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Sunday Inspiration: Rise above your Devastation

I thought I drop by with a little Sunday inspiration for all my readers and followers. Have you ever had a sermon touch your spirit so hard that you revisited your “Why”? Well, that happened to me last Sunday when I watched Transformation Church out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pastor Todd preached topic surrounded not living in your devastation. This caused med to reflect on the devastation that I went through these last two years and come to a conclusion my real reason for truly writing the Lucy Mason Series.

The series parts, Worth, Faith, and Heart are all variables that resonated with me along my journey to healing. Take a listen to my video that I made today. I am sharing my story, my journey, and my own testimony to Rising Above my own Devastation.

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What are the Reviewers Saying about Lucy’s Worth?

What are the reviewers saying about Lucy’s Worth? The reviews have been very good. Check some of them out below. I am grateful for all those who have purchased Lucy’s Worth, Part 1 in the Lucy Mason Series. I truly do appreciate all of my readers who have purchased a copy of Lucy’s Worth. I am looking forward to reading more reviews about Lucy’s Worth. It’s great to hear and see the readers thoughts about the characters, what they think will happen in the next book, and the love hate relationship around the characters in the story. I am currently working on the next installment in the short story series titled Lucy’s Faith will release July 13, 2021.

Designed by Dee


Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2021

I really enjoyed this short story. I was sad, and mad most of the time. Lucy’s mother was definitely not there for any type of moral, or emotional support. I was happy to see that the sister’s came to her aid. This was definitely a story of someone needing to come into themselves and learn about healthy relationships, it didn’t seem like she had any real healthy relationships growing up. I’ll be waiting for the second book to drop. Thanks for allowing me to enjoy this.

Ms.Marcie5.0 out of 5 stars Know Your Worth Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2021

I’m a member of Letrise’s ARC group writing this review. Lucy’s Worth is a short, captivating tale about teenage Lucy with low self-esteem who grows into a young woman and victim of domestic abuse because she didn’t value herself. Her story speaks to teenage and adult women who do not understand how powerful and valuable they are. Lucy did get out of the relationship with help from her sister. But her mother did not provide the advice and support needed in a domestic abuse situation. I wanted to shake the **** out of her mother for being so unsupportive.

Readers of this book will experience a range of emotions at they go through this emotional journey with Lucy. I’m looking forward to seeing how Lucy fares in the next two books in the series.

Shannan Harper5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional Short Read Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2021

Lucy’s Worth is a phenomenal short story in a new series about a young woman and some of the things that happens in her life. Some parts might be triggering to some people, but this was such a great read that is packed in a few pages. This emotional story will take you on such a ride throughout the pages. There are characters that are just not likeable in my opinion, as well as some that are so loveable, you wish you knew them in real life. An exceptional book that would be very beneficial for younger ladies to read. There are several themes throughout the story that are great life lessons. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Phenomenal job

I received a copy of the book via the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

Jeanee R. Patton5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2021 Verified Purchase

Great read! I loved looking into Lucy’s life and watching her blossom into a woman realizing her worth. Patiently waiting on the next one…..

Tesa5.0 out of 5 stars Good read Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021 Verified Purchase

This was an emotional story worth being told. It talks about domestic abuse and how to get out before its too late. I’m glad Author Letrise is back writing again. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Kindle Customer5.0 out of 5 stars Wowzers Reviewed in the United States on June 6, 2021 Verified Purchase

I cannot believe her mother would encourage her to stay with the man that is abusing her daughter how could she even taught herself a mother seeing some of the words that she said to Lucy. I love her older sister and her sister’s husband I can’t wait to read part two to see if Lucy confronts her mother

Book reviews are extremely important for indie authors. Have you read Lucy’s Worth yet? Did you remember to write your book review? Remember, book reviews are your thoughts about the story the author wrote. They don’t have to be long. Share what is on your mind. Did you know you can post reviews not just on Amazon, but on Goodreads, and Book Blurb?

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Lucy’s Faith, Pt. 2

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Lucy’s Faith Pt 2 Coming in July

Lucy’s Faith is the second part in the Lucy Mason short story series. The release date is anticipated for July 13, 2021 as I finalize a great story. Read free chapter below after the book synopsis.

Book Synopsis

Now that she has a fresh start in Chicago, Illinois with her big sister Carol.  Lucy’s faith will be tested and questioned as she seeks to heal in the next chapter of her life. Doors will open for Lucy and challenges will present themselves as she presses forward for a new beginning. Will she doubt herself? Will she learn to have faith in God and know that he will provide for her?  Will she forgive Roger?

Book design by Tyora Moody at Tywebbin Creations, LLC

Chapter 1- A Fresh Start

I could not believe it had been six months since I left my apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with my ex-boyfriend Roger sleeping on my couch.  My life had changed in a matter of months.  I was settled into my room at Carol’s place on the southside of Chicago with her husband, Charles.  They had been caring, encouraging, and extremely helpful. 

In the first three months, my sister made me enroll in this program called Thrive to complete my high school diploma in twelve weeks.  It had been challenging because I dropped out of high school my sophomore year, so I was behind in math, reading, and history. I buckled down and focused on what I needed to complete every day.  Besides, I would need a diploma if I wanted to be hired at any of the local hotel chains in Chicago.

Carol said she would help me with my homework, read all my papers, and help me study for tests. That was the perk of having a sister who was a high school teacher.  Carol was a great teacher at Booker Thomas Prep.  I got the chance to visit her class and observed for an entire week. I knew my sister would be supportive, but I did not know to what extent she was going to push me to press forward when I felt like giving up. 

Carol made it a habit to invite me to Sunday service every Saturday, and I declined every other Saturday.  I did not see the purpose of going to church and what good it was going to do for me to sit and listen to a pastor preach for almost two hours.  What was I going to gain? How was that going to help me out in relationships, school, and landing a job?  I only went twice because Carol and Charles tag-teamed me into going to church and prayer service on Wednesday nights.  Prayer service was a joke.  The good man upstairs did not even know who I was, so why would God listen to me now?  I did not know where to begin praying, let alone how to do it.

After passing the required state exams for my high school diploma after three months, Thrive gave their students a graduation ceremony.  I was super excited because I got to pay for my cap and gown.  Carol insisted on making a big deal about this, so she invited our parents and my sister Mary Lou.   Carol called our mom and put her on speakerphone. 

Carol asked, “Mom, so your baby girl will be graduating from Thrive Academy next Saturday at 11:30 a. m.  Will you and Daddy be able to come up?” 

“I guess we can drive up next Saturday since we don’t have any plans at the moment.”

Carol rolled her eyes at her phone when Darlene, aka Mama, made that comment. If this lady knew she was on speaker, she would have a fit. 

Carol said, “Mom, come on, it’s Lucy’s high school graduation. You don’t want to miss this special day for her.” 

My mother had an attitude when she said, “I said, we will come up.  Stop begging; it’s not ladylike.” 

Carol smiled at me before telling Darlene Mason, “I am throwing her a little celebration barbecue, so you have no choice but to come. Besides, you know daddy is not going to miss Charles’ famous ribs.”  

Mama, being who she was, always had to get the last word.   Mama said, “That potato salad better not be sweet and no raisins in it like the last time.  You know what? Don’t you worry, I will just bring my famous potato salad and baked beans specialty.  Some of your in-laws know nothing about soul food cooking.”

Now, how was my mother inviting herself to bring food when she was just invited to be a guest?  How did she know Carol was not cooking or having food catered? I burst out laughing, and Mama started yelling at Carol because she didn’t know she was on speakerphone.  I heard the entire conversation, including her nasty attitude about coming.  She hung up on Carol. 

Carol and I looked at one another and burst out laughing at the same time.   It was nice to know that Darlene Mason had not changed her stubborn ways.  We sat on the couch to pull ourselves together after laughing so hard at Mama.  I watched my sister go through her phone again, calling folks for this cookout.  It was hilarious to see because Carol did not know how to just leave one message; she had to leave several messages via voice mail, text, and don’t let her be friends with a person on social media. Then one would get the famous DM message that I called or I texted.  The girl is short a few screws. 

Carol called Mary Lou. But she did not answer, so Carol left her a message.  Then I looked over at her, and she was texting her, too.  I said, “Carol, now you are coming off as a stalker by leaving text messages and calling when someone does not answer your phone calls.

“Yes, baby sis, I am that person. I know Mary Lou saw that I was calling her. She is sitting next to David. Or is his name Drew? I cannot remember.”

“I promise, you are a mess, Carol. That is annoying when a person calls you, leaves a voice message, and a text message.  I beg you to never do me like that.”

Looking at me and smirking, she said, “I promise that I will treat you the same way.  I don’t discriminate with my process.”

After Carol made all her calls, I went upstairs to pick out an outfit for my graduation ceremony.  I was glad I managed to save money when I was working.  I had not worked in three months since I had been here in Chicago.  I had not really had to spend any money, either, since Carol or Charles always paid for everything, I picked up when we ran out to South Brook Mall.  I felt more like their kid than the little sister.  This felt nice, but after graduation, I had a job interview lined up at one of Chicago’s top hotels downtown called Della’s Plaza.  I planned to save for a year then move out into my own little spot.  I did not want to become a burden, even though Carol and Charles say I can stay as long as I like.  I did not want to wear out my welcome.  Besides, I did not really have any privacy.  I liked to come and go as I pleased and not worry about breaking their house rules. 

There was nothing like having my own place.  I had been looking online at a few places along Lakeshore Drive and a little further North of downtown since I planned to work downtown, and I was on public transportation. I liked that Chicago had multiple options of transportation between the L-trains, buses, or Metra trains to move around the city that seemed to never sleep.  Buses and trains ran all night long. 

I would like to give my sister and her husband their house back so they can have some privacy.  I was sure Charles would like to walk around in his boxers, probably chase Carol around the house.  One day, I had come home early, and they were on the living room sofa all cuddled up and a deep passionate kiss.  They always stopped when I entered a room.  They were a cute couple, and I hoped someday they would start their family. 

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What are the Benefits of a Media Book Tour?

Every Thursday, I like to pose a question for authors and aspiring writers to offer advice from my own experience in this amazing journey as a Indie Author. What is a media book tour? What are the benefits of a media book tour? Why would you incorporate this into your Book promotional strategy? Being an indie author, you will need to get your book in front of many readers as possible because your book is not going to sell itself on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Blub, or your website. Do I need to repeat that statement? You will want to capitalize by borrowing other streaming or large networks listeners or viewers if it’s television by doing a media book tour media tour. The year 2020 taught many of us how to adjust to the digital world after being on lockdown. One must be able to still reach readers not only from a stance of in person, but virtual too.

What is a media book tour?

A media tour is not limited to television, book signing at book stores, and radio live appearance interviews. But, media tours have become more virtual and can include podcast, vlog, blog tours, online magazines features, print magazine features, and Influencers interviews on their platforms that all you to reach listeners around the world. If you do your homework and planning, you can maximize the free podcasts, blog interviews, and budget for those that are paid. You want to invest in being the voice for your book across various mediums (channels in media). Don’t you think you are worth it? Don’t limit yourself to book events especially if you are a new author, podcasts, bloggers, and book reviewers will become your best friend.

Photo by Tuur Tisseghem on Pexels.com

What are the benefits of a media book tour?

The benefits to doing a media book tour will allow you to reach a specific audience (Target audience), opens up opportunities for you to reach new readers, gives you the opportunity to network with other authors and influencers, allows you the chance to create a value in your message surrounding your book release. This allow you to build your list of media outlets to use for future releases. This allows you to develop, and nurture new relationships in media.

Why would you incorporate this type of promotional strategy?

Why would you not incorporate a media tour in your promotional strategy? This is a chance for you to grow your reach, meet new people, potentially cross over ethnicities, and borrow other outlets audiences. A planned promotional strategy will be key to you getting media exposure. It’s never too late to tweak, create, or even revamp your promotional strategy.

A media book tour for authors does not happen over night. You should plan 30-60 days in advance. I had in my head that I would do a media book tour this second time around and I still didn’t start the tour like I had envisioned in my head. I do plan for the third and fourth book release this year to improve my media book tour strategy. Meanwhile, you can learn from other authors who plan their media tours as a tool a reference and guide. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them for tips and advice.

I hope that you find the information I have provided helpful to you. Below are a just a few that I have discovered in podcasts, authors who do a feature Friday, and Blog interview that you want to connect with to get your face in front of their audience.

Favorite Podcasts

  1. Writer’s Café by LaShaunda Hoffman
  2. BAN Radio will Ella Curry is a paid feature at edc-creations.com
  3. Jeanette Sapphire Blue Blog Talk Radio
  4. Celebrity Spotlight is a paid feature at www.csltalksow.com
  5. Angela’s Tea

Authors who do Interviews or features on their blog/website

  1. Black Fiction Addiction
  2. Winsbooks
  3. Tracee Garner’s Feature Friday’s

Have you done media tours before? What was your favorite podcast/blog that you were featured?

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When you accept your obstacles

When you conquer your obstacles of Breast Cancer the Warrior in you rises so you will become unstoppable and defeat such a horrific disease. One of the biggest struggles among Black Women who opt to go through chemotherapy that is loosing their hair. We as Black women truly love our hair and the struggle is beyond accepting at times. My first time going through chemotherapy was EXTREMELY harsh and going in blind was an understatement. I wished there were more women like me to help me along the journey. However, there were not a lot of women who looked like me to give me pointers or suggestions on what to do in preparation for the effects of chemo drugs. I would learn it the hard way and it was traumatizing mentally and physically.

In September 2019, I was ashamed of how my hair came out during chemotherapy. It was very devastating to me to go through my hair turning to literally wool and sliding off my head after only one chemo treatment. The women from support group and doctor both said, “Your hair will start to thin and then fall out after the second to third treatment from the same drugs they all had been given. I was totally embarrassed the first time around it made me feel very ugly and isolated. I refused to be seen inside our outside of my home without the scarf or hat. I would not even allow family or friends to see my bald head. It took time for me to get to a place where I was comfortable with the effects of chemotherapy and my outer appearance.

There is no right or wrong way to accept your obstacles. I finally adjusted and realized what I am going through is temporary and it is just hair that will eventually grow back. The one thing I had to accept was that I could not depend on what other women who did not look like me to understand what I was going through. I did reach out to a Black doctor who specialized in dermatology care for women like me going through chemo. She helped me understand what I needed to do to care for my skin, my head, and my body. Your body becomes extremely sensitive to lotions, soaps, facial care, and hair care products.

It would be my second treatment in September of 2020, that would not be embarrassed or feel ashamed about my appearance. It is okay for you to take your time, you don’t need to impressed anyone, or get anyone’s approval on your outlook. This picture is from my second diagnosis with Breast Cancer.

I do recommend that before you undergo chemo to cut your hair down short to avoid the traumatic experience that I went through. The time that you prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally will help you in the long run. I learned a lot from 2019 to 2021 and I am sharing my story as a testimony to help other Black women.

These are products referred to me to use that were very helpful while going through Chemotherapy and Radiation. You must keep your skin moisturize.

  1. Facial cleansers recommended are CerVee Hydrating cleanser, and hydrating moisturizers.
  2. Cetaphil facial cleanser and moisturizing lotion for body and face.
  3. Aveeno Lotions and body wash
  4. Dove for sensitive skin body wash
  5. Shea Butter was a Big help used on my entire body including my head.
  6. Dickerson Witch Hazel facial toner

Articles that I read and researched that you might find helpful

Black Doctor.org https://blackdoctor.org/hair-care-chemotherapy__trashed/ This article is good read as it gives recommendations on how to prepare, how to pamper your hair, scalp during treatments, and what vitamins you should make sure you are taking. That is another blog that I will share this week regarding supplements to take during your treatment that you will benefit from decreased side effects.

Healthlinehttps://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/effects-on-body

Did you find this blog post helpful?

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How does Cancer Diagnosis affects your spirit?

How does hearing you have Breast Cancer affect your spiritual health? From my own personal experience, when I was given my first news in July of 2019 it felt like a punch in my spirit. I was trying to cope and be strong for my daughter who was my biggest concern than being worried about myself. I was worried this disease was going to take me away from my daughter and loved ones. We had been praying hard over the days that led to the results of my biopsy. I questioned my faith, belief, God’s love, and prayers.

How does it affect your spirit?

Cancer can have a huge impact on your spiritual health because it triggers a level of stress that is dangerous for you. Your entire body is in a state of shock when you are told that “I am sorry you have Breast Cancer.” At the exact time in moment, the world is in a time capsule that you are trying to find the remote control to rewind what the doctor just said. You cannot believe what was just said to you and your spiritual beliefs you had since you were 23 years old has left the room.

I honestly sat there questioning my spiritual relationship with God. I anxiety that raced through my body a rage of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. I begin to question my purpose. My entire mind, body, spirit, and emotions were in shambles. I felt broken in all areas that were apart of my humanity. I became very frustrated with God and even angry at times with the biggest question that I kept asking in my prayers were “Why me”, What did I do to deserve this?” I even went as far with the question to God and asked What did I do wrong to be punished with a life threatening disease? I tried meditating to calm down search for the comfort of his voice, but I could not find it at the moment.

Photo by Matheus Natan on Pexels.com

How did I fight through my spiritual journey?

To be honest, it was a hard. I had to go through a process ,but I was not alone. I had some amazing women who were supportive, praying women I called my tribe, my daughter unconditional love, and lots of talking to God. I did have to let go of the anger that came with being diagnosed. I had stopped talking to God because I was mad as hell at him so I did have some screaming and yelling matches in my quiet place with him, The truth is, you have to keep talking to him whether you did what I did which was yelling, crying, praying, or journaling what I was feeling and why. I found comforting listening to some of my favorite pastors or even watching them on YouTube. Each time I can tell you it was the Holy Spirit that guided me to a particular man or woman of God. The word they were preaching that particular day always resonated with me and I never not once said that was a coincidence. I told myself, “no, that was a Devine intervention from the Holy Spirit.” I remember when that small voice whispered to me that I will get through this storm, at first I doubted that voice. But I did get through it the first time and the second time.

I had to put my faith and trust back in God. I had to surround myself with positive energy that included people. I removed negative people from my presence because my spirit was vulnerable. I started keeping a prayer journal and a thought journal. I reached out to my prayer warriors who prayed with me and over me. You cannot do this alone. Furthermore, my daughter and I had to rebuild our trust, faith, and love for God’s healing that would get us both through this journey. My spirit is on a healing path after two years which makes me happy. I can give my testimony to other cancer patients. It took me over a year to let go of the anger and the unforgiveness that was in my heart toward many who didn’t give me cancer, but diagnosed me with Breast Cancer.

Dont’ let Cancer beat your spirit man down. Accept the things you cannot change but embrace the things God-The Holy Spirit can change. You will get through this. Are you feeling broken spiritually? Visit Cancer Council for support and read the articles that will give you reassurance on this emotional journey.

Resourceful Links

Cancer Council www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/physical-emotional-a…

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How to overcome Indie Author mistakes?

It’s three and half years later and I am reflecting on the mistakes I made as a first time Indie Author in hopes to help another new author learn from my mistakes. Now, being an Indie Author means you control when you publish, how you market your book, and you earn 100% of all royalties collected on your book.

When you make mistake the first time hopefully you can learn from them going forward. You don’t realize at the time what you are not doing is hurting you until you sit down to look at your books sales against your book expenses. You have to ask yourself two questions Why and How did that happened? The answers are right in your faces with everything you did not do because you were not understanding the business.

What mistakes did I make as an Indie Author?

  1. Being an Indie Author is a business and you must have a plan of which I didn’t have in place for Deceitful Secrets.
  2. I didn’t have a marketing strategy in place.
  3. I thought attending local book events and fairs were better to do over online.
  4. I didn’t understand how to use Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads correctly so I waisted money that did not hit the correct target audience.
  5. I didn’t understand how to utilize my “Insights” or analytics for social media
  6. I didn’t use ARC (Advance Readers Copy) groups for Deceitful Secrets.
  7. I didn’t use many book promoter services during or after release.
  8. I limited my voice with other podcasters and bloggers.
  9. I didn’t maximize my book reviewers requests.
  10. I stop promoting Deceitful Secrets consistently
  11. I was not consistent with my Email list that I grew.
  12. I tried to do everything myself by being the marketer, social media expert, brand specialist, and virtual assistant.

How to Overcome Indie Author Mistakes?

The mistakes I made in 2017 to early 2018 were rookie mistakes. However, I did learn from them over the years after attending workshops about writing and marketing, attended virtual events for book promotion strategies, and one on one consultations with experts for social media. Writing books is a business and once you understand, learn it, and master that then the success will follow.

What did I do different the second time around in 2021 that has been rewarding as a Indie Author? I did my homework over the last year not just to hone my skills, but learn how to market myself as a “authorpreneur.” According to Entreprenuer, they defines the difference between and Enterprenuer and Authorpreneur. The article goes on to say, ” It is an entrepreneur that offers products and services that are based on their book (s).” I learned to treat my books like a business. What does most successful small business have?

Twenty Tips to have a successful book business that I have incorporated.

  1. I created a short Business Plan for my Books (Summary one page)
  2. I had to figure out the Vision for my Books.
  3. I had to create a Marketing & Promotional Strategy.
  4. I had to create a Book Budget & Book Sales Goal.
  5. I had to create a social media posting schedule and strategy that required me to audit my social media.
  6. I had to learn and understand how to use a marketing and promotion strategy.
  7. I hired a Virtual Assistant, Brand Strategist, Publicist/Social Media experts to help with promotion and social media.
  8. I am continuing to seek knowledge about growing my book business
  9. I am taking classes, webinars, and attending virtual events about marketing, social media, and learning how to run ads correctly ads on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Book Blurb.
  10. I am doing more interviews on podcasts, Vlogs, and magazine features to get my books in front of other audiences.
  11. I am back to blogging after taking a hiatus for health reasons to reach new and current readers.
  12. I am working on re-connecting with my email list and sending out weekly newsletters.
  13. I created a ARC Group to read my short story series prior to release day and post reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Book Blurb.
  14. I am connecting with Book Bloggers and Book Reviewers to review my book series.
  15. I plan to give away a set number of books each month to help grow my readership.
  16. I had created a Press Kit for Libraries and Media Kit to circulate to prospective interviewers.
  17. I asked other authors to help promote my book in exchange that I promote their books on a particular social media platform.
  18. I asked a my network friends (few bloggers/writers) to promote my book to their audiences on Twitter for a couple weeks.
  19. I used book quotes and read first chapter for free on website with links to purchase.
  20. I offered signed autographed copies on my website.

I used a lot of free resources and some paid resources to help me understand the book business. I am still learning everyday. You never stop learning in this business. Especially, as a Indie Author it’s not easy but you can be successful if you master the business. I have seen Indie Authors make the New York Times bestseller’s list. Those authors had a plan and mastered it and you can to. I am working toward that goal myself. Are you working on mastering the book business as authorpreneur or are you just putting books out hoping you break even?

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How does the diagnosis of Cancer affects your Mental Health?

This is the big question that many strangers, family members, and friends need to understand and practice empathy. What do I mean by this? Empathy is defined as the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing within their frame of reference. This week in 3 part blog posts, I will talk about how a diagnosis of cancer affects your mental health, spiritual health, and finally physical health. Let’s start with mental health.

How does the diagnosis of any type of cancer affects your mental state of mind? When you are first told that you have Breast Cancer, you do not process the diagnosis right away because you are in shock. You are in disbelief and you want the doctor to repeat themselves. You are given this book to read about your type, various stages, type of surgery, and a list of all the chemotherapy drugs with their side affects whether you are taking chemo pills or IV chemotherapy. The book goes over the radiation process and after treatment care. You are hit with a wealth of information that mentally you have not processed or even accepted. It’s a process that you can take your time to deal with at your own pace. You find yourself on this emotionally roller-coaster because you don’t know how to feel let alone whether to cry or scream.

Meanwhile, family, friends, and caregivers will have to learn how to care for you, support you, practice empathy, understanding, give you space, and time to adjust. Let’s dive into part 1 of this week’s topics Mental, Spiritual, and Physical Health using my experience as examples and some of my favorite articles that help me as well as facts from the Cancer Organization to help you help a love one or a perfect stranger.

Photo by Klaus Nielsen on Pexels.com

Mental and Emotional Health

When I was first diagnosed it was traumatizing. I experienced grief and a few stages of depression. I was angry and my peace was invaded with cancer. I know doctors and nurses say it’s okay to be angry, mad, and sad because our mental psyche has to process the diagnosis.

I found myself isolating from friends and family during the first diagnosis in July 2019. I sworn family to secrecy because I was embarrassed that I was diagnosed with this ugly, life threatening disease. This was a hard hit to my mental and emotional state of mind. This was the biggest heartbreak that I every experienced. It was one of the biggest blows any woman could every face. There is no cure for cancer yet which is still mind blowing to me right till this day. You tugged at the idea of whether or not your will be clear of cancer after treatment or if you will be on pills for the rest of your life to survive.

I pulled myself off social media, I stopped writing, and I stopped reading books that I was interested in that made me smile, laugh, or inspired me. I went through a spell of feeling completely numb during the first eight weeks. I had not cried and I was fighting the emotions inside that I refused to let out. I could not accept my diagnosis because I kept telling myself they got my biopsy results mixed up with someone else. This cannot be correct.

I started reading everything on my type of breast cancer to the point I was even reading the conspiracy writers when it came to doing chemotherapy. I almost believed them. I started researching holistic approaches to healing my body and what natural herbs could heal and cure me. I was a mad woman furious to find my own truth and cure.

Like I said, my peace of mind had been invaded and did not exist anymore. I did have an emotional breakdown after my first chemotherapy treatment and then a second emotional breakdown at a Breast Cancer event my friend Stephanie took me to where I was one of the honored guests. All of the emotions built up inside of me finally exploded three months later after being diagnosed.

There was so much I did not know about my type of breast cancer and the type of treatment that was being recommended that my first doctor really was not helpful because she was insensitive using a scare tactic to get me to do chemotherapy instead of helping me understand why I had to do chemotherapy and explain all of the variables in my biopsy results. It was not until I went for another opinion at Northwestern Hospital where I got answers to many of my unanswered questions.

How did I deal with the mental and emotional health with my first diagnosis? I talked with a therapist, went to support group, I allowed myself to cried, I forgave myself, and I did journal how I was feeling each day at the request of my therapist to make sure I was not keeping pain and angry wrapped up inside me. I had good days and I had some really bad downright ugly days. But guess what, they went in my journal and not kept bottled up inside my mind.

When I was hit with a new diagnosis seven months post chemo in 2020, it was devastating on top of the fact were were in a global pandemic and on lockdown. I held myself as a warrior who needed new doctors who specialized in this type of thing everyday all day. It was time out for using local hospital that was close to commute back and forth during treatment. It was the best advice my brother Walter could have given me to seek out Cancer Treatment Center of America for a second opinion. I learned so much during the five day of tests, consultation, examination, review, analyze to confirm my diagnosis with a how and why. I will talk more about that experience next week and what I learned.

My advice to any Black woman who has been diagnosed with any type of cancer:

  1. Talk to a therapists
  2. Attend a support group
  3. Find yourself a tribe of women who will have empathy, love, compassion, understanding, and who will support you no matter what.
  4. Don’t be afraid of getting a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th opinion about your diagnosis.
  5. Get a Test to see what your Vitamin D levels are and how this will affect your body – we will talk more about this in future posts.
  6. Explore all resources to cancer patients they are FREE
  7. It’s okay to be mad for a little while, but don’t stay there.
  8. Pray and talk to your higher power for peace.
  9. Do not keep all those emotions inside.
  10. Do not do treatment somewhere because it’s close to home, advocate for the best treatment plan even if it’s at a facility that is hours away.
  11. Get matched with a Imerman Angel or support from Cancer Hope Network to talk with another woman with your same diagnosis.
  12. Go for walks and Self Care.

I had to learn to protect my mental and emotional health by letting the tears fall, talking to my tribe who did understand, attending support group, and taking advantage of the Angel program that the American Cancer Society has that truly is a blessing. What is the Angel program? This program they assign you to a survivor who was diagnosed with the same type of cancer as you, same stage, and same treatment plan. This angel will call and answer all of your questions and some will even meet with you at chemotherapy for support. I will talk about chemotherapy next week. This week I needed to address the impact of having cancer affects the mental, spiritual, and physical body.

Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer? Share this article with them and check out the resource links below that helped me.

Some of my Resourceful links

https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/emotional-mood-changes.html

Love this article https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/nurture-your-emotional-health.html

Living Well Cancer Center https://livingwellcrc.org/

Wellness House in Hinsdale https://wellnesshouse.org/related-resources/

Mentor Angel https://imermanangels.org/

National Coalition for Cancer Care Survivorship https://canceradvocacy.org/resources/cancer-survival-toolbox/

Cancer Hope Network –https://www.cancerhopenetwork.org/get-support/get-matched/with-a-cancer-survivor.html

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Black Women’s Health Blog Series

I am super excited to create a blog series about Black Women’s Health ranging from Breast Cancer, Fibroids, Anemia, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and so much more that affect Black Women. This series is very personal and dear to my heart because I am a recent Breast Cancer survivor, I battled with Fibroids, and I was anemic for years. I may not have PHD behind my name, but I had to learn to advocate for myself, educate myself, ask a LOT of questions, and get several 2nd and 3rd opinions from various medical experts.

I plan to share tips, holistic approaches, supplements I used that was referred to by medical professionals, advice on coping, and tricks that helped me survive and get to the status I am today as a survivor. I will be interviewing other women who will share their voice and experience with the hope of giving someone else courage to beat an illness, strength to survive treatment, and sisterly love to share the wealth of knowledge. Sharing with others is empowering and healing to the mind, body, and spirit.

My doctor at CTCA told me that I need to share “My Story” because it’s so unique. There is always someone else on the fence about not doing treatment or feeling alone. I want to share the things I did that got me through so many challenges faced as a Black Woman. We already feel like we don’t get the same care as our counterparts and I will talk about that too. Most importantly, I will share how to handle bias healthcare.

The purpose of this Black Women’s Health series is to help other women by sharing tips, advices, testimonial stories that will give hope, inspiration that you can beat the illness that is thrown before us. If you are a Black Woman who would like talk and share your journey, tips, advice, and testimony of triumph send me a message at ltcarter7@gmail.com for a Q&A interview.

The first blog in the series will post on June 7, 2021 about holistic approach for chemotherapy. I have so much to share about my experience with this particular topic and what I learn that will help Black women who do chemotherapy.

Are you ready for the Black Women Health Blog Series?

About the Author:

Letrise Carter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Financials Management & Accounting.  Letrise works in Corporate America by day as a Fund Manager while building her small business as CEO of Sistah’s Place & Sistah’s Creative Media.  Letrise is a writer, podcaster, and magazine editor, and media manager. She published her first novella in 2017 titled Deceitful Secrets. After a 2-year break to focus on her health, Letrise published her first short story series Lucy Mason series with the first release Lucy’s Worth.  Letrise resides in the suburbs outside of Chicago with her daughter.

Purchase Books https://letrisecarter.com/announcements/

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Lucy’s Worth Chapter 1 Excerpt

Read the first chapter of Lucy’s Worth and then you have three options for purchase.

  1. Purchase an autographed copy directly from the author.
  2. Purchase either a eBook or Paperback directly from Amazon.

Meet The Masons

My name is Lucy Mason, and I’m twenty-two years old. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my parents, Darlene and James Mason. I’m the youngest of three children, living on the north side of town. My two sisters, Carol and Mary Lou, are the prizes of the neighborhood and high school. My sisters are a year apart, with Carol being the oldest. My family is what you might call blue-collar workers, and they do okay to sustain a roof over our heads and put food on the table.  Daddy works the assembly line at Brooks & Thomas while Momma works in housekeeping at Houston Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

I’ve never looked at myself as pretty, beautiful, or special because my sisters were the ones getting the attention of all the boys in the neighborhood and high school. I was never book smart and could care less about grades. Carol and Mary Lou loved going to school and they were book smart. They both tutored many of the basketball and football players. If you ask me, I think they did a little bit more than tutor the star players on the teams. But they were known in school to be the girls who fit in with the “in crowd”. I often called them the “Mean Girls” of North Division High School because no one thought to mess with them or prank them. All the kids knew I was their little sister, so no one really bothered me unless they wanted to feel the wrath of my two big sisters. It was pretty cool at times because it felt like I had two big brothers instead of two sisters.

I never had a real boyfriend because I always felt like I was the ugly duckling in the family. I feel as if God played a nasty joke on me when it came to good looks. Here I am—short, dark brown, with oval-shape brown eyes and short black hair. My teeth are not straight, and I have acne for days. Whereas my sisters have all the right curves, shape, straight teeth, shoulder-length hair, and are a shade lighter than me. They look more like our mom, and I favor my father.

The boys in school never gave me any attention, unless they wanted me to pass a message to one of my sisters or one of them had to talk to me as a condition for my sister to go on a date with their best friend. It was the same way in the neighborhood; the boys only talked with me to get close to Carol or Mary Lou. My parents would make them take me along just so I could get out of the house. I hated being the third wheel. They always had a date to homecoming, prom, football games, and basketball games.  I never understood why boys never saw me as cute or even attractive.


Would you like to read the rest of the short story?

How would you like it? Autographed copy click the PayPal link or Amazon eBook or Paperback.

LucyMason_Worth_FrontCover_FINAL

Autographed Copy: Lucy’s Worth

Lucy Mason: Lucy’s Worth, Part 1 Lucy’s Worth is part one of a young woman’s desperate journey to find herself while trying to make it on her own. Faced with her first true relationship, Lucy’s long battle with low self-esteem will cause her to fall down a path with a dangerous man. Will Lucy be able to escape the trap that’s been set for her? She’s going to have to make the most important decision of her life — because her life depends on it!

$10.99


Purchase from Amazon eBook or Paperback

Lucy’s Worth (Lucy Mason Book 1) – Kindle edition by Carter, Letrise, Moody, Tyora. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

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My interview on Sapphire JBlue


Did you miss my interview yesterday on Sapphire JBlue podcast show on Blog Talk Radio? Well, don’t fret because I am including the link to the interview right here for your listening ears.

I had a lot of fun talking about the characters from my latest short story series Lucy’s Worth in the Lucy Mason Series. We talk about Lucy’s mom, father, and Roger in this storyline. I share why I wrote this short story series and what is to come in June with book 2- Lucy’s Faith, and then Lucy’s Heart in July 2021.

We then dive into my first novella series for the second half of the show to talk about the characters there Devin, Kelly, and Taylor. The lovely trio will be back in September in the much anticipated sequel Deceitful Secrets 2: Truth and Lies. I will be introducing a new character name Charlie and big secrets is exposed in this issue from book 1. You can read the first two chapters in the blog for the first book click this link.

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/sapphirejblue/2021/05/26/sapphire-jblue-welcomes-author-letrise-carter