The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


The Adventure of Debb’s Blog and Her New Trail: Part One

Being a breast cancer survivor was the first reason Debb started to blog

Being a breast cancer survivor was the first reason Debb started to blog

Have you ever wondered why I started this blog and why I gave it the name I did?  Today you shall find the answers.

Debb Stanton was used to “silent retreats” at her friend’s Catholic church.  Contemplative was another way of describing them, and Debb was hooked.   “Still waters run deep” had been said of her to describe her quiet curiosity and introversion.  She liked the silent retreats because she could be alone with her thoughts and her Lord except for a couple of worship services and meals with the other retreatants (meals which were also silent, a woman needing to smile and point at the salt shaker in order for it to be passed to her).  She could nap all afternoon in her tiny guest room, or she could pray, or journal, or whatever.  At this point in Debb’s life, she was very much a perfectionist who said to herself, “I’ve got to journal every day.  I must journal every day.  What kind of writer can I be if I don’t write every day?  I’d better journal every day…”  and with white-knuckled determination she would come home from a retreat and force herself to write — for a grand total of two, maybe three days and then -poof!- she’d ease up on herself and no more writing would be done for awhile.
In August of 2012, Debb was two weeks away from her third cancer survivorship anniversary, and she went on a women’s retreat with her church friends.  This retreat was not a silent retreat (in fact, anything but).  Debb brought her Kindle along, and she discovered a poet who had a blog on WordPress.  By the end of the retreat, Debb was convinced that her “assignment” was to start a blog, and to write on it every day.  She was very thankful for her cancer recovery, and she was in a hurry to let as many people as possible know that getting a cancer diagnosis was not necessarily a death sentence — she was living proof.
WordPress was the blogging platform Debb chose, and when it came time to name the blog, she decided on “Sunshine Factor”.   Sunshine because this described her personality and was the nickname she was called by many people.  The ‘factor’ part came because “inner sunshine” was a big part of her life, and it was one of the factors that helped her through her cancer and beyond.
When Debb found out that Sunshine Factor is also the name of a pet and bird food and medicine company, she added a disclaimer to her blog, stating that she and they were not the same.  In the last couple months she bought her own domain name; now the blog is “The Sunshine Factor”.  Even though she loves animals and birds, Debb was now her own entity, not part of a company about animals, and she had her own blog.
Next up:  Part Two, which discusses how the blog became something of a melting pot of ideas, encouragement and creative writing.   See you next week!


Jenn’s Cancer is Back – Please Pray!

Howdy folks,

I may have mentioned Jennifer D to you before.  She is my pastor’s wife who played guitar, along with her husband, for our wedding (and sang for us too), and she is an extremely lovely person with a very talented voice.  Today in church she sang “At the Cross”, and there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

I bring Jenn up now to you now if you are so inclined to pray for her — this request is actually from her.   After successfully beating colon cancer a couple years ago, she has had numerous surgeries for possible lung cancer.   That’s the real kicker – she’s not a smoker.  Now, as it turns out, they did find a tumor in between her two lungs — AND the cancer has now affected her lymph nodes.

Jenn and her husband see the oncologist on Tuesday, October 29th.   Please surround her with your prayers.   I so appreciate the prayers for her, as she will feel better as she feels your prayers.    She has a tremendously strong faith, but even she could use a boost right about now.   Jenn is a wonderful person, and I want her to be around for her brand new grandson (first grandchild) who lives way out in Montana.  I want her to be around, period.




October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

English: The Cardiff Kook statue, dressed in h...

English: The Cardiff Kook statue, dressed in honour of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello everybody,

On October 2nd four years ago, I started chemotherapy.  How fitting that it was during the month of breast cancer awareness!

My treatment seemed like a long haul at the beginning, but soon I became friends with all the nurses, was assigned to one angel in particular, and settled into a routine at each treatment session.  I soon began to look forward to my treatments as a time I could just relax and take a long nap if I wanted to.  Since I was working fulltime during the whole process, I did need to sleep during the treatments.  🙂

I encourage us all to purchase every day products where a portion of the proceeds are donated to cancer research.  Wear pink – even football players do this month!  🙂

If any of you are going through breast cancer right now, or know someone who is and you have questions, please be sure to contact me.  I am always glad to share what I have learned.   And, like everything else, no one gets exactly the same experience.  I don’t have all the answers, but I do have lots of encouragement and hope at your disposal.

In the pink,



Poetry Saturday: Happy Birthday Again!

English: Breat Cancer ribbons

English: Breast Cancer ribbons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many August twenty-fourths ago
I lost my dear sister to cancer

Then on that same day four years ago
I received my breast cancer diagnosis

August 24
is my second birthday of the year
I got a second chance at life
so I can call it a rebirth.

The only problem is
Sandra couldn’t be cured of her cancer

So now I live life for both of us
waiting patiently to see her again in heaven

Trying to live fully
so that my life counts

Forgetting the bad and the have-nots
and remembering with gratefulness the haves and the good

Happy 4th Birthday!


A New Month – Happy August!

English: Poster promoting early diagnosis and ...

English: Poster promoting early diagnosis and treatment for cancer, showing a rooster crowing at sunrise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite months is July, and I never liked August much, as it was too hot for my tastes. Then, when my sister died of cancer in August of 1994, it really became a dreaded time of year for me.

No longer! 🙂 I became a cancer survivor in the month of August, and this month it will mark four years. Can you believe it? I am so very grateful. And it’s amazing, the 24th of August, the day my sister died, is the exact date of my cancer survivorship! Something bad was replaced with something very good!

Another item for celebration is this blog turns one year old this month! Already!

Oh, and one more thing. You probably know how I liken the first of each month to New Year’s Day. New month, new adventures, new things to learn. Well, as a kid I always was eager to get back to school in September. I always loved to shop for school supplies in August. (And to this day, Office Depot remains one of my favorite spots; I still like looking at new supplies…) So this really seems like a new year for me! 🙂

I wish you all a most happy and loved August!



Sunday Showcase 7/28/13


Greetings, friends.

My friend Lyn from writes:   “I’ve just discovered this blog, but I’m amazed by the talent of this dear lady. Her “about” is so encouraging and the start of her “Marie” story had me laughing and crying Her latest poem is beautiful and sad. So without further ado, I give you Len Williams-Carver

This same lovely friend and encourager wrote me this comment, and I share it with you because it is worthy of being in a showcase!  (I have changed nothing except add an addition ‘b’ in my name:)

There is a young lady called Debb
Who wanders around the web
Posting poems, and wisdom and sometimes a pic
She’s funny, and silly and chic
Helping out where she can
Where woman or man
She shares treasures she’s read
I read her Sunday Showcase in bed
A hard road of illness she’s trod
But her faith is solidly in God

Thanks Lyni!   The first poem that’s ever been written about me – I love it!  xxoo

See y’all next week!Take a rest park bench

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Death of a Dream, Birth of Forever

When 15
I had dreams of becoming a concert pianist

All factors
seemed to point in that direction

till one day
it dawned on me

I was told
“Get off that piano! You’ve been on it way too long today”

This happened every day
until finally I saw the light

I would never get to Juilliard
much less Carnegie Hall

Though I didn’t know it at the time
that was the death of my dream

Meanwhile I continued working with words
(had loved them since a child)

Occasional poems would be written
and I was told to journal every day

The journal was opened in spurts
but never for more than a week at a time

I just couldn’t connect

Then divorce happened
and I went to writing school

Cancer then showed up
but I flung defeat in its face

With the help of many
I overcame my malady

My optimism never left
and it pointed me in a new direction

I finished writing school

I started dating my ex-husband
the past was exonerated

and a new dream began
Hope encouraged me to start a blog

My sweetheart was back in my life
and my words began to find a home

on the computer screen
and in my imagination

No longer
did I have to try to force myself to write every day

Now you wouldn’t be able
to tear me away from it

Sometimes I write more than once a day
I have found my true calling
(I believe)

Now I am living a new dream
still love music of all types

but my dream is that of forever

Now married to my former husband
who encourages my writing and loves it

I have come full circle
and forever is already here

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Following Your Heart

37326028“You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.” – Chris Guillebeau

I wish I had read this quote years and years and YEARS ago! It is so true. I found out during my cancer treatment that I did not wear the prosthetics and the wigs that people were trying to convince me to do, and this made some people angry. What, that I didn’t follow their directions? (or avoid things because of THEIR fears?) Once I followed my own heart and got boldness from cancer, I’ve never strayed back into my former people-pleasing ways. I have never been one to follow the crowd, and now I figure, why not live that way with ZEST? ZING? CONFIDENCE? 🙂

I’m still the person that I was before, but the real me has come out. Now I’m a sensitive, loving, sweet and spunky (no longer timid)  lady. 🙂


"You brute! You coward!" from an ano...

“You brute! You coward!” from an anonymous artist’s illustrations to Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“Be yourself, because everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde


I wish my parents could have known this fact.   I grew up thinking that it was not okay to be Debbie, rather, I should be like other people – but never myself.

No wonder I didn’t really even know myself till after I had cancer (my parents had died long before then).   I will always be thankful that I had cancer.   Yes, I’m serious.   Cancer taught me that I was actually a strong person with a lot of faith and a strong desire for life, all its joys and yes, even its trials.  Cancer even gave me a good (or at least, I call it good!) sense of humor, a contented spirit, and undeniable joy.  So wonderful and joyful this was for me to find out these things, I started writing a book about my journey with cancer.   I feel in a hurry to let people know that receiving a cancer diagnosis does not necessarily mean a death sentence.   With my quirky humor, I wrote some of the chapters in the book with laughter in mind.  We can never have too much of that!  Oh, are you wondering about the book?  It is almost to the editing part; then I will be looking for an agent to represent me.

In case you didn’t know:  you are valuable, and you are loved.   Since that is the case, why would you want to be anybody else?

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“Every man dies.  Not every man truly lives.” – William Wallace (Braveheart, written by Randall Wallace)


This quote is very representative of me since I’ve had cancer.   I was just existing before that, tricking myself into believing I had a full, wonderful life.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  When my life hung in the balance (and many of my friends and family still have not heard that story!), I knew that I knew that I KNEW I wanted to fight for my life.   Once cancer was taken from my body and chemotherapy was finished,  I sought to make my life worth living, now that I had it back.   That is when I started writing in earnest.  Then, in August of 2012 I went on retreat and came back with the impulse that I was to write on a blog daily.  I didn’t know what it would be like or who would read it – or anything about it, really – but write I did and haven’t stopped or looked back since.

Then my former husband, who helped me during my cancer stuff, proposed remarriage.  We were remarried 12/12/12, and I am still so blessed with a man who honors my instincts and passions and gives me so very much support in my field of writing.  That is what a true partnership is – helping your partner to be the best person they can be, not trying to change them but just encouraging them.  And that means a very good LIFE to me.  🙂

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Book Review on Author Collette A. Henry

Hello friends,

Yesterday I read Get Outta My Head:  My Journey Living With Brain Cancer by Collette A. Henry.  Collette has a great blog here on WordPress, and I would like to share with you the review I wrote about her book on

I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to read Collette’s book.  Like her friend Allen O. Green states, she does have a winning smile, and this book shows me that she has a winning life!  Her attitude, passion for helping others, and engaging way of talking with her readers, make this a very inspiring book.  In fact, I am a breast cancer survivor, and I learned more cancer facts through Collette.   She is helpful to all people, in my opinion, sharing exactly what cancer is and how you can do healthy things for yourself to hopefully keep cancer away.  Collette has a very great story that needs to be read.

I was hoping for a cancer experience book that could make you feel comfortable with the author.  I was not disappointed.  If I could, I would give Collette and her book a standing ovation.  🙂


Addendum to “Little Things DO Count”

I forgot to mention that sometimes, a smile or frown can make or break someone’s day.  Maybe the person you smile at on the elevator will see no other smiles that day except yours.   And – I remember that when I had cancer and people would frown at me for not wearing a wig — what was already a tough situation was made even worse by the thoughtlessness.

I’m trying to live by the credo, “What thing can I do right now that will help someone later?”

Thanks to Stevehi for sending some smiles to me on a comment this morning; it made me remember this information.  🙂

Thank you all for making my day!  You always do!  🙂


My Heart Is Burning…

English: Breat Cancer ribbons

English: Breat Cancer ribbons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…in a good way – I had such a wonderful day, and I am very thankful!  After work I went to my oncologist checkup.  He said everything looks fine, he is proud of me and has now promoted me to yearly checkups instead of every six months.  But the good news doesn’t stop there…In the waiting room I connected with a new cancer patient – I’ll call her Ramona – and it was like I’ve known her all my life.  We exchanged phone numbers and made her son smile and shake his head when he saw how engrossed we were in our conversation.  When other girls at work got cancer, they didn’t need my help.  But Ramona seems to really like me, and I have offered to be there for her and answer any questions she may have, to which both she and her son were glad about.

What was interesting about this conversation is twice while we talking, she got chills up and down her arms.  One time was when I told her the oncology surgeon had only wanted to do a lumpectomy, but I insisted upon a double mastectomy.  Later they biopsied both breasts and discovered cancer already starting in the “clean” breast.    So my intuition had paid off.  Then, when I suggested that I would love to get together with her and chat some more, when she felt up to it, she got more chills.    See, this is the  reason I have for writing my cancer book – for all the future Ramona’s out there, women and men I will never meet, I would still like to be a support to them if I can, regarding cancer.

Oh, and the last good thing was:  I had to get some blood drawn, and the people there and at my clinic have always had a tough time getting my veins to cooperate.  (They tend to roll and hide).  But – today – success on the first try!  And it was right in the elbow area, not having to be on my hand like usual!  🙂

Signing off for now, see you tomorrow,

























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News Flash From My Doctor


Well, the bronchitis and cold bug I had didn’t quite resolve before I started  hacking on Wednesday.  Thursday is my day off, and today I worked a 10 hour day but hardly made it through, coughing so hard.   I have never smoked so no problem there.  They took a chest Xray, and when pneumonia was ruled out, the doc said that my lungs are having a reaction to the bug I had — and do you know why?   My 2nd course of chemicals for chemotherapy had made my lungs inflamed.  I had to take Prednisone to get rid of the problem.  The one good thing that happened because of that side effect:  The Prednisone gave me super energy, and even while a cancer patient (and while living alone) I was moving heavy oak furniture all by myself!

Long story short, I am on the “minor” end of asthma; I may have it the rest of my life but not all the time, just when things get stirred up too much.  I am now on an inhaler and Prednisone.  Heave-ho!  (just kidding)

If I don’t post anything on Saturday, please be patient.

Please add my name (and Dave’s too, please, he has regular bronchitis right now) to your prayer list, if you would.  I don’t have energy to post it to our Prayer Corner!



Sunshine Factor News Item from FAPI

Those of you who have known for me awhile might remember that I like to challenge myself, and the area of writing is no exception.  Today I am challenging myself to write a newspaper article about this blog, Sunshine Factor.  (FAPI stands for Fake Associated Press International)  🙂


Three blogs have merged

Three blogs have merged



(from FAPI, January 25, 2013)

Stanton Sunshine Productions, owner of the blogs “Sunshine Factor”, “Poetry Weekly”, and “Debbie Loesel Stanton”, announced today that its three blogs shall be merged into one.  Debbie Loesel Stanton has determined that the change came about in keeping with  the best interests of its author and also its readers, sources say.

The blog will keep the name of the original blog, “Sunshine Factor”, and feature all the items you’ve come to know and love:  poetry, stories, commentaries, positivity, Poetry Castle Gift Shop and Prayer Corner.   The Poetry Weekly and Debbie Loesel Stanton blog mastheads will remain in WordPress so that searchers can find relevant articles, but there will be no new posts in these blogs, Debbie L. Stanton says.  The mastheads will direct its readers and future followers to Sunshine Factor.

The editor plans to continue Poetry Weekly’s weekly poem on Saturdays.  Currently we are studying different styles of poetry, and DLS practices each one in turn.

The Prayer Corner will continue to add updates and list prayers answered, and reminds the reader that prayer requests can be sent here anytime (anonymously), as some of our readers are inclined to use the list on the Prayer Corner page.

 Our goal is to provide a place to settle in for some good reads and start interesting  conversations if desired.  Our purpose is to “spread the sunshine” of God’s love and grace and find the positive in less desirable situations.

Sunshine Factor caters to no specific audience, but it is noted that Debbie Loesel Stanton is a cancer survivor, Christian, and understands eating disorders, and can be of particular help to these factions.

The principals at Stanton Sunshine Productions await your impressions, questions, suggestions, or contributions.

You can assist Stanton Sunshine Productions in providing continuity to its readers.  Please direct your friends, family and colleagues to visit at

Sunshine Factor blog

Sunshine Factor blog

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Daily Prompt – December 29th

“Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life – or doesn’t.”

Top of the World

Faith plays a big role in my life.   Through the abuse in childhood to a couple near drownings, abandonment as a teen, miracles, and complete cancer recovery, I just “know that I know” that God was with me every step of the way.  I owe my life to him, as without him I would probably be dead already.

My faith has always given me something to hang onto even when I felt very unloved and like there was no one on earth that wanted me around.

My faith nicely took away my problem of worrying.

It got me through my breast cancer and allowed me to remain positive and inspired through it all.

My faith helps me to see that it’s not all about me, and there is a grand scheme to this thing we call life.


The Hatless Society, or, Bald is Beautiful

When I was growing back my hair after chemotherapy a couple years ago, I got the inspiration to start a website called “The Hatless Society”, and it would try to provide encouragement to chemo patients that didn’t feel like wearing a hat or wig or scarf. But, I didn’t know what new information I could keep putting on the website, so that idea went the way of the circular file.

But now here on WordPress, I can get my encouragement out there.

I chose to go around with my head not covered when I was bald and even when my hair grew long enough to be a “butch” cut. Many people freaked out, but on the same afternoon at a seminar, one lady chastised me for not wearing a wig, while another lady thanked me for setting an example for her. (I’ve posted about those two women previously.) Thank goodness for understanding people like the second woman.

Some cancer patients need to wear a hat if it’s summertime and they don’t want to get a sunburn on their scalp, or if it’s cold out, or even if it’s to keep their head warm while they sleep. That is just fine.

But, please be aware that people who choose to be bald have many reasons as well.

The important thing is to not resent them for “not following the rules”, and not to pity them or to believe that they just want attention.  At least for this cancer survivor, that is what I could have said at the time.

Going bald, or choosing to be bald, is another of those things that just need to be accepted in a person, to “live and let live”.    Isn’t that what we want others to do for us?


The Writer In Me

I guess I’ve always had a writer gene in me, even as a young child, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

I wrote what I was thankful for as a second grader – with printed crayon script into the inside covers of my Bobbsey Twins books.  (Certainly not the way I treated books later on!)

I never could understand why my best friend Cindy wasn’t able to imagine her cat with ski boots on like I was inclined to do.

When I was 12 years old I started my first “book”.  I wrote on both sides of 5.5 sheets of typewriter paper, then I gave up.  But the seed was there…

Fast forward to January 2009, to the beginning of my two year on-line writing course.  The prof said that when you’re a true writer, you eat-breathe-sleep-live your craft.  Although I was impressed with that statement, I didn’t see myself as fitting into that situation.

Then August of 2009 came along, and I was dumbstruck upon receiving my breast cancer diagnosis.  [Previous history:  when my father died in 1991, I remember not being able to pick up a book and read, which was totally a part of my former loves and capabilities.]  Likewise, when I had cancer, there was a long, dry stretch during my cancer that I couldn’t even look at my computer – unless I was at work, in which case I did have to use a computer.    I let my prof know that I needed an extension for all my assignment deadlines, and he had me write to the registrar.  She informed me that they would allow me to take 6 months off where I wouldn’t be penalized with late fees.  My friends were livid that I had such a short respite.  But, by the end of that time I was able to write again.  I started a blog similar to having a Caring Bridge site, so I could inform people of how it was going.  Blah.  No pleasure on this not-WordPress-site, and I knew nothing of tagging my posts and no real support forums to use like here at my beloved WordPress.  My cancer recovery blog went the way of the autumn leaves turning colors and then dying.  I didn’t want to blog anymore.

NOW the writer in me has come to the fore.  Now I can understand how a person can eat-breathe-sleep-live their writing.  It is the only thing in my whole life that has let me skip a meal or meals in favor of doing something else.  I get blessedly lost in the word action and planning and executing and everything else.  In my head, I travel all over the world and in real life think about my writing projects constantly.

What has your writing journey

English: penulis = writer

English: penulis = writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

been like?  Whatever your journey has been or where it takes you, I’m behind you all the way.



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What Cancer and My Writing Career Brought Me

Life can be a great merry-go-round!


What do cancer, a usually negative thing, and my writing career, a positive thing, have in common?They both brought me:  Silly Millie.

Cancer was a gift in that once you get through that, no longer do the opinions and demands of others matter as much.   I got through cancer so now I have a right to LIVE my own life.

My writing career feeds my ego, helps me to express myself, and gives a platform for the “German leprochaun” to have a voice and be playful.

I’m incredibly silly sometimes, but I don’t worry about that anymore.  I’ve paid my dues, I don’t have to even try to be perfect anymore.  It’s a well-known but less-followed fact:  No one is perfect.  No one has to be.  To strive for that is to make yourself nuts.

“Silly Millie” helped me to love and appreciate myself and know that it’s okay to be ME.  I am continuously blown away by how life gets sweeter and sweeter, by the day, for me.  Sometimes I don’t know what to do about it – and that’s when I get silly.   Hmmm, maybe it’s a release valve, even if I’m not being stressed out.

Are you a Silly Millie, or, what is YOUR release valve?

P.S.  It’s okay to lay all your battles and problems on the ground and enjoy life…

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Another Pink Ribbon Day

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

published on debbieloeselstanton blog on 11/3/12.

“Another Pink Ribbon Day”

Now that October has come and gone,

The Pink Ribbon still has an important mission.

There are still breast cancer survivors

fighting for their lives

and other breast cancer survivors past the hurdle

doing all they can

to raise money for research, education

and patient care.

We wear pink ribbon clothes

and use pink ribbon goods

because we have formed an alliance

to let cancer know that we will defeat it.

We know not when, but

it will be done.

All the other colored ribbons

representing other cancers

need our support too.

We need to help others

so that they can afford medical care

for their treatment,

so parents don’t have to choose

between feeding their kids and getting treatment.

I thank all the corporations for funding research for us

and helping to raise awareness.

Dear Lord,

I pray for those who are dying from cancer,

that they receive hope and life on earth,

or with an ultimate healing in heaven.

Grant them strength and peace

and the same for their families and friends.

We know you’re not forgetting us Lord,

but it’s hard to believe sometimes

when things look grim.

We place ourselves in your capable hands

and even if we don’t know the outcome,

you do, and you will help us through.

Grant us to have one more pink ribbon day

and the promise for a better tomorrow.


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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Dear Friends, Followers, and Visitors of


I’ve decided to put all my writing about cancer exclusively on – unless there is some exquisite writing that poem lovers on Sunshine Factor would enjoy.

Effective immediately, you can search for key words over at Cancer Chat Room for all things pertaining to cancer.  I have had requests for very specific cancer poems (geared toward a certain family member or patient in various stages of recovery), so I want Cancer Chat Room to be your “go-to place” for all things related to that.

Meanwhile, I hope my friends and followers from either WordPress blog will mosey on over to visit its sister blog.  (It wouldn’t be harmful to me if you were a follower on both sites – grin).

Requests or questions for either blog can be sent to the same email address:


(Note in subject line which blog you want something posted in.)  Please don’t be afraid you’ll “bother” me, I hope you will ply me with many, many suggestions or questions or comments – I don’t bite anymore, haha.

Thank you again for letting me enter into your personal world, and I am as always very fortunate to have such a great group of friends here on WordPress.





Dying Person’s Prayer – In Three Perspectives


My Prayer For All The Dying

Dear God,

I pray for all dying cancer patients –

If they’re sad, may the sadness lift,

May they turn to You in their last moments,

May they feel calm in the safety of your hand.

Give the gift of the peace from your love

And may they catch a glimpse of you and heaven

ahead of time, if that will encourage them.

Keep them safe in your care

until it is time for them to finally go home

and see their friends and family

waiting for them on that far shore.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.



The Cancer Survivor Warrior: A Poem

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I will use the pronoun “she” in this poem, even though yes, some men do get breast cancer, and I don’t forget that many men suffer many different kinds of cancer too…The Cancer Survivor Warrior

There she is in the grocery store

looking tired and weak.

She is certainly these things

but her badge of honor is not worn on the outside.

She is much stronger in her character now

Much stronger than she’d ever guess herself to be.

She has been through so much

and probably still forces herself to keep going to her paid job.


There is another cancer survivor in the post office.

Unless she is bald,

you would never know she has cancer.

She goes about her normal every-day duties

even though she  has a membership in “the club”.

The cancer survivors club was not something

she ever chose to join,

it just found her as she won an unseen lottery

that wasn’t necessarily genetically based

or inherited.


The lottery “prize” for this club is

a sharp wake-up call,

an experience that will teach you things

that you never dreamed you would learn.

The experience changes the warrior’s life

forever, but not in a bad way.

Cancer survivor warriors report that they

receive a new clarity, a new appreciation for life

and their people.

Sometimes membership in the cancer survivors club

leads to a shortened life

and sometimes to a life that has been changed for the better.


Whether their lives are cut short or returned to them,

let us remember the warriors in prayer as they fight for their lives.

They need our support more than

advice we are not qualified to give

and our opinions that mean nothing.


Hats off to my dear fellow members

of the cancer survivors club.

You are awesome and incredibly strong,

brave and courageous.

You may not feel that you are these things,

but some day you will realize it is these qualities

that helped you through.


I pray that the Lord would bless you

with good health, guidance and peace.

I am so proud of you,

I love you, and to you I will

always remain loyal and supportive.


— Debbie Loesel Stanton




A Breast Cancer Patient’s Prayer

English: The Auntie Jane Breast Cancer Wreath

English: The Auntie Jane Breast Cancer Wreath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Breast Cancer Patient’s Prayer

—-  by Debbie Loesel Stanton


Oh dear God,

I haven’t talked to you in awhile,

but even if I had,

I would still feel like

I had been washed in a turbo washer

and hung out to dry, miles above the earth;

so totally alone,

even though I know you are actually with me

and I have my family and friends and care team pulling for me.

I hate it when people say

“It’s God’s will”, because I know

that you do not want people to hurt and get sick;

that’s just the way things go in this world.

God, my cancer isn’t your fault,

but can you please help me anyway?

I have many, many people and things to live for.

Can you make sure I can stick around here for awhile?

I want to make a bargain with you,

but that’s silly, because what do I have to offer you?

My faith and trust are on a downward slope right now,

they are threatening to disappear

like a rock on a slippery, icy mountain slope.

And, I also feel like I’m drowning;

please don’t let the waters of fear or illness

overtake me.

It’s been real hard to pray this, Lord,

because my thoughts wander all over the place;

my head is spinning and my nerves are as tight as violin or guitar strings.

I’m ready to explode into a great big puddle.

Please, please take your little girl’s hand

and lead her away from the shadow of death.

They say you’re walking with me through this valley,

but I don’t feel you, God!!  Please help!

Maybe someday when my thoughts aren’t so muddled

you can tell me why this is happening to me.

For now, I imagine me climbing up into your lap and being rocked to sleep

I know you care for me, it’s just very hard to believe that right now.

I know you understand…

Oh, and one more thing Lord.

Please keep these people away from me:

ones who say they know just what I’m going through,

when actually they have never had cancer.

And the ones who ask if I need anything but then don’t follow through,

also the ones who give me advice about wigs and breast reconstruction

because they have never had to consider these things.

In trying to be helpful, they say anything they can think of.

Help me to be patient with them; they know not what they do.

Help me to obey my doctor’s orders

so that this very long road will not have to be even longer.

Please help your little warrior fight this battle.

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep…


“I Like Boobies” bracelet confiscated!

English: CNA’s building is often illuminated t...

English: CNA’s building is often illuminated to reflect civic happenings or to acknowledge a meaningful calendar landmark. This design recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I am a survivor, I thought it’s only fitting to brag on my “nephew” Landon, what he did for me three years ago.

My godson Brodey and his brothers Kasey and Landon all wore those pink rubber bracelets supporting breast cancer survivors, in honor of me.   Kasey and Brodey were in junior/senior high at the time, and Landon I think was in 5th or 6th grade.

Landon got in trouble at his school because his bracelet said “I like boobies.”  The teacher didn’t “like the language” on it and confiscated it the very moment she saw Landon wearing it.  Poor Landon, he was just being a very supportive nephew, and he didn’t care what other people thought.  I just felt bad that his teacher couldn’t have been more understanding, because there was a reason those particular words were on the bracelet.  Thanks anyway Landon!  🙂

I got another very positive, warm fuzzy feeling from the boys’ mother, my friend Caprice.  (You remember her – the feisty redhead who was with me at the oncology surgeon’s office?)

In a music store at the mall, Caprice and I were wasting time until a movie started.  Across the store two teen boys were making fun of my bald head.  It was one of those times you knew you were seeing and hearing right and not assuming anything…Caprice strolled over to the boys and said, “Listen!  How would you like it if your mom had cancer!  Leave my friend alone!”   They kind of mumbled “sorry” to her and ran out of the store.  Thanks Caprice for being my advocate!  If I was the Velveteen Rabbit in that store, I would have become “real” at that very moment, I felt so loved.

Dear readers, here’s hoping you are not judged for what you do or what you look like.

Your friend,


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Coming Soon to a Screen Near You! New Blog ~

English: These are some items given away to pr...

English: These are some items given away to promote Breast Cancer Awareness during the Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar on Oct. 24 held at Chapel One on Vandenberg AFB. The Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar was created to help educate and inform the population about breast cancer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello friends!  Pretty soon Sunshinefactor will have a sister blog.

I will post its first post on Saturday, October 6th, and it will deal exclusively with cancer, survivor, and family and friends of survivors info.

Sunshinefactor will still have a new post coming to you each day.  The new blog will post every Saturday and sometimes more often – it will depend on what I get inspiration for or suggestions or questions I get from my readers.

Stay tuned – thanks!

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Happy October/Labour Day/Breast Cancer Awareness Month

English: pink ribbon

English: pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As some of you folks remember, I love the first day of every new month.  Happy October!

And to my Aussie friends:  Happy Labour Day!

October marks (national?) Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink ribbons of support are everywhere, as are shirts and bags and many other things used to show support.  This is good – really good.

But I want a cure for ALL cancers to be found.  They say we are getting closer to that point, and I pray that that’s true.  I  love the American Cancer Society‘s slogan, something about helping to promote having more birthdays.  I always have loved birthdays, mine and others, but for sure I have even more to be thankful for now as a cancer survivor.

During this month I may share excerpts from the book I am writing about cancer recovery.   I will try to have something PINK on every post – I figure if football teams can wear pink uniforms for the cause, I can use it on my blog.  🙂

The main thing I am trying to point out is:

A diagnosis of cancer  does not necessarily mean a death sentence.

My life is better now than pre-cancer, and that is because now I am really living to the fullest.  Thank you so much, God!   May my words help others to find hope.





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What I Don’t Expect

Did this really happen?!

Blue Jay

Rooster: “I’m the cat’s bait, but how come he’s not moving?”
Cat: “Mother never told me hunting would be this easy. How fast can he fly?”

Here you see pictures of an unlikely event.  I just love them because they are so out-of-the-ordinary, a cat and bird getting along (for now, anyway!).

A little old lady was given two pieces of candy by the Santa Claus in her grocery store, and he talked to her in a kindly manner.  It made her cry, to think that someone thought of her and didn’t dismiss her because she was “too old”.   (That Santa Claus was my father.) I never expected to get cancer, either – It would only happen to other people…and three years after the fact, it seems like it never happened.  🙂 Today, six blue jays were flying together by my study  window – first to the porch (whose edge I can see from my window), then to the big bushes, then up to my roof and down to the oak tree.  What is truly amazing is the fact that they didn’t squawk like crows do when they get together (blue jays are in the same family of birds as crows).  They kind of whined, didn’t really sing, and they sounded sort of like puppies! I am finding out that there are many things that happen that really surprise me.  I forget that not everything out there is written in stone, and change can be good.  🙂  What are your thoughts on the subject?English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

Blue Jay Portrait

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Two At a Time Is Just Fine

English: Greensett Tarn Hmmm. Reminds me of a ...

English: Greensett Tarn Hmmm. Reminds me of a very well known antipodean country from here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was talking to some wise friends the other day, and I suddenly discovered how I could stop spinning my wheels.

How do I spin my wheels?  I get so enthusiastic about life, and I’m curious about so many things, that I seem to want to try everything new or different – all at once!  Not a very practical way to go, I admit.  It turns out that I get a few things done or tried and the rest are running around in my mind, waiting for me to get “organized” so I can do everything!

Hmmm, case in point of a perfectionistic mindset.  I have become less of a black-and-white thinker in the past couple years, but I still tread the path of striving to knock perfectionism out of my life.  I’m learning that “good is good enough” and “you are where you are, so start there.”  Superwoman I am not, and I no longer try to be.  Yet, (and this is because of my cancer experience) I am so afraid that I won’t achieve my goals and dreams before my life is over, that I want to do everything now.  (My cancer, incidentally, is 100% gone, and my life expectancy is as long as it was pre-cancer.  So, I’m guessing this is just another perfectionism thing rearing its ugly head.)

AND NOW – this is what I learned from my friends, and I am on Day One of living this way:

  1. Choose the one or two most important habits or goals you want to work on.  Only one or two!  You will have time for the rest!
  2. Keep on doing whatever else in your life works for you, and also concentrate on these new habits.  (Being consistent with a small amount is better than floundering at many.)
  3. After three weeks (the average time it takes for a new habit to be more ingrained), choose one or two more habits while keeping on with the new habit you’ve already adopted into your life.
  4. In three more weeks, choose another habit…

I’m wondering if a person keeps on adding new habits, when will they run out of time each day to incorporate all of them?  I’ll let you know when I find out, as my list of possibilities is very long!  Be sure to comment here if you can inform us on the subject.  Maybe some of the habits can be brought down a notch to “every other day” or “once a week” to make room and time for the new ones…that seems un-perfectionistic to me.  🙂

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Listen When You Hear

wig clean out

wig clean out (Photo credit: ResinMuse)

Communication is needed in a conversation so that all parties can be heard.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Yet a lot of people out there, friends and family included, like to express themselves and only hear, but not listen to, the other people.

Case in point:   When I was bald after chemo, I was at a conference with absolutely nothing on my head, not even bristles from new hair growth.  I left the conference hall to use the ladies’ restroom, where I was accosted by an older woman.  I say accosted because she really was in my face about something that didn’t concern her, and she was not listening to my words.

“Oh, so you’re not wearing a wig?”  she started out her questioning.

(Um, isn’t this evident? I wanted to say.)

“That’s right, I choose not to,” I replied sweetly.

“But don’t you know that the State has to provide you with a wig?  It’s your right, you know,” this poor listener went on.

“I don’t want a wig.  I don’t need a wig,” was my rebuttal.  (I’m sure in her eyes, I did need a wig.)

“I don’t know why you don’t wear a wig.  You have to let the State buy you one!”

Uh, did you not hear what I just said??!!

“That’s alright,” I stated and left her with her mouth hanging open.

I think of all the information she could have gathered if she had chosen to just listen.  It would not have taken very long; I had a simple story.  She could have learned that I had tried several scarves but they were too slippery or uncomfortable.  I wore a wig for about 10 minutes when seeing an elderly friend after a long absence, and I didn’t want to freak her out.  But the wig was too darn scratchy, and it was not me.  When I was still wearing the scarves, I threatened all my friends and declared, “Ick!  I’m going to give up these things, mark my word,” and from then on I took my perfectly shaped head with me wherever I went.  🙂

After that I was at another conference and got the exact opposite reaction.  “Oh, thank you for not wearing a wig,” an older lady said to me.  “I have cancer now, and I’ll be able to go without a wig because you were so courageous not to.”    I’m glad I could help.  And did you know, there have been several French models that strut down the runways without anything on their heads?  I give them my vote!

If the first lady I mentioned had listened to me, she would have learned that I felt I had nothing to hide.  The cancer wasn’t my idea, and I had nothing to be ashamed of.   In fact, I had everything to be thankful for because the baldness showed that the chemotherapy was working.   I was comfortable in my own, smooth and bald, skin!   🙂

So — if you want to be in on the pulse of a conversation, be able to really listen to the other person.  In most cases, you’ll be so glad you did.