Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Party with CONNIE E.CURRY!

One thing for sure, we KNOW how to party at this BLOG PARTY. I have to quote Roman, the winner of Glyn's book, "You are damn right that it pays to play, but believe me this is just the second time I won anything and it feels jolly good." There! You have it from a winner. The only way to win is to play.

The winners from yesterday are, drumroll - please! Kevin, Shadow Government by Ray Derby; The Little Hobbit, Ned Visits New York by Kip Cosson; Kate, The Desert Has No King, by Fred Baby Aguilar; Mary, The Bully Books by Rita Towes; and name withheld on Why Me? by Rita Towes. Congratulations to each of the winners, email me to arrange to collect your books. NEWS FLASH: Kip has donated a second autographed Ned Visits New York and that one goes to Pesky Kid. (Winners, please email me)


Connie E. Curry is one of the funniest people I know. Boy can she string a yarn. I hope some day all of you get to read her humorous piece on her son's health class assignment. As a mom of three boys, I held my breath as I read that piece, then the 'gotcha moment' at the end, did get me.

I hate to admit it, but I met Connie on Facebook (don't go look to friend me, I was there all of 6 weeks).

Connie wrote a thick book about her knock-down, drag-out, kick boxing win over breast cancer. She is one gutsy lady. A picture of her without hair fills the front cover of her book, Give Me Back My GLORY. The book ends with her picture with hair, the beautiful picture that is on her website. Go look, http://www.givemebackmyglory.com/

Connie is a freelance writer with a background as an emergency medical technician, EMT, the ambulance person who saves your life in an emergency. In four easy pages, Connie brings you from her childhood to the day she knew for certain she had breast cancer. Check this out, it is smooth, "Our innocent, sweet babies had grown into teens and, although born beautiful and healthy, they lacked angel wings."

When it comes to breast cancer, Connie is clear about straight talk - it's the only way to be. I have learned more about breast cancer than I've ever known, and I'm not even finished with her book. I had no idea that after a mastectomy, part of the reconstructive surgery involved tattooing 'pigment' for the new nipple area. Makes perfect sense, I just never thought about it.

Connie's Give Me Back My GLORY makes it okay to be scared, to be brave, to fight for your glory. She includes photos of her journey to glory in her book.

Each day since my very first chemo, I would feel my hair and tug on it, looking for signs of it falling out. When I bathed, I would check the drain as the water washed away, always looking for clumps of hair.

A book this well written doesn't just come out of nowhere, so I ask Connie to share more about her day job.

I won the National James Thurber Humor writing contest with my short story called, "Homework Assignment." My first story was for a magazine called, Women With Wheels. I took on a huge job, rebuilding my 1974 VW Bug. It is a beautiful car and I spent more on my chrome wheels than I ever spent on jewelry. I truly did a lot of the labor on it. I still drive it and love it.

I also write for my local paper. My column is, "Our Neighbors" and it is about ordinary residents here with big stories."Everyone has a interesting story," I've said numerous times. About 5 yrs. ago, I went into our local paper office and asked to speak to the publisher. We'd never met and I had not a lot of writing under my belt (although I have sold many stories to various magazines which has not been included on my web page, yet). Anyway, I boldly walked in, introduced myself and being so outspoken, I said, "You know, our paper needs more. Subscribers do not want to read about a farmer in Iowa, or a story about someone they don't know. They love stories about people right here in Delaware. There are so many interesting people here. Let me write stories about them." As simple as that, he gave me the job. The stories are on my web page. I love meeting people and truly enjoy their unique stories. I get calls from people all the time that want me to write their story. I feel so honored.

I also write for the local Habitat for Humanity which is my way of giving since I never climb on roofs and pound nails on the homes they build for low income people.

Here is Connie's kid!


Party Game: Write a title of a story about a made person in Connie's home town for her column. (It won't really be published, this is just a game.) Also ask Connie any questions about breast cancer. Let the games begin to win an autographed copy of Give Me Back My Glory.

Irene Watson is here tomorrow!

**If you need help navigating blogger, here are some basic instructions: http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/08/just-few-basics.html
The comment section is below this line. Click on the word "comments." That's where you can leave a note. eMail me if you have trouble with this...NadineLaman(at)aol.com

109 comments:

  1. Good Morning, World! It's a beautiful day, let's party!

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  2. Good evening/morning everybody. Hi Connie. Nadine, can you explain the game a little more?

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  3. Good Morning, Andrew...you're still up, I see.

    The game is to make a fake headline for Connie's newspaper column, for example,... Planet-Revels rocks sold out crowd at the county Fair.

    Okay, no one ever said I'd be a journalist! Just make up something

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  4. Yep, still here. Glyn and I are talking about the press release Carolyn H-J suggested we do about the blog party. Anyone who knows anything about press releases is welcome to help.

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  5. Morning from a very very rainy France. But the ground so needs it.

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  6. 'Police Swoop as Neighbours Complain About Noise at Nadine's Party' - good headline or not? A real winner

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  7. Hello Glyn, you make me smile. Do the coppers stay and party with us? It is a very fine party. No one rocks better than all of us!

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  8. Glyn, I like that one! LOL
    Little Hobbit says Thank you!!!

    Connie I'm glad to meet you! Awareness of breast cancer is never high enough, and it's never early enough to start taking cre. Two of my best friends were diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of seventeen. How terrible is that?

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  9. Good morning, Ivy!

    Glyn does have his moments, doesn't he?

    That is terrible, Ivy. I think all of us know several people who have had breast cancer. We used to whisper about it and it is so good that we talk loudly so we can join together and fight the good fight.

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  10. Hi everyone

    As some of you will know, my partner, Jayne, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. She had a left-sided mastectomy, and is now in the middle of chemo (with radiotherapy to come). As you'll imagine, we've both learned a lot more about breast cancer and its treatment than we ever wanted to know, but I'm very encouraged by the positive outcomes others have experienced.

    Nick

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  11. Good morning, Nick!

    Yes, and now you have all of us sending energy to both of you too. Did you see Friday that Carolyn H-J was 21 years cured? There have been so many advancements since then.

    And remember that book I mentioned, that line, so powerful, I thought. And Connie's book is fabulous. I'm reading it now.

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  12. Complaints from the Diet Industry forces Government's shock ban on Ivy's pancakes.

    Hee hee :-)

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  13. BTW, it is nearly 3:30 AM here in Phoenix, so it is nearly 5:30 AM where Connie is. We'll be seeing her in a couple of hours, then I will slip away for a nap.

    Don't forget to write a fake headline to be eligible to win Connie's book!

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  14. Good morning, Kate! I left a message on your blog. Hope it helps.

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  15. Morning, Kate. Congrats on winning another book yesterday!

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  16. Hi everyone,

    after the Pesky Cat incident I can't tell you how much seeing that I've won Fred Baby's book has cheered me up.

    On a serious note,I used to think that I knew no one who had been affected by breast cancer. It wasn't until I got into my thirties that my older relatives would divulge that friends and even some relations had suffered (and some unfortunately succumbed) from this condition.

    It was all so hush hush. I'm glad that treatment and attitudes have moved on and we can now discuss all aspects of breast cancer openly.

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  17. Nick, I know you can write a headline. I've read one of your books. I know YOU CAN write. Give these two ladies some serious competition.

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  18. First - I second Roman's comment! It does pay to play because I won Carolyn's book "The Frugal Editor!" Woo Hoo - go ME! (You got my address, right?)

    Connie and I need to become friends - as you know Nadine, I'm just now sharing what I wrote a few years ago about my journey through breast cancer, divorce, and marrying the love of my life. It's intense, crappy, and sugary sappy all at once.

    Connie - I didn't wait for my hair to fall out...I had a head shaving party. My closest friends and family (my posse) joined me in the salon and those who wanted to help, got a turn with the clippers. They all convinced me that I looked quite sexy bald and I spent the summer of 2004, bald and beautiful. I made the bold decision not to hide what I was going through. I even got dressed up and wore make up to every chemo treatment session...there was too much death and dying around me...and I wanted to make sure everyone on Dana 10 (the infusion floor) knew I wasn't showing up to die.

    xxoo

    Peggy

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  19. Headline: Local Grocery Store Clerk Thwarts Would Be Robber With Red Bull and Tuna Fish

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  20. I'm tempted to suggest 'Win a book in 28 Days!'

    Or failing that:

    It's raining books! Prizes shower down at neighborhood house party

    Nick :)

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  21. I'm sitting here at 4 AM just smiling at all of you. You are lovely people.

    And...maybe Nick, Jayne will read some of today's comments and Carolyn's last Friday.

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  22. Peggy, Yes, forwarded your address to Carolyn. I've been doing that will all the winners right off...then I don't have to wonder if I did.

    You did nearly knock me out of my chair when I read your blog. I must have missed that it wasn't happening that day. Congratulations on your new mate.

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  23. "Twitter Crashes Due to Laman's Blog Party"

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  24. Oh that made me laugh out loud. I love all of you guys.

    (Just as long as we don't crash Blogger, eh?)

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  25. Nadine - I love writing in first person present tense...and I read that you do, too...but I should probably preface my story posts with something about it happening in my past so readers don't think I'm going through it right now.

    btw - that love of my life just so happened to be my first boyfriend from high school...he "found" me (didn't know I was lost) after 25 years...

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  26. "The Internet Hangs Up: Attritubted to Local Writer Who Claimed to be Giving Away Free Stuff"

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  27. Nick, are there any plans for a second Write a Book in 28 Days, that included how to do that AND attend a blog party?

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  28. Hey, Connie is here, she just emailed me! Good morning Connie, I'm going to crash and let you have the mic, floor, or whatever this is for a few hours...

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  29. Hi Connie! Welcome to the Party of the Century...er...day...!

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  30. Just for those counting, people from 38 countries have visited this blog party. Wow!

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  31. Connie, I'm headed out...Glyn is around if you need help with blogger, but I'm sure you won't have any troubles.

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  32. "Laman Abdicates Party Throne Leaving Crown and Sceptor to Blogger Novice..."

    (Have a Nice Nap!)

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  33. Good morning. My ears are burning. What a bunch of wonderful people you all are. I hope I can get through this without typos. Heck I had on on intro. from Nadine. We writers fret about that more than average people, don't we.

    Ivana, I've not heard of 17 year olds getting BC. That is so sad. You know that the younger women are, the more dense the breast is. The more dense, the less accurate a mammogram can be. It hits women younger and younger. I often wonder if BC is worst because of all the crap we hit, breath and walk on. But I want to believe it is because technology has gotten so much better and they pick it up more these days. Over 200,000 people, 4% men get it each yr. in the US. I wonder the numbers where all of you live? Hmmm?

    Kate, my book is very raw and real about BC. When I speak at women's groups, I tell it like it is and was. I was misdiagnosed twice. Am I out to slander doctors? Absolutely not. I handle it with kid cloths but I do educate and help women to know about dense readings on a mammogram. I had dense readings every year and never knew it. (More about that later..I am still waking up and drinking my coffee)

    Peggy, we had a hair shaving party, too. It is in my book with a picture of me being shaved by my daughter. She declared as she grabbed the clippers,"This is for all the times you cut my bangs crooked." (We still laugh about that.) My mom, two sisters, brother, hubby, kids and neighbors were here for the party.

    It warmed my heart to have such a huge support team. I have a shoebox full of all the cards I received. Gifts, visits, food brought in, etc.

    I hope Jayne is hanging tough, Nick.

    I am off to a class reunion this weekend. Made me think of you, Peggy and finding your old high school love.

    Time to refill my cuppa as some say over yonder.

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  34. Nadine....not your typo, Honey Bun. MY typo when you quoted me. Wanted to clarify that because ...well, just because. You rock.

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  35. Literature world rocked by shocking revelation: Tolstoy admits to writing War and Peace in 28 days using Nick Daws method. :-O

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  36. Peggy, I worked through my entire breast cancer also. I wore pretty jewelry to brighten my heart and added more makeup. By summer, I braved going out bald in public, too. I thinki being out in the real world and doing your normal life things helps when dealing with this stuff. Being home and not busy is when the idle mind starts working in negative ways. So, I kept super busy and my book was my savior. I wrote the entire 17 months I was in treatment.

    I remember letting the warm sun warm my head.(being careful with that virgin skin in the sun though) Winter was cold without hair. It is sooo true. 50% of body heat goes out the head.

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  37. Nadine - this one's for you when you wake up: I left you an award! You can pick it up here: http://thestepmomstoolbox.com/another-award/

    xxoo

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  38. Connie - my youngest brother joined the head shaving party and had no problems with the clippers "For all the times you beat the crap outta me growing up..."haha

    My older daughter ran the clippers through, my youngest daughter just held my hand and cried. So did my best friend. I remember looking at her and all I could see were big crocidile tears.

    One thing I didn't know I'd have to do was give support to those who felt so incredibly helpless while I fought like a Warrior Goddess. My sister called once and expressed that she didn't know what to do - and I told her she just did the best thing...she picked up the phone and called me.

    I wrote a lot of poetry going through it and just after it. One of my poems is on my blog, http://serendipitysmiles.com under poetry, called "Can't Die Mom" - give it a read when you get a few -

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  39. I'd love to know who has children, ages and how many. I am a mom to a 28 girl, 27, boy and 22 yr. old girl. Nadine, can we share Katie the kicker from you tube? I am so proud of her.

    I also have a wonderful granddaughter, Allie who is 9 years old. Time flies.

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  40. Oh Peggy, your experience sounds a lot like mine. We were all laughing making the best of my skin head and my youngest who was a Junior in high school when I got BC was sitting in the corner, crying big tears also.

    My little Allie, (grandaugher) said and did so many things when I was ill. Got to love those honest babes! I dedicated my book to her. The chapter with her busting into the unlocked bathroom when I was bathing is a funny but loving chapter in my book. I never wanted her to see me bald. She was 4 at the time and I feared her rejecting me or being boldly honest and telling me I was ugly. But, she put her little hands on my head and said, "Oh Grammy, let me make you feel better."

    I then cried tears of love because I knew she loved me no matter what I looked like.

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  41. "Oh Grammy, let me make you feel better."

    That story just made me get up from the computer and go and hug my little boy. I'm so choked up.

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  42. I know, Kate. Those kids warm our hearts.

    But, I can also tell you about the first time she saw me in a wig. I had already warned her I was sick, going to lose my hair because of medicine I had to take. I explained to her that the medicine would help me be well and my hair would grow back. I refrained from using the word, Cancer. The night we shaved my head, she was not here. I didn't want her here for that.

    So, the next night she saw me come walking in to my daughter's high school basketball game. As I walked in front of so many people who was already seated for the game. (my daughter and Allie included), I walked over to slide in next to them. Without thinking I realized my wig was different to Allie. She stood up to touch my head. I flinched. I pictured her pulling it off in front of all the people. I said, "No, Allie, don't touch it."

    She said, "OH Grammy, I just want to pet it."

    LOL! that is another funny time I won't ever forget.

    I have a mother in law named, Kate. She is a gem. I say I am blessed to have two wonderful moms.

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  43. And Then I Woke Up

    Oh Peggy, I read it and it is so well written with so much raw emotion. Great one!!! I hope that was published somewhere. It is worthy, girl!!!

    I am curious. Did you have to have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy?

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  44. Peggy,
    I just went back and scrolled down. I see the lumpectomy story. Going to go read it right now.

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  45. A little off topic but my little boy had heart surgery at 3 weeks old. He has a neat little scar running down the middle of his chest and some x scars where tubes were fitted.

    My (then) 4 year old daughter explained to a friend that Alex had had a poorly "love heart" but the doctors "unzipped" him mended him then "zipped" him back up again and the x marks are where the faeries kissed him better.

    Children say the most wonderful things.

    Kate

    X

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  46. Peggy---I love your humor in the lumectomy story!! love it, love it!

    My plastci surgery's name was Dr. Houser and he also was very young, handsome I might add and his nurses called him Doogie Houser. I used to tease him and tell him when he got my breast fixed up and then he could move to my crow's feet and fix them, he'd want me!!!

    We laughed a lot and his picture is in my book. It is when he is injecting saline in to my breast for the reconstruction. So, yep my new boob picture is in my book. (very classy though, I must add)

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  47. There is no such thing as being off topic as we blog. (I am sure Nadine would say that, too)

    That is a wonderful story about your daughter. I will assume your son is 100% cured and doing well. Right? How old are they now?

    Boy, I am typing too fast and many typos. Makes me CRAZY! Ackkkkk!

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  48. Connie:

    Alex (aka Pesky Kid) is nearly 3 now and is almost 100%. Just some hearing and speech problems to deal with but that's minor compared with what we started out with.

    Charley is now 6 and a half. She is currently on holiday with her father but has informed me that she is writing me a story about a Unicorn and a Potato. I think I have a writing rival in the family.

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  49. Kate---I love the name Charley! I know only one female here in the US that is named, Charley. I wouldn't expect less of her mom who chose the name. She is one cool, energetic woman!

    I have always hoped one of my kids would take up writing. None of them like to read or write like me. Oh well.

    Great ages! I bet a day doesn't go by that they don't make you laugh.

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  50. Oh, my dear chicas,

    I'm reading the follow-up comments since the last time I was here, and I'm crying my eyes out. You girls are so brave. I'm so deeply touched, partially because there are still too many women in my life going through the same (just one is too many when it comes to cancer). You have wonderful families and kids.

    Kate, kisses to your little boy. I just went to may kid,(two in September), wrapped a blanket around him and kissed his little nose. They look like little angels when they sleep.

    Peggy and Connie, the shaving party is at the same time heartbreaking and full of hope. It's just hair, right? It'll grow back, but it symbolizes what you're going through-but you'll beat it!

    And your headlines are amazing. One I wish really appears in Connie's column-Local Woman Finds Cancer Cure in Sweet Potato!

    Hugs to all!

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  51. Connie - the part of my story that I wrote last week is my first surgery - it does get worse before it gets better and I did offer up my left breast as a sacrifice to the Dark Lord of the Cancer Syth.

    As for kids - I have Jessica who is my Rock of Gilbrata. She turns 25 this Saturday and is getting married Oct 17 to her fine Irish lad, Noel, who she met in a gay bar in Seville, Spain. Go Figure.

    Then there's Christina - my baby girl who operates in her own time zone. She's now 21. She amazes me...she knows what she wants, when she wants and goes for it. She currently lives and works in Vail, Co. She's flying home Wednesday to be a bridesmaid in her stepsister's wedding this Friday.

    Richie is my oldest stepson - he's 24, lives in Boston and is finally undergoing the buttectomy - his head is magically appearing after being buried up his butt for so long.

    Kelly is my oldest stepdaughter and like me, is a peacemaker and diplomat. She has style, she has grace and she'll tell her mother to stuff it where the sun don't shine if she thinks mom's out of line.

    Katie is my youngest stepdaughter, The New Mommy, The New Bride, and she's walking down the aisle this Friday night! I'm off to help her with the centerpieces in 30 minutes....

    Christopher is my youngest stepson, the gray in my hair. He's 17 going on 12 - and that's on a good day. I'm a custodial stepmom a wild and crazy man wannabe. He puts the H in ADHD. He suffers from what his doctor calls PPJ - PISS POOR JUDGEMENT - and he's tried to light my house on fire. I love him dearly but when he graduates highschool in June and my hubby goes off to either Kuwait or Afghanistan next August, Junior is going back to mommy!

    And btw, my ex-wife-in-law and I get a long fabulously - and she appreciates that I'm involved and "obviously love her kids very much." (her words, direct quote, please give me my stepmom tiara!)

    xxoo

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  52. Peggy, Peggy, I laughed at how you described each kid. I have a Katie, too. And you sound like a saint of a step parent. They are so blessed to have you.

    I love the term PPJ. I just figured it out. My oldest daughter has that!!!! And she is the one that made my hair fall out. Not chemo. hehe.

    I laugh at some of my younger friends who are sad because school is starting and will miss their kids. I said to them, "Are you nuts? I danced as the bus pulled up each year on the 1st day of school."

    My kids would turn, look at me and roll their eyes.

    Either they are true super moms or full of shit and lying like rugs that they don't want school to start. LOL!

    Peggy---have a wonderful wedding with your daughter. It will be a wonderful day, I am sure.

    Ivana---oh to have a 2 year old again. They always smell so good and so fun to cuddle with when they are sleeping. They don't sit long when awake at that age.

    And yeppers on hair coming back. It grows 1/2 an inch a month. Did you know that?

    Did you also know that more breast cancer is found in the left breast? Wonder why and where those stats came from. Mine was in the left breast.

    I often wish also I had opted for a double mastectomy. I worry now about my right one and of course, I am now high risk but I try hard to be positive and eat low fat foods, too.

    One thing all women need to remember and I am writing this in upper case for all to see:

    WHEN YOU HAVE A MAMMOGRAM, YOU NEED TO ASK TO SEE THE WRITTEN INTERPRETATION. MOST WOMEN ARE TOLD THEIR MAMMOGRAM IS OK AND DO NOT REALIZE THEY MIGHT HAVE DENSE READINGS. I HAD DENSE READINGS EACH YEAR AND DIDN'T KNOW IT UNTIL THE DAY I WENT TO PICK UP ALL MY REPORTS TO GO TO MY ONCOLOGIST TO START CHEMO. I FOUND OUT THAT DAY WHEN MEETING HIM THAT WHEN YOU HAVE DENSE READINGS, THIS MEANS YOU HAVE THICK TISSUE AND A MAMMOGRAM CAN HAVE A FALSE READING. I SOULD HAVE BEEN OFFERED A MRI WHICH IS 10 TIMES MORE COSTLY BUT 10 TIMES MORE ACCURATE.

    WHEN MY BREAST CANCER WAS FOUND BY ME (A LUMP), IT WAS DISCOVERED MY BREAST WAS FULL OF CANCER AND THE NODES INVOLVED, TOO. 9 MONTHS PRIOR, I HAD A NEGATIVE READ ON MY MAMMOGRAM. BREAST CANCER IS A SLOW GROWER WHICH IS THE GOOD OF THE EVIL. HOWEVER, BECAUSE MY BREAST WAS FULL, THIS CONFIRMED TO ME THAT THE LAST READING WAS FALSE. MY OB/GYN DOCTOR SHOULD HAVE OFFERED ME A MRI YEARS AGO AND NEVER DID. I NO LONGER GO TO HER. SHE KNOWS SHE GOOFED. WE WERE FRIENDS ALSO AND SHE LEARNED TO BE MORE CAREFUL, I HAVE HEARD. SHE ORDERS MRI'S NOW TO MANY I KNOW THAT GO TO HER.

    SO JUST REMEMBER TO LOOK FOR THE WORD DENSE IN YOUR MAMMOGRAMS. NO NEED TO KNOW OR UNDERSTAND THE BIG MEDICAL WORDS BUT DENSE IS EASY AND SO IMPORTANT.

    MY DOCTOR ALTERNATES EACH YEAR WITH A MRI AND MAMMOGRAM NOW ON MY RIGHT ONE.

    I am off here for a bit. My butt is numb.

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  53. It has been wonderful to party with you all today. I've laughed, I've cried and everything in between

    Now I have to go and enjoy some pre-arranged family time (and call my Charley Darling in France). Back tomorrow for more party games.

    Love to you all.

    Kate
    XXX

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  54. "Ohio author inspires everybody she comes in contact with." That's stuck in my head.

    But I always liked this one that I saw once: "Doctor sued by 7 foot doctors."

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  55. Wow! You guys, I just read everything. Connie, send me the youtube in a comment and I'll post it. I'll go find the typos. I forgot the other things I was going to answer, I'll start there.

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  56. Peggy, Thanks for the award! I'll show it off after the blog party so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle! You are so sweet.

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  57. Connie, you can see how I thought Peggy just had her surgery from her blog post. It felt very 'now.'

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  58. I know. I thought the same thing about Peggy.

    Writing in present tense is something I have not done a lot of when I write stories. When I write for the paper, I sometimes want to speak my opinion and remember, 3rd person, 3rd person, Connie.

    Andrew..."Doctor sued by 7 foot doctors."
    LOVE IT!!! And I hope I can inspire everyone here in Ohio and everywhere with my book, Andrew.

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  59. Nadine, no worries on typos. I meant they were mine in a quote you added from me. We tend to worry so about those, don't we? Trust me, I've had many on here today. People probably think, That chick can't write. Lord, why did she publish a book? wink, wink, giggle.

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  60. Hi Connie,

    Your YouTube is posted. No worries about the typos in the comments, none of us can post edit and I often forget to preview mine. But in the blog, easy to fix. Send me an email telling me where to look.

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  61. People need to hear stories of inspiration when it comes to things like breast cancer. My mom's two best friends were like second mothers to me and they both inspired me so much. Although they both passed away, they battled so hard. My mom's friend Connie was told she had six months to live in 1996. She passed away in 2003. She proved modern science wrong. My mom's friend Teri also fought for years.

    The one thing that stands out more than anything else with the two of them was that I never once heard them complain. They never used it as an excuse or a reason to make their lives any different. I hear so many people whining (including me) when little things don't go their way, but they really put things into perspective for me. Every time I saw Teri, she would always be asking how I was doing or how my grandma was doing.

    Both women also had a great sense of humor. Teri told me she always wanted to try being a blond and after going through chemo she would have her chance.

    It's so amazing that there are people like you out there to give hope to others, because God knows the world needs it.

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  62. Connie,

    The cancer in my body was discovered in my very first mammo - Happy 40th Birthday to me. (That particular birthday sucked). I had a microcalcification cluster - sent a huge red flag. First biopsy was DCIS stage 0. After my first surgery to remove the cluster (and 25% of my breast), I was re-diagnosed with invasive cancer as well...so, off went the boob. I did get remodeled - one of those silver linings - but like you, I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't have the double. The healthy side gains and loses weight and silly me had it reduced from a C to a B, and uplifted...so I had this perky boob and she looked cute for about two years. She wants to be a C. So...after I get my recommended black belt in Thai Kickboxing and after my oldest gets married in October, I'm going in for another remodel...this time, the implant will be a C ;-)

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  63. Andrew,
    We've known each other for a long time, but your wisdome and insight never fails to move me. You are a darling person. I'm so glad we met.

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  64. Aww, thanks Andrew. I had a red haired wig, blonde, a short one and a long one. I also was shocked at how tough and brave women are. I met so many. Two of my breast cancer friends that I met through my BC have both died. It saddens me but I also realize how lucky I am.

    I was also misdiagnoses again on a routine check up AFTER my BC treatments. I was told I had bone cancer and might live 3 years if I did a trial chemo. I refused to believe it and demanded a PET scan. Again I must warn people mammograms are not as good as MRI's and Bone scans are not as accurate as PET scans.

    Can you imagine being told that??? My one daughter had just been in a horrid car accident, and after 6 surgeries and 9 months later she walked again. My other daughter was a senior by then and was just about to graduate. I just did not have time for bone cancer and to be terminal. I demanded a PET scan and again, they were wrong.

    After working in EMS for 25 yrs. I had already seen enough with doctors and was not very trustworthy. This made me very aware of what was going on as doctors cared for me. I will openly say though that there are many good doctors out there. It took me awhile to find them and I am here today because of them.

    Andrew---go see my youtube on here. You, the football lover will appreciate my daughter.

    When is my book coming? I want to read it and I plan on sharing some of your funny tricks with my dad, the purse genious. ha. Thanks so much for the book, too.

    Will be back in a few hours. i must do my duties for my other job.

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  65. Geeze Andrew, I hope Connie realizes she won BOB. We'll give her a link to the others...heh, heh, heh...

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  66. Ok, I am leaving for a bit after this post but I had to comment to Peggy.

    I joke and say when I pose sexy I lift my right arm high over my head so my boobs are level. Mine also was evasive and nodes involved, too and the two doctors debated rather I was a stage 3 or 4. I am picking stage 3 because it keeps my worries away better.

    You are aware in the US, cosmetic breast surgery post BC is always covered on most insurance policies. Just a thought to remember. Oh, and many cover the cost of wigs. Lots of people are not aware of this, go buy one which is not cheap and never turn in a claim.

    Peggy, did you get the saline or silicone implant? And yes, not a great 40th gift to you. Mine came at age 47. 40-60 is usually the most prevalent age for it. (when our bodies are being all weird with menopause starting)

    Did you ever take Estrogen? I did not and did not have a history of BC in my family.

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  67. Check this out!
    We're having Chinese take-out for lunch. My fortune cookie forutne says..."You will soon be involded in many gatherings and parites."

    My thoughts are: 1) Bit late on that one, we are having a rocking party! 2) I hope I have time to pick up around here before people really show up, I've been somewhat neglectful in my chores of late.

    I love these fortune cookies. My friend in N. Ireland says they don't have them there. I wonder why not?

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  68. Nadine,

    When you read your fortune, you're supposed to say "in bed" at the end of it. Now that makes yours hysterically funny...

    Connie,

    I had one node out of 26 involved and the cancer discovered was a micro trace so many doctors hemmed and hawed over radiation. I finally said screw it and did it...26 rounds and one sunburned fake boob later...

    I'm counting on insurance to cover the remodel job - I'm woefully lopsided and only even when I raise my right arm or stuff my left bra cup :-)

    I never took estrogen, but after learning all I could about "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer" I realized that my body was so out of whack because of STRESS and being married to a very toxic spouse (serial cheater). I divorced the cause of my toxic stress, took up yoga and learned a valuable lesson: Nobody was going to take better care of me than me so if I was to remain dis-ease free, it was up to me.

    You might want to check out http://serendipitysmiles.com/poetry/cant-die-mom/ and http://serendipitysmiles.com/poetry/no-shaving-required-2005/

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  69. Very cool video about your daughter Connie! Have you ever heard Adam Sandler's song "The Lonesome Kicker"? It's quite funny. Did I mention the Green Bay jersey that I sport every Sunday is that of a former Buckeye?

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  70. Oh funny, I have never heard that about fortunes. I know you have to eat the cookie. Some people say you have to eat the fortune. I keep all of mine. I have a huge vase full of thirty years worth of them. I even put one of my real ones, that I opened as I was writing, into Kathryn's Beach.

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  71. Peggy,

    I had 4 nodes pulled and one affected and I also did tons of radiation after chemo.

    As I was driving a bit ago, I was thinking about this blogging and recalling so many things about my breast cancer days. I remember asking Dr. Howser, my plastic surgeon if I could ask a silly question. He said, "No question is silly."

    I said, "I am a older woman but very sexual, if you know what i mean and I am also very cold blooded. Are you making me a hard or soft nipple?"

    He grinned and said, "Connie Curry, you are a lucky woman. You are getting a in between soft and hard."

    Studies as you probably have heard show that estrogen increases the chance of BC.

    Andrew---I did see your posts the other day. Brett Lavre (spelling?) I am awful with names but I do know which quarterback you mean. My husband and son live, eat, and breath football. I just love watching the kickers. My son was a kicker, also. He was red-shirted on at West Virginia U. (That is another story that will depress me. Let's just say he let the door of opportunity close and he now knows this so he learned a tough lesson)

    Not heard the lonesome kicker song. I will goggole it. Geez, we google everything in life, don't we? "Just google it." I say this weekly.

    Fortune cookies are fun. I remember the cracker jacks, too and always excited to find my treasure in the box. Do they still make those?

    Nadine, you are a gem to be here daily to support all of us. Thanks.

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  72. Peggy,

    I love your writing. You felt all the feeling I felt. I love the No Shaving poem. Simple but strong. I also snuggle up in bed with my daughter and cried. Wow.

    so many times I thought about needing to stay alive to see my kids do great things and to watch my granddaughter grow up. As i mentioned, also..Amber had been in that bad car wreck. She was a mess. Had to be in a rehab home for 6 months and then home to live with us. (this is all in my book) But, I just knew I did not have time to die.

    I must admit. I picked out my pall bearers and had my music chosen. Working with so many firefighting buddies,it was easy to pick who carried me.

    Oh, I am happy we made it. All of us!!!

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  73. I actually sport the jersey of former Ohio State linebacker AJ Hawk every Sunday.

    Speaking of inspiring people, I just posted this video from the Children's Miracle network. They did a story on my cousin's son. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1qSxZJsEtA

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  74. How do I bring this football/Brett Favre talk full circle and make it relevant? OH YEAH! I totally forgot when I was talking about Brett Favre last week I wanted to talk about his wife, but I knew i wanted to save it for Connie's day. But I completely forgot. This is her web site: http://www.deannafavre4hope.com/

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  75. Hello, everyone!

    Sorry I couldn't chat more with you today, it's truly been a very inspiring day.

    Andrew, I noticed the same selfishness you mentioned in my aunt. Not once did she complain about what will be with her. She is focused on making it easier for her two girls, determined to build up a better world for them and concerned about her elder's Authism. In fact, she's the one comforting us and making us laugh!

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  76. That's exactly how Teri was. We went to visit her the week before she passed away and sat and talked for hours. Not once was her condition even brought up. We just reminisced and joked around. It was the perfect way to say goodbye.

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  77. Totally from left field, yes they make Craker Jacks, just not the same cool toys we had that you could choke on. We were just smart enough to not eat them!

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  78. This is a bit drastic and as much as I love you Connie, it isn't about selling your book...how about a challenge here?

    The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (I don't know about elsewhere) -- here is the challenge: Let's all put a link to Connie's book at an online book seller in our email auto signatures during October. Like I said, this isn't about selling books, it is about saving lives so we don't have to say "Goodbye to so many people".

    Anyone who wants to take the challenge, email me, and Connie and I will make sure to remind you, plus mark your callendar.

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  79. Well, I love it about the signature promo. What a great idea, Nadine. Oct. is BC month and the month I was dianosed.

    Sorry I left for awhile but I am back for a few.

    I am about to watch the you tube about Andrew's cousin and the link for Brett's wife. I read her book!!! Isn't she the one that had cancer, also? I am sure. Yep, read her book but will go check out this link to see if this is what you are talking about.

    Ivana, thanks so stopping in.

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  80. Andrew---I saw the video. Sweet, sweet Avery. I noticed how happy he is. What a big smile! Seems God gives special parents, special needs children. Bless them and Avery.

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  81. My typos have been awful today. As Nadine says...Oh snap!

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  82. Connie, typos are nearly manditory on my blog, how would it look if I was the only one who did them?

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  83. Besides, this is the (wait for it) First Draft!

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  84. Hey. good point. LOL! I'll be back later. Dinner time. Connie, Connie, watch what you eat! I am the world's worst at dieting. ugh.

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  85. Yup. Brett's wife was diagnosed with BC and he decided he wanted to retire from the NFL but she wouldn't let him. They started selling pink Green Bay Packer hats with all the proceeds going to her foundation. I read parts of her book while I was moving back and forth to and from Arizona.

    That's a great idea for the month of October. Count me in.

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  86. Can you tell I took another nap?

    Mushy Alert: You all have turned my lark of a comment into a real party worthy of the guests who visit, even the quiet ones. Thank you, thank you everyone.

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  87. Thanks, Andrew for supporting my book. I read Brett's wife's book on a plan on my way to Florida and on the beach right after it came out. She got her BC same month and year as me.

    FYI, my 1974 VW Bug orginally came from Arizona. I've had it about 20 years now. It's my baby.

    Question? I think I need have my web guy enlarge the buy my book now on my web page. I think people miss it. I just got an email from a woman that bought 4 copies of my book. I emailed her, thanked her but was curious to where she purchased them. She advised me she had bought them from Amazon. I make very little money from Amazon on them. That is ok but do any of you know when an author gets commission on books? And, don't you think it is odd, there is no where to track your book sales from various book stores?

    We should trust them, right?

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  88. Ya know, I've been thinking. I've enjoyed this so much today, I think we need to give away 2 books! I will give another one away. Isn't it fun to win things? this is exactly why I bought an Ohio lottery ticket tonight. I am feeling lucky, too. Cheers.

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  89. Oh cool, Connie! You are terrific! Thank you!

    We will party at your house when the Lottery gods smile upon you. Can I bring anything?

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  90. Yes, AZ is a good place to buy vehicles, no winter road chemicals and no sea spray rust. Our kids all drive Jeeps older than they are. BTW, we are having trouble finding window weather stripping for an AMC 88 Jeep Commanche.

    I hate to foster the belief that I'm anti-Amazon, because it isn't at all true. I buy from there all the time. However, there have been people who question the reporting of sales. I have no first hand knowledge, but if it is a concern, track that down.

    Currently, I sell my books exclusively from my website. Sometimes I eat the foreign postage, but I sign every book, and you know me and autographed books. Some people used to charge extra for autographed books, but I never have.

    So, yes, fix your site and we will all link to it in October - at least everyone who takes my challenge.

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  91. My site is working fine with paypal. It just seems people don't see the "Buy an autographed copy now" hyperlink. It is on the home page, big enough font (so I think) but seems I hear about many that buy elsewhere. My profit when bought through me is much higher. As we know, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. undercut the author a lot. I am sure I am not the best marketing author. I do try hard and have sold many from my home, trunk, purse, street corners. heh heh!

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  92. Sorry, I meant make your sell link however you want it before Oct. Honestly, I didn't notice it either. Read the last two emails I sent, but I sent them in reverse order...duh, dyslexic moment there.

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  93. A note to yesterday's WINNERS: there may be a delay in getting your books. Not all the authors from yesterday were at home, thus couldn't be with us. However, let me know if you don't get your book. I WILL track them down! (in a nice way)

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  94. I've had my books on amazon for about three months and I have no idea if I've sold one copy. I got a distribution deal through lulu and I was under the impression that I would be able to see my records there. The crappy part is not being able to put any information on the amazon page.

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  95. Andrew, you could change the links on your website back to Lulu.com for sales. You get reports and better royalities there, right? Readers don't care where they buy the book, if they really want it.

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  96. But the biggest complaint I get from people buying books through lulu is the hassle of having to set up a lulu account as opposed to just clicking and ordering. That's the only reason I switched it to the amazon page. But yeah, I was kind of thinking about changing it back.

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  97. Then give people the option and put both links up. It really isn't any harder to set up an account with Lulu than anyone else, that is a bit lame of them.

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  98. Yeah...people are lazy.

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  99. I find it very ironic with all the technology in today's world that our books can't be tracked. We can find almost anything we want on the net but we can't know anything about our books from major bookstores.

    This bugs me a lot because it seems we should be able to track or get a notice to who buys them, from where and when. I also have never received a check in the mail from amazon or B+N. When people send me a review or tell me they bought my book, I asked where they got it.

    I know some have sold elsewhere. Grrrrrrr.

    What is the name of the huge printing house that prints the majority of published books.

    I called them one day soon after my book came out and got zero help. I told just what I said above.

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  100. By the way, I do not make much at all from Authorhouse either. I wonder the percent with lulu.

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  101. Deep breaths there, Connie. Talk with me before you do anything radical (that's my job, like throwing blog parties!)

    My experience was, Amazon bought from my publisher, my publisher did their thing and sent the check from them to me. There is a huge (unbelievably huge) delay in transmitting sales info across the board in this industry. The bookkeeping is a nighmare.

    The reason books have ISBN scan bars is so they can be tracked and you can buy this service for big bucks. I hardly think the amt of $$ indie writers makes is worth the huge fee to get the scan reports.

    There are alternatives we can discuss after the party. I believe though, your best bet is to sell from your website, if that is an option. There are some publishers who have no compete clauses in their writer contracts. Read your contract. We'll talk later about this. I promise.

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  102. I've been really happy with lulu.

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  103. I'm never had any problems buying or making various things at Lulu. Do copyright your stuff first. I've heard there have been some problems. But you have to pay attention to whatever you do on the internet. Some people, Carolyn H-J from yesterday for example, like Creatspace (amazon's version of lulu). I don't happen to have had good experiences with that...so, it is one of those 'do your homework' things. We can chat about it later.

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  104. And I am finished for the night. Thanks so much for this nice opportunity. I must slide on out. Will check in with you in the morning to greet the next blog author/guest. But, I am in for a big day tomorrow. My sister and I are heading out on a roadtrip with a car full of overflow college goodies to take to my daughter. What would she do without me? Kids!!! Thanks so much and for those that stopped in, I appreciate your time and kindness.

    Prosper in good health, happiness and lots of laughter. Find the humor in everything.

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  105. I'm not unhappy with my decision to go totally indie Feb this year. But I have to admit, I've set up my Excel spreadsheet a bit difficult at first. Worse things can happen. As it stands I order the print run. I know everyone who gets my books. I sign them. I'm learning the names of the postal employes and the ins and outs of customs. I have never been happier with this. I'm not selling any more or less than before...

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  106. Goodnight, Connie! Sweet dreams. Thanks for doing this today. I think getting the word out about breast cancer is important.

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  107. I told this to Nadine and she said to mention it here. My daughter starts her PHd in the Autumn researching into Breast Cancer. I found the day very poignant to get too closely involved into. But very worthwhile. In fact worthwhile is an understatement. I don't believe Nadine could have known how this day would have turned out; I hope even more people get to read it.

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  108. I'm in on the link for Connie's book in October! I'll have it on both my blogs!

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