Saturday, May 13, 2017

How We Should View Our Bodies

My comments were made in reference to the link below.  Confessions and Lessons by R.K. Patel

If you would prefer just to read my comments, I have copy and pasted them here.

As someone who just had a double mastectomy for breast cancer and am undergoing breast reconstruction (and chemo so my hair is falling out), I now have a new appreciation for my body. Like you (R.K. Patel, see article referenced), I had been critical of myself, and I had many scars also. It's strange now that I don't have my old breasts, while I'm thankful for the fake ones, I wish they were real.

Sometimes we don't appreciate what we have until we don't have that thing anymore, 
like good health. Cancer takes that away, especially when you are a late stage. Now I'm thankful for what God has given me, and I'm taking better care of my body, like eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. I'm making the time for a healthy lifestyle. 

The one thing I would add is that the Bible says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it's incumbent to take better care of it so that the Holy Spirit can thrive. When we take better care of our physical body, we feel better spiritually and mentally. We make better choices. We live better, and since we aren't running out of gas, so to speak, pulling ourselves down with negative thoughts and critical beliefs about ourselves, we have more to give to others. We will love better. We live out of abundance, not limited by our own personal needs.

Boundaries are important also. With healthy boundaries, we will know what we are comfortable with, and we won't compare ourselves to others. Our bodies are holy, so we should be holy, in all our ways. When we do that, we will glorify God, and that should be our highest calling.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Important Message for Women With Dense Breast Tissue, and/or Prior Biopsies and Breast Surgeries

I pray that the information I share in this video, while difficult to talk about, will help women with dense breast tissue and/or breast biopsies and surgeries to receive the best possible care. Talk with your doctor about getting MRI's on a routine basis in addition to mammography. It could save your life.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fifth Round of Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer - "Worthy is the Lamb"  - Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith, my song!

Is God not worthy of me going through chemo? Can I glorify Him through this? Absolutely. Jesus died on the cross for the fallenness of our world. While we have momentary afflictions now, there is nothing that can ever separate from the love of Jesus Christ. Our God is an awesome God!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Deals and Savings on Many Books in my Seventh Dimension Series

Amazon has agreed to make Seventh Dimension - The Door free  CLICK HERE on Amazon Kindle. If you haven't read it, here are some impressive statistics.

82 reviews, 4.1 stars   U.S.  Outside the U.S.

2013 International Book Awards Finalist
2013 Grace Awards Finalist
2013 Selah Awards Finalist
2013 Readers' Favorite Finalist
2014 Book Goodies Best Cover Contest Winner, YA category

Seventh Dimension The Door is the first book in the Seventh Dimension Series that combines contemporary, historical, and fantasy elements into a Christian "coming-of-age" story. A curse put on Shale Snyder, because of a secret, shrouds her with insecurity and fear. Following suspension from school, Shale's best friend isn't allowed to see her anymore and she feels abandoned by her family. When a stray dog befriends her, she follows it into the woods. There she discovers a door that leads to another world....


Am I Okay, God? CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD  is a devotional series that goes with the Christian Fantasy Series Seventh Dimension and is available for FREE on Amazon Prime and KINDLE UNLIMITED.


"Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension" answers many questions teens ask dealing with hot topics like self-esteem, dating, bullying, abortion, careers, forgiveness, salvation, and even deeper theological issues related to the end times and the Lord's return. Woven into the devotionals are stories from the Seventh Dimension YA Christian Fantasy Series as well as from the author's life that touch on themes that are important to Christianity and what it means to be born again. Each of the 27 devotionals has a QR code and link to videos, music, and/or books for further discussion and enjoyment.


The audiobook of Seventh Dimension - The Door , book 1, click here  is available now with an excellent narrator. I've sold many of these books on audio, and I want to help you to discover this audiobook series. To get it for free, I have listed below some free coupons. Seventh Dimension - The Door is listed at $19.95 at so this is a huge savings. The coupons can only be used once. Be the first to use them!







To also get Seventh Dimension - The Door, book 1, with a 15% discount off the retail price of $14.95 in PRINT VERSION, visit my eStore at:
Enter the following discount code: VFTE7DDD. Best price and deal anywhere. 


Seven Dimension - The King, Book 2 is available in audio book from, and I discovered that Audio has it listed for FREE with a 30-day membership. So if you want The King as an audio book, now is the time to get it. The link is:

If you prefer a print book, you can get Seventh Dimension - The King, book 2, for 15% off. This offer is available no where else on the web. It is $13.95 on Amazon. Get here with 15%  off coupon VFTE7DDD  for $11.86 at this link

Seventh Dimension - the King, book 2, is available for $2.99 on Kindle at Amazon. Click here

Seventh Dimension - The King has won the following awards:

-Winner of the 2014 Literary Classics Book Awards for faith-based YA fiction 

-Finalist in the 2014 USA Book Awards for religious fiction
-Winner in the 9th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards for spirituality
-Finalist in the visionary category for the 2015 International Book Awards.
-Silver winner in the 2015 Readers' Favorite Book Awards for YA
-Finalist (fifth) in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award for YA fiction

After a series of devastating events, a gifted seventeen-year-old Israeli boy becomes the focus of a wager between good and evil. Marked by one, he travels to first century Israel and meets a doctor who becomes his mentor. When he unwittingly makes a pact with the devil and the girl he loves is betrothed to another, his life takes a different course - until his eyes are opened. Trapped in the seventh dimension, how far will God go to save him?


Don't forget, Seventh Dimension - The Door, Book 1, in ebook form is free on Amazon Kindle. Click here.



Seventh Dimension - The Castle, book 3 is available for 3.99 on Kindle.  

Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist

Winner in the 2015 Literary Classics Awards for YA faith-based fiction. 

Finalist: Religious fiction category 2015 USA Best BookAwards. 

Winner of Young Adult Spirituality 2015 -

2016 Great Southeast Book Festival Runner Up Winner for YA

2016 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention. 

The Seventh Dimension Award-Winning Series continues in "The Castle." 

Haunted by a recurring dream of his missing father in a mysterious castle, 17-year-old Daniel is captured by the Romans and finds asylum in the Temple. There he discovers a scroll that reveals his future concerning a wager between good and evil. 

But the stakes are raised when he witnesses the trial and crucifixion of Yeshua. The convergence of time with supernatural events creates a suspenseful ending and leads to the fourth book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The City.


Important Author Note

All the books I write written have no sex, no curse words, and no offensive material. CLEAN READS. The Seventh Dimension Series is good for ages eleven and up.  The only limiting factor might be vocabulary. Each book progresses in complexity. I did this intentionally, assuming the reader is growing in age and understanding of the Christian gospel. 

Take note book 4, Seventh Dimension - The City is very suspenseful and could be considered too scary for some young teens. To learn more about this book click here. Rest assured, nothing I write conflicts with the Bible. There are no vampires, no gays, no lesbians, no curse words, no sex, no extreme violence, no blood, and no gore. Think that makes the series boring? Think again. I'm up to 20 awards in the series with some contests pending. Even my mother reads all my books, and she's 84!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

What's It Like to Have Breast Cancer

My first chemo treatment was easy. But the two days leading up to it were not.

When I went to Moffitt to get a second opinon, the doctor recommended I have a CT scan performed on my lungs for a pleural effusion that showed up on the PET scan. She had never seen a pleural effusion caused only by surgery. 

So, of course, that gave me something else to worry about. None of my doctors had mentioned getting a CT scan on the lungs. The X-ray had been clear before the surgery.  

The CT scan was set up for the next day, a welcomed surprise it was accomplished so quickly, but the CT nurse didn’t know how to access my chemo port correctly. It was the most painful procedure I’d had done yet - unbearable. She didn’t flush out the port afterwards, and apparently when the contrast was put into the vein during the CT scan, it didn’t go into my vein but extravasated into the surrounding tissue. Talk about painful, I could’t quit crying. 

I was afraid I’d never get through the sixteen weeks of chemotherapy. Later, the infusion nurses told me never to let anyone access the port but them. The CT nurse could have damaged the infusion site. This could have caused a blood clot, infection, more surgery, and skin grafting. She also didn’t flush it.
The CT nurse took me back to the waiting room where I cried some more. Another patient asked if he could pray for me. I thanked him. That was the lowest point of my cancer journey. If I couldn’t handle the port being accessed, how could I handle the chemo treatment?

On the way to my CT appointment, one of our cats had something wrong with him. He was walking around the house groaning. We had taken him to the vet the week before for urine issues and an obstruction. He didn’t have an obstruction then, but I was certain he had one now. 

With male cats, it’s an emergency. I was afraid he would die without immediate care, but I was on my way to my CT scan. They squeezed me in because of the concern raised by the doctor at Moffitt. The procedure also needed to be done before I started chemo.

I called my oldest daughter. She left work and came to get Anakin to take him to the vet. Otherwise, I could not have made my appointment. The vet said he would have died within an hour without being seen. He’s still at the vet being treated. Hopefully he can come home Monday. We have switched to a prescription cat food that should prevent this from happening again. 

The next day, following the CT scan and endoscopy procedure, I hadn’t received the results, so I was anxious for the infusion appointment. I had my highest blood pressure reading ever. 

When I met with the PA, she said the lungs showed no signs of cancer, and the endoscopy biopsies were related to heartburn. Talk about relief. That would have pushed me into a stage 4 breast cancer. It’s hard for me to believe I'm a stage 3 because I had a clear mammogram and sonogram. No spread to nodes was visible on MRI or exam. The spread to the lymph nodes showed up microscopically on the biopsy.

I am now in my fourth week of Taxol treatment. I have eight more weeks to go. This will be followed by eight weeks of Adriamycin (four treatments in all on this one, every other week.)

I’m thankful I’ve started chemo treatment, and I'm thankful that through four treatments, I haven't had any side effects. 

I attribute the good outcome of my surgery and the ease so far of the chemotherapy to God’s faithfulness and prayers of so many saints. 

I hope all the additional treatments go as easily as the first four infusions, but I’ve heard people say the side effects get worse. In the meantime, I like to think the drugs are hunting down any cancer cells in my body and killing them.

The doctors have said that it's highly unusual a 1.7 cm tumor to be in as many lymph nodes as shown in the pathology report — 11 out of 15. That's just a little larger than half an inch. 

Someday I hope to share this story — my cancer is like sin. Something that small in my body is deadly. Without Jesus Christ, a tiny bit of sin will keep us out of heaven. Something to think about, isn’t it?

Thanks again for your prayers. I really appreciate it. And if you love animals, pray that our little kitty that was found abandoned a few years ago will be restored to health. His name is Anakin.

Addendum:  Little Anakin is doing very well now:)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Breast Cancer - God's Got My Back

I Have Breast Cancer

Cedar Key 4-3-2017

Perhaps today I write my most difficult blog post. My oldest daughter would say I’m being too dramatic, too emotional, giving too much information, or giving too much of something. I’ve waited three months to write about my diagnosis because, first, I didn’t know what to say. Then I was too busy learning about things I never thought I would need to know. Then I got depressed and didn’t want to write anything.

In the middle of my emotional roller coaster ride, I was trying to finish The Prescience. I got to 91,000 words and realized, this can’t all fit into one book. I will have to break it up into two books. I probably set a record writing all those words in about six weeks. I was determined to finish it before my surgery in case I didn’t wake up. I thought at least some poor soul could edit and publish it.

I have since split up the manuscript into two books and am editing book 5, The Prescience.

To be candid, though, the number of doctors’ appointments has slowed me down. Last week I had five doctors’ appointments and two surgeries. Rather overwhelming. I told one doctor, “Cancer sucks.” In case you didn’t know this, cancer has a way of screwing up well-intentioned plans.

When I lay inside the MRI listening to it bang out disturbing dins as it took images, I recited the words from one of my favorite songs, “Jesus is coming back again.” As the minutes dragged on—I had to stay in a very uncomfortable position for a very long time—I shortened it to “Jesus is coming.” By the end of the longest thirty-plus minutes of my life, all I could say was “Jesus.”

That was back in the first week of January. Biopsies confirmed breast cancer. I’ll save the details for later, when I’m not facing the harshness of chemo followed by radiation.  How do you describe three months of nonstop medical treatment anyway? I still have a minimum of seven more months to go. Once the cancer treatment is finished, I’ll have six months off, and then the doctors can finish the reconstruction. I opted for a double mastectomy with implants.

My blog entries look rather empty for 2017. If you are receiving this as my quarterly email, you haven’t heard from me since October. I met my surgeon on the day Trump was inaugurated. 2017 will be known as the year I fought cancer.

Seriously, cancer is life changing. I’m thankful God is unchanging. In the midst of everything, He has been my rock and my anchor. My verse through all of this is Isaiah 58:8:  

Then your salvation will come like the dawn 
and your wounds will quickly heal. 
Your godliness will lead you forward 
and the joy of the Lord 
will protect you from behind.

I have no memory of writing that verse in the back of my note pad. I found it—just when I needed it. My translation is, “God has my back.”

What is God teaching me? That I have a long ways to go to be the person He wants me to be. Hebrews 12:5 is very helpful:

And you have forgotten that word of encouragement 
that addresses you as sons [and daughters],
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
And do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
Because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
And he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Endure hardship as discipline.
God is treating you as sons…

Perhaps to some this might sound harsh, but to me, I'm reassured of God's love. While Satan wanted to discourage me and keep me from finishing the Seventh Dimension Series, I knew God was and is using my cancer diagnosis for good. He’s teaching me things I could not learn any other way. 

So I press on, facing months of treatment, knowing God has my back. I feel Jesus’ presence each day, meeting my felt needs through family, friends, and prayer warriors. Some of those praying I don’t know, but God knows them and hears them. 

I’m thankful for everyone who has brought food, sent notes, delivered flowers, called, emailed, and posted on my Facebook page. I honestly don’t know how anyone goes through cancer treatment or any other heartache without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’m thankful I have a good prognosis, but mostly I’m thankful God is with me. The reality is, all of us are mortal, and knowing Jesus is coming back is most reassuring. 

One book I found helpful is Don’t Waste Your Cancer by John Piper. There is more I could say, but I’ll save it for later. Please pray I won’t waste my cancer, I keep my eyes on Jesus, I don’t grow weary, and I glorify God through the very last day of treatment. I can tell you, I have not been who I could have been at times. I’m learning to live more humbly.

My focus when not dealing with cancer treatment has been to edit The Prescience. Book 6 doesn’t have a title yet, and – yes, I can’t believe it, but there will be a book 7. 

A little tease is in order—book 7 won’t be written from the point of view of Shale or Daniel. I’ll let you wonder from whose viewpoint it will be written.

I’m excited to be editing The Prescience even if it’s at a slower pace. Hopefully, my writing will be impacted in a positive way. I pray God will touch my emotional creativity to make my writing more heart-felt as Shale and Daniel battle an uncertain future that we will all be facing soon.

The most important thing for me right now is to stay close to God, love my family, value my friendships, and seek God’s will in all areas of my life—even in the mundane.

my awesome daughters, Cedar Key

I start chemo on Friday this week. I know some days will be harder than others, but I know I can get through it with God helping me. Your prayers are immensely appreciated.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sneak Peek at Chapter One of The Prescience, Seventh Dimension Series, a YA Fantasy, Book 5

Seventh Dimension Series
The Prescience, a YA Fantasy, Book 5
Chapter 1

A thunderous explosion startled me as panic shredded my senses. I dropped my hands from Daniel’s neck. Marriage dreams evaporated. We might die this second after returning from Shambhala. Had we not left hell behind? Or had we arrived in Jerusalem on the brink of Armageddon? Noxious fumes blew into my face and I shielded my eyes. 
“Run!” he shouted.
Blinding light from simultaneous eruptions lit the night sky in a spectacular display of falling debre. If only these were celebratory fireworks, but they weren’t.

I stared in disbelief. My feet felt entombed in concrete. This couldn’t be happening. Not now, Jesus, not when you just told us to marry.
Daniel yanked my hand. “Shale, come on, we’ve got to find shelter.”
Seconds ticked by as I imagined my body being blown to bits from rapidly approaching missiles. 

Screeching sirens faded in and out. Swishing knives cut through the air as if they were tearing a veil, followed by loud booms that shook the ground. One after the other, they reverberated, each one getting closer. Temporary silence ensued, followed by more explosions and more thunder. Multiple alarms sounded as transformers blew across the city. I felt something burning my arms. I screamed, slapping at whatever it was.
“Ashes,” Daniel said.

I wiped off the soot. How could this be? One minute we were celebrating our first kiss, and the next we were running for our lives. I brushed my fingers through my long brown hair. I’d have to shower. Another missile swished by followed by a powerful boom.
Daniel pulled me along through almost total darkness as the scorched grass seared around us. How could he tell where to run? Smoke billowed and disorientation rattled me. Minutes later, Daniel found an enclosure that reminded me of a bus stop. The building vibrated every time a bomb fell. Was it secure or was it designed only to give a sense of safety?
.I struggled to catch my breath. “We’re going to die.”
Daniel’s brown eyes betrayed no fear. Only gentle reassurance. ”We’re in a bomb shelter.”

Daniel whispered in my ear, “I love you, Shale.”
I broke into sobs. “If only...”
Unexpectedly, out of the stillness and reprieve from death’s brutality on a persecuted people, I heard a dog bark. The sharp yelps pierced the momentary silence. From which direction were they coming? I became still to catch the words.
I clasped Daniel’s shoulders and peered into his eyes. “The dog, do you hear it?”
Daniel’s eyes met mine. “What is he saying?”
Now the sirens drowned him out. I stepped toward the shelter entrance to hear, but Daniel blocked me.

“I’m not going to let you rescue a dog. That’s crazy.”
I met Daniel’s determination with my own. “The dog needs help for an injured child.”
Daniel stared. “No, can’t be.”
I knew Daniel wanted to keep me from leaving the safety of the shelter. “We must go. We can’t stay here and do nothing.”
Daniel stepped toward the entrance. You stay here and let me check.”
“No,” I insisted. “You don’t understand dog talk. It’s my gift. I must go.”
Daniel grimaced. “Let’s hope he keeps barking or we’ll never find him.”
“The child is a girl.”
Daniel held my hand. “Watch your step.”
If only we had a light. The darkness overwhelmed me now that the transformers had blown. There wasn’t even emergency lighting. At least the bombs had stopped. The only significant light came from fires burning in the distance. Falling, shadowy embers floated from the sky. 
Careful where you step,” Daniel warned. “There could be bombs lying on the ground that didn’t explode.”

Why did he have to tell me that?
The dog barked. “Hurry, hurry. Come quickly.”
We crept closer, guided only by the dog’s barks.
“What’s he saying?” Daniel asked.
I translated, “Anybody, please, come quickly.”
In front of us, A shadowy four-legged figure that reminded me of Much-Afraid stood. I pointed. “There he is.”
When the dog saw us, he wagged his tail. “Hurry, hurry.”
As we neared, I held my hands in front of me so he could catch my scent. “We’re coming to help.”
He whimpered, hopeful enthusiasm tempered with concern.
“Are you hurt?” I asked.
“No, but hurry. A rare human who understands dog talk. Oh me, oh my. This is my lucky day.”
Daniel and I quickened our pace.
Another bomb screeched by. Seconds later, it exploded. The loud boom nearly broke my eardrums. Daniel reached out to embrace me.
The undeterred dog barked again. “Don’t run away. You’re too near to leave now.”
The dog took a few steps to the left and lowered his head, indicating something on the ground.
Daniel clutched my hand. Then I saw two bodies. I watched as the child stroked the bloodied body underneath her. As we neared, I could see it was a young woman with long brown hair dressed in slacks and a T-shirt. I stumbled over something as we approached. When I looked down, I saw shoes. Blood covered the woman’s feet. Small cries escaped from the young child.
I knelt down beside the distraught little girl.
“Thank God, she’s alive,” I exclaimed.
“Her mother and father aren’t,” the dog wept. “She has no one. God sent me to find someone to rescue her. Very few humans speak animal talk. You’re the ones God sent.”
Daniel didn’t understand our conversation, so I filled him in with details.
“That’s what he said?” Daniel asked.
I nodded. I stared at the child's parents. My vocal chords went dry as numbness filled my throat.
The dog barked again. “I must go rescue others. Take care of Shira. You are all she has.”
“Wait.” I reached over and stroked the dog’s head, focusing on his crusty eyes. “What do you mean?”
“You are the ones who came. God called you.”
“I understand animal speak, but I don’t know this poor child. She must have relatives.”
My eyes turned to the helpless babe. I tried to pick up the orphan, but she clung tenaciously to her dead mother.
“Mommy,” she wailed again, ignoring my attempts to help her.
“Many are called, but few are chosen,” the dog said.
His eyes reminded me of Much-Afraid.
The dog’s barking interrupted my thoughts. “I must go now. Others need my help. Take Shira with you and save her life.” Then he disappeared into the darkness.
Was that her name?
When Shira wouldn’t come with me, Daniel tried to pick up the child, but she protested.
He stopped and glanced at me. “We need to find the child’s relatives.” He walked around to the other side and searched the pockets of Shira’s father. I looked around the mother for a cell phone.
“His pockets are empty,” Daniel said.
I tapped gently on the child and spoke in Hebrew. “Sweetie, come with me. Your mother and father are sleeping. Come with me.”
The child lifted her head and focused her mournful eyes on my face. After a brief hesitation, she reached out her arms so I could pick her up. She was small and light. She couldn’t be more than three.
“Let’s get out of here,” Daniel said.
“Where should we go? Your mother’s?”
Daniel shook his head. “Jacob’s. He can hep us find her relatives."
I forgot Daniel didn’t understand dog speak. When should I tell him she had no one but us?


Look for Seventh Dimension - The Prescience 
to be available for summer vacation reading!