Friday, September 9, 2016

Stand up to Cancer | "We Talk to Ourselves...a Lot!" by Loree Lough & Cerella Sechrist

Today, September 9th, is Stand Up to Cancer Day, and we’re sure that most, if not all of you, have a personal connection to the disease, whether a parent/grandparent, spouse, child, sibling, cousin, neighbor, friend, or co-worker. You may be fighting this horrible, life-changing illness, yourself!






Unfortunately, more than two hundred different types of cancer have been discovered. That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate this month’s “We Talk to Ourselves…a LOT” blog to everyone who has been touched by this horrible disease.

Loree: Since November of 2015, I’ve been battling Multiple Myeloma (incurable blood cancer that develops in bone marrow). The goal of treatment (chemo, steroids, bone-building infusions, antivirals, antibiotics, and anti-nausea meds, hydrating liquids, countless blood tests, PET scans, bone marrow biopsies, and an upcoming stem cell transplant) is to blast those evil cells until I’m in remission.



Several of my key secondary characters have coped with cancer. It’s a deep, gritty subject that demanded hours of deep research and in depth interviews with cancer specialists, patients, family members, and caregivers. Time well spent, because I went into this situation with a head full of details that helped me ask on-target questions and better understand this ‘thing’ I’m facing.


In Sickness and Health, #2 in “By Way of the Lighthouse,” my 3rd series for Heartwarming, I’ll focus on a long-separated couple, forced to reunite when the hero faces the terrifying diagnosis. I intend to dedicate a generous percentage of the book’s proceeds to research for all types of cancer. (Cerella has a similar special project of her own in mind, and she’ll tell you all about it real soon.)

Cerella: We hope you’ll enjoy this special edition of “We Talk to Ourselves…a LOT!”, and that you’ll find ways to contribute to much-needed cancer research—dollars, volunteer hours, etc.—not just on this, Stand Up to Cancer Day, but every day of the year, because, as Loree says, until some brave and brilliant soul discovers a way to eradicate this vicious ailment, it’ll continue touching families in the most unkind ways.


Loree: Very soon, I’ll sign in at Georgetown University Hospital, where during my 2-4 week quarantined confinement, I’ll receive a stem cell transplant. I’ll have wireless access, so I hope you’ll stay in touch (Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.)!

And lest you think we forgot, we want to send a special shout-out to the winners of last month's National Romance Awareness giveaway!

Grand Prize goes to Cheryl B. while our runners up were Evelyn N, Nina b., Darlene H., and Jenny D.! Congratulations!

Cerella: Until next month, we’ll both be thinking of you, and praying that if you have a personal connection to some form of cancer, you’ll enjoy a happy ending!

Love y’all bunches,




About Loree:

With nearly 6,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of The Firefighter's Refrain (#3 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin's new Heartwarming line) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 105! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!


About Cerella:

 CERELLA SECHRIST lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. Inspired by her childhood love of stories, she was ten years old when she decided she wanted to become an author. These days, Cerella divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. She’s been known to post too many pug photos on both Instagram and Pinterest. You can see for yourself by finding her online at www.cerellasechrist.com. Harper’s Wish, Book #1 in her Findlay Roads series, is her third Harlequin Heartwarming novel.


40 comments:

  1. Loree, you continue to be in my prayers.

    A donation has been made to the Myeloma Research Fund at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Canada's top cancer research hospital.

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    1. On behalf of all those fighting the good fight, thank you, Kate! Love your huge heart (which is one of the reasons your Heartwarming stories are so moving!), and hope your weekend is wonderful!

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  2. *great big hugs*

    I've been touched by cancer in many ways throughout my life. When I was 19, I lost my PawPaw to it. When I was 32, my heart broke forever when I lost my Mom to it. And a little shy of a year and a half ago, I got the dreaded diagnosis myself of cancer at 41. All is well with me. Caught early, surgery, recovery, 1 1/2 years and counting of constant Oncology check-ups towards that 5 year magical number. *fingers crossed*

    I wish you the best of luck Loree as you enter this next stage of treatment and hope that you will have a great outcome from it. We are all here cheering you on, so when you are feeling low, just sit back, close yours eyes and remember this major group of women surrounding you in spirit with big hugs, smiles and cheers of support. Lots of love coming your way! <3

    P.S. I made a donation to Stand Up For Cancer just for you today .. and I make one to the American Cancer Society at the end of every year in memory of all of my loved ones and those touched every year .. in hopes of a happy ending one day with a cure.

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  3. Sorry to hear of your losses, LynnB, but grateful that you won your battle. Praying you'll report this same good news 50 years from now! Thank you for helping spread the word and for your donation, and I'm sure anyone who's coping thanks you, too. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this, Loree. I'll certainly keep you in my prayers as you travel to Georgetown University Hospital. They've got a great reputations, so you'll be in good hands.

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    1. I appreciate your prayers, Jill, and I'm wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  5. Sending you as much love and prayers as possible, Loree! Your strength and grace throughout this ordeal has been so inspiring. Know your Heartwarming family is behind you 100%. xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Amy! It's a good feeling, knowing how many people are standing beside me (and all others going through this)! Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

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  6. Bless you, Loree. Your indomitable spirit is an inspiration for everyone! Best of luck to you during your Georgetown stay. We'll all be rooting for you!

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    1. Thanks so much for your support, Leigh! I'm taking all these good thoughts and prayers with me to Georgetown, because I'm sure the support will continue to lift my spirits there, too! Hope your weekend is splendid!

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  7. Cerella and Loree, you ladies rock. Loree you will be on my list of favorite people to burn candles for during your big treatment. I support cancer research when my kids walk in Seattle's brain cancer walk each year, and also the brain cancer research being done by UCLA. I will send a special donation in your name to the American Cancer Society. Our Vice President has gathered many important people in the fight against cancer. His aim is to have more sharing of research and development, and trial meds. I just saw yesterday where he's having difficulty getting congress to fund the project. We need to all send our good thoughts that he succeeds. It takes money to fund all of the research into this insidious disease. I sure wish we all had a money tree. Blessings, Loree and keep us updated.

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    1. Thank you, Roz! Every time I inhale the scent of a lit candle, I'll think of you and say thanks again! All those dealing with cancer thank you, too, for donating to the ACS. And you're so right: Research is imperative if we're ever to cure cancer, once and for all. Wishing you a beautiful weekend, m'friend!

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  9. Loree - prayers coming your way. You look wonderful - like the true heroine you are. Upcoming books sound powerful. I imagine you'll be doing a lot of plotting during that confining quiet time. Love from the PNW!

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    1. Hi, Cerella! Didn't mean to forget you. Love to you, too!

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    2. Thanks, Muriel! I'm more than happy to let Loree have the focus on this one - she's a powerful example of reasons to Stand Up to Cancer! I'm so glad she shared some of her experiences on the blog!

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    3. This was Cerella's idea, Muriel. See...she's just generous in a whole bunch of different ways. I'm truly blessed to call her friend, and to partner with her on this blog! Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

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    4. I think you're inspiring, Loree, so I'm glad you agreed to share your journey! It's just perfect that our blog landed on September 9, for Stand Up to Cancer Day! <3

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  10. Loree, my heart goes out to you. Stay strong through this horrible ordeal.

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    1. Thanks for your support, Marion! I have plenty of incentives to fight this battle until I win: great husband, beautiful daughters, sweet grandkids, and a job I love. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  11. You are my heroes, and my prayers stay with you, Loree. I help support the IEHA Cancer Research Endowment Fund. It was created by the Indiana Extension Homemakers, is administered and facilitated by Purdue University, and a fabulous 100% (!) of funds raised goes to research. Thank you both for sharing today.

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    1. Thanks, Liz, for your support of us and cancer research. It's good to know that ALL of the donations to IEHA are used to find a cure! Have a great weekend!

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  12. Loree: I am in awe of your strength and positivity. I love that you are using your characters to convey the life changing nature of cancer. It has touched everyone's life in some way and I'm sure your books have been a much needed escape for others. My thoughts are with you.

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    1. I appreciate your support and kind words, Sophia. It's my hope that even one solution discovered by characters that face real-life problems (physical, emotional, and nature-caused) will help readers discover solutions to similar problems of their own. (I wrote about an rare heart ailment a heroine's father faced; death was imminent--or so she thought--until the hero doctor checked a little-known parasite that caused similar symptoms; meds and rest, and the dad was on the road to full recovery. All that to say a reader wrote to tell me she suggested the tests I'd identified to her husband's doctor, who found and fixed his heart ailment!) It's so fulfilling to hear our books entertain AND inform! Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

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  13. Thank you for sharing your story, Loree. Your courage and inspiration are awesome. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you undergo your treatment.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! You can believe I carry all of these prayers, good thoughts, and support in my heart. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  14. Will be keeping both of you in my prayers.

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    1. Thanks, Ann! Your prayers and support mean so much! Have a beautiful weekend, m'friend!

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  15. Oh wow! You are amazing! And what positive attitudes. I had an aunt that had colon cancer. After surgery and months of treatment she was declared cancer free. The doctor later told her that he knew immediately she'd be okay because every time he walked in her room, she and her family were laughing and joking. He said attitude is half the fight. So keep fighting! And a few more prayers couldn't hurt, right?

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    1. Thanks for the prayers and supportive words, LeAnne! You're so right: An upbeat attitude makes such a difference, no matter what struggles we face, doesn't it! I'm adding your aunt to my own prayer list, so she can continue displaying her positive attitude for a long, long time! Enjoy your weekend!

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  16. This is timely. I made an appointment for my annual mammogram today. With early detection, lives can be saved.

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    1. You are SO right, Shirley! I'm already praying that your mammogram results are 100% GOOD, and that others will follow your example, because early detection is key! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  17. Thank you for drawing attention to this nuisance of a disease. I currently know several people who are on this journey; close friends. I hope it will one day be eradicated. Loree, I hope all the best for you. You're an inspiration. Cerella, I'm not in the least bit surprised you'd highlight this day. Your heart is gold.

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    1. You're so right Laurie...Cerella's heart really IS gold. I tell people all the time that I'm blessed to call her friend, and proud to partner with her in the creation of our blog. Thank you for your kind words, and rest assured I'm praying for your friends, walking this crazy Cancer path. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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    2. You are both too sweet! I mean that seriously - I think you're both golden yourselves. :)

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  18. Thank you so much for highlighting this. It was sad that I lost my grandpa to it and I don't want anyone to get this disease. Pray that I can secure an internship in order to help cancer patients in my country.
    Loree, I wish you all the best.

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    1. Thanks, Evelyn, for your support. It saddens me to hear that your beloved grandfather lost his battle with this ugly disease; it only heightens my hope that researchers will soon find a cure! Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend!

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  19. Your courage and honesty is an inspiration, Loree. All the best.

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  20. Loree, I'm late to posting here, but wanted to send big hugs and well wishes to you. I, too, have both family and friends who have battled cancer. Some are no longer with us, but many are going strong and healthier than ever...many years after they were initially diagnosed and treated. It's amazing how far treatments have come over the years, but we definitely have further to go and funds for cancer research are dollars soooo well spent. And knowledge/awareness is priceless, so thank you for reaching out and touching readers with your books!

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