Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cancer Awareness - Lavender Dreams

Today, continuing with cancer awareness, I would like to dedicate this post to my friends and family, living and dead, who have bravely fought cancer.  Cheers Geraldine, Cindi, Ana, Linda, Karin, Aunt Gladys, Tamra, Marcy, Karl, Annie, Tom, Rod, Pat, Teri, Galen, Ruthann, Nan, Karen, my brother, my mom, my dad, and anyone I might have missed. 

The authors, artist and publisher are donating all proceeds from the sale of the book to cancer research.  Many of them have taken to time to tell us why they wrote their stories.

Lavender Dreams

Price: $1.99
Available in the following formats:  PDF, PRC, E-PUB, HTML

Ten short stories in this anthology to entertain you. More importantly, the authors and cover artist have generously donated these stories and their royalties to help raise funds for cancer research each year.
Barbara Ehrentreu, Gloria Oren, Lisa J. Lickel, Nan D Arnold, Nathaniel Tower, Rosemary Gemmell, Suzannah Safi, Tanja Cilia, Vicki Batman
Back Cover:
MuseItUp Authors dedicate this book to all who have been affected in one way or the other by cancer. All royalties from the sales of this book will be donated each year to a cancer research organization, or hospice in order to further combat and find a cure.
The book is divided into three sections: non-fiction, fiction based on true stories, and fictional stories—ten stories generously donated by the authors to help raise funds for cancer.
This book is dedicated to the memory of one of MuseItUp’s editors who passed away 2011 from cancer, Karen McGrath.
Tributes and Dedications
A Blessing in Disguise by Gloria Oren
My experience with cancer couldn’t come at a worse time. I had three young children under the age of ten, we had just moved to a new house, and my husband was laid off weeks after our move and was having a hard time finding a new position. I offered to look for something temporary to help out, and thankfully I did. During the pre-employment physical the doctor noticed something was wrong. Within two months I underwent two surgeries and a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Disease. I wrote “A Blessing in Disguise” as a course assignment in hope of spreading the message that it is possible to overcome difficult times even when it seems impossible.
Cancer Didn’t Get Him by Barbara Ehrentreu

The story in Lavender Dreams is based upon a real person named Bob Senkpiel. I met his wife while I was teaching. She was an art teacher at the time and we became very friendly. I learned Bob had cancer and met him. My husband and I started spending a lot of time with my friend and her husband. We found out he was an artist and that he owed his remission to changing what he was drawing. Once he did that he started to heal and with chemo and his own sheer will to live, Bob lived a few years more and has a large body of work. My friend contacted me after years of being apart and she wanted to have a photo of a drawing we had from him. She and another woman are doing an exhibit of his work, which when it was originally done, was very controversial. If you read the story you will see what I mean. I am very happy to be able to tell Bob’s story and when I told my friend that I had published the story, she was surprised I hadn’t used his real name. It was too late to change it in the story, but I have put it here so everyone can know him. Here is one example of Robert Senkpiel's work.  His artwork is extraordinary and I am very happy to have known him. I continue to be friendly with his wife.
Taking Flight by Vicki Batman
People come into our lives in so many different ways. I met my friend in Jazzercise. Little did I know that one would become so close, she became a friend, aunt, mother.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, our class went into shock. This woman was one of us! She was fun and funny. Full of exuberance and life. And to not have her with us--which did cross each of our minds--would be a momentous loss.

But she survived.

At her seven-year mark, the one where a cancer patient believes all will be well for the rest of their life, my friend got the news hers had returned. Her cancer had spread to her liver and other organs and the prognosis was not good. And I was the only one in the class who knew.

I carried a huge hole in my heart.

Once, she had told me she had lived a good life and had no regrets. I can only hope and pray and wish the same for me.

The fall before she passed, we were in class and experienced something I've not ever experienced before. "Taking Flight" is our story.

Camp Chemo: The Last Laugh by Nan D Arnold
Nan D. Arnold
October 2, 1950-July 21, 2012

Nan and I became critique partners when I moved here. I’m an introvert but not Nan. Life was one big sit-com to her. She laughed at everything and made everyone else laugh, too.

At our first meeting, she swept into Starbucks, apologizing for wearing sweats and no makeup; earlier, she had won an editor critique by phone, and the editor called as she was about to shower. We immediately fell to chattering away, analyzing what the editor said and what she meant and how Nan needed to revise.

When a year or so later she had an emergency appendectomy, they found cancer and took part of her colon. Then they wanted to take her liver, but she decided on pinpoint radiation instead. It didn’t work. She tried chemo, even flew to a noted clinic in Texas. They confirmed what, I believe, she already knew, and she chose to forgo more treatments. She immediately started planning for her death.

Through it all, she kept her marvelous spirits. She began to work out, even though she had to get permission from her hospice provider. “If I have to go, I’m gonna go looking good.” We continued meeting for lunch, even when she had to use a cane. She wrote the story for MuseItUp’s LAVENDER DREAMS during this period. When galleys came for GARNET GALE GETS HER MAN, she was starting morphine. Writing kept her going.

Three years after diagnosis, she died. The last weeks of her life were hard, but she went on her own terms. She met death with courage and her unique sense of humor.

I miss her.
Cheryl Dale
Waiting by Rosemary Gemmell
The day my older sister received a recall letter to attend the main breast cancer clinic in our nearest city, Glasgow, was a traumatic event. She had already survived a completely unexpected heart attack a few years previously and was now fighting fit again. This latest scare was almost too much to bear and I accompanied her to the clinic trying not to imagine what another mammogram might reveal.

We had both watched our mother go through extensive cancer surgery and, although she eventually survived for many years, we knew there were no guarantees, that each case and each type of cancer is different. The wait at the clinic seemed interminable, especially when they called my sister away twice, and I had to try to remain positive.
I wrote ‘Waiting’ as a creative, slightly fictionalised account of that day, in the knowledge that so many women go through this scenario each year. My sister’s mammogram result was negative this time, but two friends and a neighbour had positive results and subsequent surgery and treatment. The waiting will never end until cancer is no longer such a devastating threat and this story is for all of them.

Stories from the War by Nathaniel Tower
Testing…by Lisa J Lickel
The Cancer Tree by Nathaniel Tower
Behind A Closed Heart by Suzannah Safi
The Book by Tanja Cilia:
I have lost my mother, my only sister, and many other relatives and friends to different kinds of cancer. Contributing a story to the anthology was something I did in their memory. 

About “The Book:” Life throws us curve balls, snappers or slurves; fair balls and foul balls too. There’s no telling what the next moment will bring. We may choose to try and hit a home run. We may choose to elude the problem by side-stepping or ducking. In those times when we choose team-work, we often find that we have indeed become better persons. 

On behalf of all of us at MuseItUp Publishing, we want to thank you for your support in our cause.


  1. I think this is a wonderful thing that the MuseItUp authors did, having this book put together and donating all the proceeds to cancer research. Beautiful cover.

  2. Thanks for highlighting this, Penny.

  3. MuseItUp is special to its authors. Doing things like this anthology is part of it. I think everyone at Muse knows someone who has or who has had or who died from cancer. It's wonderful the authors could contribute their or a friend's story.