About Shirley

Shirley Corder is an author who writes to inspire and encourage. She has a passion for helping other writers and cancer survivors.

Eighty-year-old and her Walk to Freedom

Miriam! Who was this amazing woman?

Miriam 1

The Young Miriam

Miriam! What a fascinating woman. Over the last months, I have spent time in her company. What a joy it has been to unpack her life story.

When I first set out on this journey, I wondered if I would find enough information to fill an entire book. Imagine my surprise when one book became two.

Devoted Sister

Miriam—Devoted Sister, tells of a little girl who saves the life of her baby brother, Moses. We trace her girlhood years as she faces the horrors of belonging to a large and rapidly-growing nation of slaves, owned and ill-treated by the Pharaoh of Egypt. Despite their conditions, her parents, Amram and Jochebed, manage to instill in their daughter a rich faith in the one true God, Yahweh. We draw Miriam out of the shadow of her famous brother, Moses, and get to know the young girl growing up in Goshen, Egypt.

The Elderly Miriam, still beautiful but a lot older and wiser

Gifted Leader

Miriam—Gifted Leader, takes up Miriam’s story at around eighty years old. Yet this is no fragile, elderly woman. As she embarks on an incredible journey that will take the rest of her life, she faces adventures and horrors of terrifying magnitude. She shows herself to be a gifted leader in a time when women are not regarded as capable of taking the lead.

In this book we are encouraged to pick up our bundles and get behind our leaders, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, as we take our leave of Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the life of slavery.

You will be encouraged by the way God used this woman who was well past her prime and her, at times, head-strong attitude. Miriam was a normal woman, far from perfection. That gives me hope. I am also far from perfection, and I suspect you are too.

  • These are currently eBooks available on Amazon.com
  • They will hopefully be converted to print next year.
  • Each book is a standalone. Although it is obviously best to read them both in order, this is not necessary.

Out of the Shadow

See the Out of the Shadow series to date here on my Amazon author page:


The Out of the Shadow series is what it suggests. It covers women from Scripture commonly thought of  under the shadow of another person or place.

  • So we have Naomi, who is commonly known as Ruth’s mother-in-law.
  • Next comes Eve, the first woman, who lived under the shadow of Adam as well as the Garden of Eden.
  • Then we look at Miriam, this woman who is first seen as a ten-year-old, then followed through into her nineties! An amazing woman indeed.

Each book stands alone, and they don’t need to be read in order.

Opening Special!

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How to Get the Best Out of Grapefruit Juice

This entry is part 1 of the series Juicing 101

 (Originally published August 2015. Updated 23 November, 2017)

Refreshing drink

Well, we’ve finally had some rain in this drought-ridden land. Not too much, but some. Today it’s sweltering so probably soaking up most of the moisture in the air. Sigh. What I need is an ice-cold glass of fresh juice. I wish I had some grapefruit in the fridge.

Talking about grapefruit . . . When did you last enjoy an ice-cold juicy grapefruit for breakfast? Yummy! I decided today that we’d learn something about the fruit, and also how to juice it.

read more

What is an Author’s Street Team

Originally written in November 2017. Updated August, 2018.

There is no point in publishing a book if no one knows it's there. Click To Tweet

Would you agree?

That’s where the idea of a street team comes into being.

What is a Street Team?

It all began for me when my friend, Marion Ueckermann, mentioned the term to me during a Whatsapp call. I immediately asked if I could join hers to see how it worked. And, of course, I turned to Google to learn more.

How to be Part of a Powerful Street Team. Read more here. Click To Tweet

At iUniverse I found this: “A street team is a group of volunteers who band together to promote an author and his or her book. Members of a street team are motivated by their love of an author’s work to promote it to as many people as possible.”

I learned a good deal from various sources, but most of all from a guest post by Jennifer Probst, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

In Jennifer’s words, “A street team is a dedicated group of readers who like your work and are interested in helping promote your books. These readers are interested in helping to promote your book because your relationship with them is mutually beneficial. They get to hang out online with one of their favorite authors and receive exclusive material, and you get help with promotion to share new releases, giveaways, and special events.” read more

A Juice Fast

This entry is part 15 of the series Juicing 101

Fasting (Originally published December 2010. Updated 29 August, 2017)

We’ve looked at reasons for doing a juice fast, and how to prepare your body for one. We’ve seen that there are some people who should never do a juice fast, and others who should do even the short 24 hour fast under medical supervision. Here are some more do’s and don’ts for you to consider. Once again, please do not undertake a juice fast of more than 24 hours without medical supervision or advice.

  • If you’re on prescription medicine, speak to your doctor or other health professional before starting your fast. Fasting while drinking juice may reduce your blood proteins, which may affect the reaction of prescription drugs in your body. Do NOT skip your medicine without professional advice.
  • Juice used in a fast should be freshly squeezed. Commercial products have a lower nutritional value due to the techniques used in preparation.
  • Drink the juice as soon as it’s finished, or the enzymes will start to digest the other nutrients.
  • If you add water, use filtered or purified water, or you could undo the effect of the fast.
  • Do not use grapefruit juice during a juice fast, especially if you are on prescription drugs. Some research indicates that pomegranate juice may also have an effect on drugs so play safe and avoid that as well if you’re on medication.
  • Don’t load your body with “fuel” the night before by eating a large meal. Rather eat a light, easily digested meal, such as steamed fish or chicken to ease your body into the fast.
  • In addition to the fresh juice, aim to drink about six glasses of filtered water. This should be warm or room temperature–not iced.
  • Don’t smoke, or drink alcohol during the fast. Again this will undo the point of your fast. When your fast is over, have a few complete meals before drinking alcohol.
  • After your fast, start with easily digested food, such as soup.

Come back next week for some side effects you can expect when doing a juice fast. 

Thankful Thursday 04

Affiliate Status Disclosure

DISCLOSURE:

You should assume that the owner of this website is an affiliate for some of the providers of goods and services mentioned on this website and may be compensated when you purchase. This is to save you the bother of finding links to follow if you want to look more closely at a product. If you do purchase, I will get a few cents and it will cost you nothing.

Shirley Corder
Dunant Park,
Summerstrand,
Port Elizabeth 6001
South Africa

Email: shirley@shirleycorder.com

Phytochemicals? How do I benefit the most from them?

This entry is part 13 of the series Juicing 101

Tomato (Originally published October, 2010. Updated 4 July, 2017)

Why should I take phytochemicals?

What good do they do me?

People who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are considerably less likely to develop cancers. When it comes to the immune-boosting power of fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, phytochemical is the latest buzzword.

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds with long names such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Both of these occur naturally in plants. 

Medical Science does not necessarily recognize Phytochemicals for their nutritional value.

The problem is that modern processing techniques, including cooking, may destroy phytochemicals. For this reason it is good to add raw plants rich in these compounds to our juicing whenever possible.

Lycopene

This is one of the better-known phytochemicals. It is well documented for its strong anti-cancer properties. People take lycopene as medication for preventing heart disease, and many types of cancer.

Instead of swallowing capsules, it makes sense to find it in nature’s medicine box. Lycopene is found in tomatoes and other red plants.  So make a point of eating plenty tomatoes (including tomato sauce), papayas and watermelon

Take note and please tweet this so others read it: 

Tomatoes are one of the few fruits that increases its value when cooked. Click To Tweet

When one of my grandchildren was young, he seemed to eat nothing that wasn’t covered in tomato sauce! I privately thought this was an unhealthy habit, but it wasn’t my place to speak up and say so! When I started to research tomatoes and their food value, I was astonished to discover tomato sauce is actually rich in lycopene, and so was good for him! (Was I glad I hadn’t spoken up?)

Check here for the nutritional value of tomato sauce! Who would have thought this?

Beta-Carotine

This phytochemical is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. It is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Beta-carotene has received a lot of attention recently for its potential anti-cancer and anti-aging effects. However, this can actually be “too much of a good thing.”

There is a strongly-held belief that smokers should avoid large doses of beta carotene. It is one of the carotenoids that our body converts into vitamin A (retinol) – and Vitamin A is one of the vitamins which can do us harm if taken in too high doses.

Beta-carotene is believed to prevent

  • certain cancers
  • heart disease
  • cataracts and
  • age related macular degeneration (AMD).

Other diseases possibly helped with beta-carotine include:

But medical experts recommend we get our Beta-carotine from fresh vegetables and fruit. The value of Beta-carotine supplements is still undetermined.

Beta-Carotine is best taken in the form of fresh vegetables and fruit. See the list of medical conditions it fights. Click To Tweet

How can I increase my intake of Phytochemicals?

To fight this formidable array of degenerative diseases, add these to your juice:

  • Carrots
  • Fruits like cantaloupe and all forms of melon
  • Apricots

Also eat plenty

  • Sweet potatoes (especially the orange variety)
  • Winter squash
  • Spinach and kale

Are there any statements, or fruit and vegetables, on this list that surprise you? Please share in the comment box below.

Getting Ready for the Heavy Weapons of Radiotherapy

This entry is part 23 of the series Victory in the Valley

Start at the beginning of the story

Now read on . . .

The time had come to commence radiotherapy. The one-hour drive into the Rand Clinic, a private hospital in the center of the notorious Hillbrow suburb of Johannesburg, went too fast. Rob and I prayed aloud in the car. Then we tried to keep up positive conversation. How much positive conversation can you think of on the way to the gallows? I wondered.

The streets of Hillbrow

It was almost a relief to spot the grey building of the hospital towering ahead of us. We drove through the litter-strewn streets and past the street vendors with their wares laid out on the pavement. We shook our heads negatively at the shifty-eyed hawkers who plied their goods at the traffic lights. Two outrageously dressed girls, who looked as if they should still be young, faces plastered with make-up, cheap jewelry hanging over black plastic jackets, seductively sauntered up and down the pavement. Their high-heeled black boots covered their knees and almost reached the hems of their diminutive skirts.

“Are those what I think they are?” I glanced at Rob’s silhouette as he concentrated on the heavy traffic.

“Yes.” 

When Rob and I had first married, we lived in a flat near here.

“How the area has degenerated through the years,” I remarked sadly. My gaze was drawn back to the building ahead, as Rob maneuvered the car into the parking lot across the street from the main entrance.

Advice of a friend

Raeleen, a friend who had been through radiotherapy a year ago, had warned me of certain things, for which I became extremely grateful. She told me that I’d be left alone in a room full of gigantic machines. “There is a heavy metal door which will clang shut as the technicians leave. “When the machines start to work, they make a hideous row.” She explained how no one had warned her, and the first time she received treatment, she got such a fright that when the machines started to work, she leaped off the treatment table in terror, causing total panic to the staff! “There’s absolutely no pain,” she reassured me. “You won’t feel a thing.”

Be prepared! This is not only relevant to scouts. It applies to cancer treatment. The more you know, the better you'll cope. Click To Tweet

“Just be prepared for being left alone, for the clanging door, for the noise,” she assured me. “You’ll be fine.”  

As we walked through the hospital entrance, I drew a deep breath, and held my head high. I can do this! Then—O Lord, help me through the next couple of hours!

A new game?

“Please could you direct us to the radiotherapy Unit?” As Rob asked the officious looking woman at the Inquiry Desk, I noticed her disinterested gaze moving from him to me. Guess the cancer patient, I thought wryly. What a fun game!

We entered the lift, and pressed 6 on the lift panel. I felt if everyone was gazing at me, instead of watching the lighted numbers ticking off our ascent. One by one the passengers got out. Everyone, except Rob and me.

I reminded myself that I was unique. They had never given radiotherapy to Shirley Corder, so I resolved to stay positive. 

Cultivate a scornful disregard for statistics. You are unique! There are no statistics about your life! Click To Tweet

Ping! The lift shuddered to a stop, the doors opened, and we caught our first sight of the room where we were going to spend a good deal of time.  Rows of identical, upright, comfortable looking seats lined the walls of a long, cheerful room painted in pastel colors. Several tables stood under untidy piles of old magazines. To my left was a smallish reception area, with a number of busy ladies ignoring the lift and the newcomers. Hesitantly we approached them.

Reception Committee at Radiotherapy

Eventually a lady glanced my way and handed me a clipboard. “Please fill in your details.” With Rob’s help I filled it in, including all sorts of apparently irrelevant information, and took it back to the counter. I gave the lady a bright smile, hoping to receive one in return. From her expression I realized she didn’t consider this to be a smiling matter. She wasn’t the only one.

Soberly I answered some further questions, and retreated with Rob to “sit over there and wait until you are called.”

In the corner stood a vending machine offering free coffee, tea, and drinking chocolate. How I longed for a cup of coffee. Surely, the fact that it stood in this room indicated I could help myself. Yet, I didn’t know what to expect. Could I drink just before the treatment? I didn’t want to do anything wrong. I looked at the frosty-eyed lady, and decided it couldn’t do any harm to ask.

A smile goes a long way

“Excuse me. Is it all right for me to drink coffee?” 

“I don’t know what you are allowed, it depends on your diet. You’ll have to ask your doctor.”

I looked in astonishment at the steely eyes, looking out through the empty window of the top half of her glasses. I realized she had misunderstood me, but I didn’t have the courage to try again.

A young clerk smiled up at me from the other end of the desk. “You’re welcome to help yourself. It won’t make any difference to your treatment if that’s what’s worrying you.”

“Thank you!” What a relief to see a smiling face. I walked over to the vending machine and poured us both some much-needed coffee. 

 

I couldn’t concentrate on a magazine, so I stared at my shoes and allowed my mind to drift over the illustration of my war with cancer. In the next room there were machines that I’d never seen before. These were the artillery, and they were preparing for my arrival. I pictured those cowardly cells hiding in the scar tissue of my breast and resolved to tell the machines where to look for them. 

How about you?

If you are facing radiotherapy (or radiation as it’s called in some countries) try not to be afraid of them, but to see them as part of the weaponry in your fight against cancer. They are not the enemy! They are there to help route out the enemy and restore you to health once again. 

How do you deal with suffocating fear? It doesn’t need to be a fight against cancer. We all have to deal with this  terrifying emotion at one point of another.  Please share your coping mechanism with me and with other readers.

 

Antioxidant-rich Drink and Healthy Salad

This entry is part 18 of the series Juicing 101

Drink and salad rich in antioxidants

Last week we looked at the importance of antioxidants in our diet. Here is a delicious drink you can make, with a possible variety, which is exceptionally high in antioxidants. It is ideal as a pre-workout drink, or as a drink to enjoy after a work-out. It only uses a few ingredients so it is quick and easy to make. Use the shredded cabbage to make a tasty coleslaw salad (recipe at the end of the page).

read more

Bringing in the Artillery in the Fight against Cancer

This entry is part 1 of the series Victory in the Valley

Start at the beginning of the story

Now read on . . .

World War III

 

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy

Killing the Giant

I have always had a vivid imagination, and my journey through cancer proved to be no exception. 

One day, as I lay outside on a rug reading my Bible, I somehow found myself reading the story of the young shepherd boy, David, and the Philistine giant he faced called Goliath[1]. I read how David killed the giant with one out of five stones catapulted from his leather sling. However that wasn’t enough. He ran and cut off Goliath’s head with a sword.

I asked the Lord to make the familiar story relevant for me. A few minutes later, when Rob brought me some tea, I shared a thought with Rob.

“I have just seen something in the Bible that ties in with cancer,” I exclaimed. “I have decided to nickname the tumor Goliath! And of course, he’s dead. But more! His head has been cut off!”

“You mean when you had your operation?”

“No. That’s when he was killed. But remember how David ran up to the dead giant and cut off his head? Well the corpse of my Goliath was sent to a laboratory and sliced into thin pieces. He is not just dead. He’s had his head cut off! He has been totally destroyed.”

Somehow I really found this exciting. Up until now I had seen the cancer as a beast, a creature, a living thing which had been removed, but somehow I hadn’t thought of it as dead. Goliath, the giant serving under the authority of the enemy of my soul, Satan, was now dead. I saw any left-over cancer cells in my body as surviving enemy soldiers, in hiding. They needed to be routed.

Bringing in the Artillery

As I continued to think about the story, I thought of the Radiation (or radiotherapy) I faced the following week. I saw the destructive Radiation Machines as the heavy tanks and machine guns we were about to bring in. They would attack the actual war-zone. They were the Artillery.

Chemical Warfare

Once we were sure the artillery had cleared the local area, we would turn our attention on any enemy soldiers in hiding throughout the “country” of my body. At this step, my oncologist would poison the water supply when he injected chemotherapy drugs intravenously.

I saw how important it was that the “citizens” of the country knew not to ingest the poison, and I saw this as part of my duty. Once I started with chemotherapy, I would use my mind and concentrate on directing my own cells to keep away from the drugs. I planned to visualize the medication that was seeking and destroying the enemy snipers.

This all sounds highly imaginative, and yes, that is exactly what it was. I used my imagination to promote healing, instead of death. The more positive thoughts I cultivated, the less time was left for negative ones. [2]

Somewhere I read of an acrostic for fear: “False Expectations Appearing Real”. I determined to take up the shield of faith against all these negative thoughts and imaginations, and instead fill my mind with positive, happy, victorious concepts[3] .

FEAR is an acrostic for False Expectations Appearing Real. Please RT. #cancer Click To Tweet

Forward into Battle

Suddenly the whole nightmare ahead of me took on a more positive picture. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. War is never easy. But I could do this. Goliath was already dead. His brothers and support soldiers had been killed. Now it was time to bring in the artillery. I looked forward to getting those beastly cowards hiding behind the scar tissue in my breast and under my arm.

How about you?

What are you afraid of? How can you use your imagination to overcome that fear? Share you suggestions in the comment section below.

NOTE:
These events occurred between 19 and 20 years ago. I have tried to recreate events and locations as accurately as possible, but in order to maintain their anonymity, in some instances I have changed the names and identifying characteristics of individuals and places.

 

This book is an inspirational message by Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors. Click on the image to see it on Amazon.

 

[1] 1 Samuel chapter 17
[2] ‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.’ Philippians 4:8
[3] ‘…His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.’ Psalm 92:4-6

Increase your intake of antioxidants the easy way

This entry is part 14 of the series Juicing 101
 (Originally published April, 2012. Updated 20 June, 2017)
 
Antioxidants help to strengthen your immune system as well as boost your energy levels. They fight free radicals in your body, thus protecting your cells from damage. They are believed to be an important ally in your fight against cancer as well as heart disease and memory loss.

What are antioxidants?

The FDA in America has prohibited manufacturers from claiming that consuming their antioxidant products will reduce disease risk. Nevertheless there is no doubt that antioxidants help in the fight against disease. They are much better eaten fresh than bought in a bottle, where you may get a wrong balance when put together with your daily diet.

Antioxidants are nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and enzymes (proteins that assist in chemical reactions) that help to counter free radicals in our body.

What are free radicals?

A free radical is a normal byproduct of our metabolism which has become unstable due to the loss of one or more of its paired electrons. It therefore tries to steal the electron it needs from another atom, or deposits its extra electron into the stable atom. As a result, there is a domino-effect with free radicals. They need to be neutralized. This happens all over our bodies, many thousands of times every day.

Free radicals are normal byproducts and are not necessarily harmful. However, if we don’t have sufficient antioxidants and these free radicals go unchecked, they will cause damage to many cells, causing premature aging and degenerative diseases.

Can you turn a free radical into a healthy cell?

Yes, you can. How? By giving it what it’s looking for—in other words, by supplementing your supply of antioxidants.

Taking one particular antioxidant supplement is not sufficient as your body requires so many different sorts. The best way to supplement is to eat plenty antioxidant-rich foods, especially at the transitional times of the year, when viruses cause increased threats. 

How to increase your antioxidant level without popping expensive pills: 

  • blue berries, black berries, and other bright colored berries
  • other deeply colored fruits such as plums and red or black grapes
  • citrus fruit
  • dark vegetables such as spinach (Popeye had it right!), kale, spinach, zucchini, and brussel sprouts
  • eggplants, red, yellow and green bell peppers, and other colorful vegetables
  • carrots, butternut and other orange vegetables
  • sweet potatoes, the new fries in town. Sweet potatoes cooked in any fashion are rich in antioxidants
  • fish—best eaten three times a week. Adding a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil adds to the anti-oxidant value.  Fish also provides us with powerful omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent inflammatory diseases. All fish have some omega-3, but the best are include sardines, salmon, oysters, mackerel, tuna steak, wild rainbow trout, shark steak, albacore tuna, and herring.
  • walnuts, pecan nuts, and other types of nuts
  • all forms of tea contain antioxidants. Rooibos and green tea are particularly nutritious. Another drink high on the antioxidant scale is red wine taken in small quantities.
  • Grain. This alone can make a difference to your health. Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread, wild or brown rice instead of white rice, tortillas made of corn instead of flour. In addition to antioxidants, grain contains zinc, selenium and phytochemicals which are believed to fight heart disease, strokes and cancer.

Best news!

  • I’ve saved the best for last. Dark chocolate! Yes, that’s the good news! Taken in moderate quantities, dark chocolate will increase your antioxidant level.

“Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins,” explains Harold Schmitz, PhD, director of science at Mars, Inc. Studies have shown that people with high blood levels of flavonoids have lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes.

But do accept the spoiler. A moderate quantity—not a slab a day.

So look for those bright colors, and enjoy eating, or drinking, your way to good health!

Create an excellent habit

When I was recovering from cancer treatment, my nutritionist ordered me to buy a food processor. She wanted me to drink at least five colorful fruits and raw veggies before breakfast every day. It’s nearly 20 years later, and both my husband and I start the day in this way. 

Follow this link!

5th January, 2018 – I received an email from Anna Kukircova inviting me to read and link to her post, How do Antioxidants Keep Us Healthy. I encourage you to follow this link and read it for yourself. It is an excellent post well illustrated with a video. Thank you Anna!

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