When you or your friend need an armchair encourager, choose the “Recliner Woman,” Marla Hartson. A certified Project Management Professional, Marla couldn’t help but write a “project report” on her journey through the valley of cancer. Don’t worry — her sense of humor improved along the way!
Recliner Woman’s goal is to encourage cancer patients and the ones who love them. www.greetingcarduniverse.com/reclinerwoman has funny and encouraging cards for cancer patients. www.joyincancer.com describes how she found joy in the middle of the valley of cancer and what you can do for your friend with cancer. That last bit is a lot of bragging about how great her friends were — it will make you smile.
Marla loves to talk: giving industry presentations, teaching project management, explaining how social media can benefit water utilities (talk about a niche!) and leading Green Meadow time in AWANA. She’s done open mic stand up comedy in Little Rock, AR; Tucson, AZ; Minneapolis, MN; and NYC. If you tell her to shut up, you’ll probably find out she’s an interpreter for the deaf. For her, the worst part of the valley of cancer was that she was too sick to talk. Now, that’s sick!
Marla enjoys writing: she’s been published in industry and church periodicals, and was a chapter author for a manual of practice. She blogged her way through cancer at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marlahartson. In 2019, she published her first book, Praise PhD: Praising God in the Middle of Your Valley (book 1 of the Joy in Cancer series). It’s available at https://www.amazon.com/Praise-PhD-Praising-Middle-Valley/dp/1542963028 Printed copies are $5.99 and the Kindle version is $2.99. The book makes a great gift for newly diagnosed friends with cancer.
Marla loves to bake cookies, and her family and friends like to eat them, so it works out!
I saw that you has a comment about Fran DiGiacomo being your mentor with cancer and helping you bring in laughter while dealing with it. I am Fran’s daughter in law and putting together a memoir for her 70th birthday and would love to get a quote or testimonial from you and put it under the header “changing lives with laughter”. Fran has defied many odds and Drs, family and friends never thought she would make it to this milestone. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks.
I have three posts that Fran might enjoy, as they were the most directly inspired by her:
You may quote any of those posts.
In addition, here’s a new one.
Even in life after cancer, I continue to draw on the lessons I learned from Fran on seeking and maximizing laughter, especially when laughter is not the most obvious response. When I look back on my cancer journey, I remember the highs and the lows. Remembering the highs is much more fun — and that was the times I was able to laugh at myself in the middle of bad days. I even have a line of funny cancer cards, some using lines inspired by Fran. For example, I have three “Thanks for the Meal” cards with lines like “Its hard to cook when you’re being marinated” and “Its hard to cook when you’ve just been filleted.” My favorite card asks why Chemo patients like puns: Because they’re already groaning.
Happy Birthday, Fran! Congratulations on laughing your way to this amazing day.
aka recliner woman