KAREN ZEMPOLICH, MD, a gynecologic cancer physician in Utah, named her practice, the Monarch Woman’s Cancer Center. “Women who have cancer are very much like a butterfly; they start out vulnerable and worried about whether they are going to survive the journey,” says Zempolich. “In this way, they are cocoon-like – emotionally and physically.”

Monarch butterflies travel to Mexico every year. According to the U.S. Forest Services, some travel as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter destination, even though they have never been to that country before.

“I feel the name really captures what we do when we help a woman; not only to treat their cancer but live through it and move on,” Zempolich explains. “We work to fight the cancer together, with the vision that they will emerge as the strong, beautiful butterfly they have within them all along.”

I saw this monarch butterfly in my garden a few weeks ago. Their beauty, their lives, and their journeys are an inspiration to everyone. Let’s be like a butterfly as we face our challenges of cancer…be strong, resilient, and fighters.

Seeds of Life

Each human is different in every imaginable way. Our looks, intellect, size, abilities, and so forth. We have evolved and adapted which we continue to do to this day.

In a way, we are like a plant, that has grown from the union of two “seeds.” A human comes from an even smaller “seed,” the union of the sperm and the egg. (the sperm and egg are not seeds by definition but are used here only metaphorically). We are each a miracle, blessed with our unique bodies, personalities, and abilities. 

The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds with a radius of 1 millimeter. According to Kundan Pandey, “They activate biochemical processes of the body and encourage healing….the seeds help to keep us healthy and fit.” (Buzzle

There are five references to this seed in the Bible: Matthew 17:20, Luke 17:5-6, Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, and Luke 13:18-19. ( From such a small seed, comes a large and strong tree from which there are many healthy products.

Just like the mustard seeds we can and do affect the lives of everyone with whom we come in contact.

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In my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, I write about the purpose of the soul…the real me. In my opinion, the soul becomes a part of the joining of the sperm and the egg.

Some important questions for each of us to consider:

  • Do I affect people in positive and loving ways?
  • Am I living each day to its fullest?
  • Do I give back as much as I receive?
  • Do I have a faith that gives me strength and peace; that can move mountains?

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. (Robert Louis Stevenson)