women with cancer.  The retreat will be led by Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT, a religious sister of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Sr. Anne Marie is a breast and women’s cancer survivor three times over and has experienced first hand a woman's struggle with cancer, and the Healing Grace of God.  Three excellent, home cooked meals are served each day and ample snacks provided for time in between.  

The Women with Cancer: Spiritual Exercises Silent Retreat can be a powerful, life changing experience.  When we open ourselves up to God’s grace, His generosity will astound us.  He longs to pour his love, peace and joy into our souls! This retreat is an opportunity to relax and renew your mind, body and soul, and go deeper in your relationship with God.  

Please consider this letter as a personal invitation and contact one of our Retreat Captain concerning attendance at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center.  Space is limited to 22 women.  If you would like to reserve a room please contact one of our Retreat Captains, who is listed below.  You may register by filling out the Retreat Registration Form via our retreat website:

To register, please select from the dropdown menu and you will se the link for women with cancer at

May God bless you and your family abundantly.  
In Jesus through His mother,
Denise Archuleta
Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Captain