Circle of Strength Update: Learning to love yourself and the healing power of forest walks.

Karla: Sunny out and morning was rough but this afternoon I was ready for a short walk

Kim: Love the video you look like 1 million bucks.

Karla: Number 2 video was a good afternoon but only 130 lol time

Janice: You look amazing Karla xox I remember reading this last year.

Patty Nixon: Wonderful to see you out and about in your lovely woods! You look SUPERB and I’m so glad you are feeling feeling lifted today! (I am probably the only one here that is “afraid” of collagen, having been given a diagnosis of Scleroderma, where the body produces too much of it, causing issues in the body – sooo sooo weird!!)! ❤🌸❤

Hana Ferklova: It is so great that you are out and about and yes, your scar looks amazing! After 1 month?! Amazing!!! Enjoy the days in the beautiful greenery of the summer forest! 😘

Cristina Duguay:

Sweetheart u are so right about stuff u share. Some time ago u asked me on Tokis FB page if I wanted to share more ab the Handmaids tale and Attwoods inspiration for it. I could not go so public on FB, and although I know nobody on this chat but you, and have little interaction on my posts( which descourages me to speak 🙂 I will as brief as poss tell u ab the confessed origin of Atwoods book, here.
I think you should know.
I am only refering to the book as the tv series is… smth else. Atwood tells us she got inspired for this book( that I read in Paris, wh she came on a tour, in one day) from Communist Romania of the 70s and 80s.
By law women of fertile age had to conceive up to 5 children! No abortions on menace of prison were to be undergone. No anticonception pills were available. Women who would help women to ‘stop’ a pregnancy or dr, (and were caught), went to prison. Result: women died from septicemia.
My experience is that I had 2 illegal abortions done at the nurses home i. e. provoking labour at early stage max 12 weeks, and then go home and … deal with it.
If you couldnt get through it, and landed in hospital the Securitate( Secret Police) would question u on the hospital bed, and a dr couldnt touch u yntil u had given up the ‘ perpetrator’ who had helped you provoke the abortion. Yap!
I myself was then sterilised after my second son Vladimir was born as my dr feared that I would have to continue to have children ( as per the law) and my cicatricial uterus would not be able to carry another pregnancy and I could die.
So with 29 I was ligatured and therefore wh I met Gilles in Bucarest we could not have a baby together which I would have wished dearly.
Sorry for the length of this post 😌.

Susan Heinrich: Wow Cristina, thank you for sharing your story. I had no idea about Romania’s terrible laws and practices at that time. That is shocking. I am curious about the current laws regarding abortion and birth control. I will look it up. In the U.S. some southern (conservative) states are enacting stricter abortion laws, basically making it impossible to get an abortion. Shocking and wrong as these young women will still need abortions and have to have them illegally or travel to have them. 🙁

Deb M: I read with interest and agony your story. What horror you had to experience. I did some work with Pro TV many moons ago and our research director had shared how her mother was sterilized after her birth as they did not believe she had a miscarriage naturally. After your sharing and my experience there I can see where Margaret Atwood got her inspiration for such a tragic tale. True life is indeed often scarier than fiction. I am so sorry for your experience and admire your bravery.

Cristina Duguay: Romania is now a free country and women are far ahead in society, strivers, leaders, achievers. Tks for reading. 🤗

Andrea Uzunov: Hi Ladies and thank you Cristina for sharing such a personal and powerful part of your past. It reminded me of a young couple from Bucharest in the mid 90’s here in Prague who shared their experiences of home style abortions during communism in Romania where birth control was unavailable in those days. They were young and not yet ready to start a family so they did what they had to do and while the details I will spare everyone, they experienced difficult times. As you stated, Romania is a totally different country today and has already been for many years since the fall of communism. 🌹

Cristina Duguay: I was in Romania for a month( now back to Germany as my mama had another stroke ) and indeed it is beautiful and a great touristic destination that I recommend. ❤

Andrea Uzunov: So sorry to hear that Cristina. I pray that your mom will be better. I also enjoy travelling to Romania. The nature is amazing. ❤😀🙏

Karla: I wonder how bad it was in CZ republic … as watching handmaids tale is so disturbing as I can see the south adopting those crazy laws. It must be hard for you Cristina to watch it.

Cristina Duguay: 😥 the splendid ‘forgetting’ mental faculty kicks in, and so u tell yourself: that was in another life. None of the surrounding communist countries of the communist block suffered like Romania. In 89 they all had the ‘ velvet revolution’ no bloodshed and R the bloody one. The ‘Securitate’ Romanian secret police is a term that is not translated in foreign langs as it is unique.

Karla: I wish whatsapp had ability to like a post like messenger and FB as I read all of them over many times and I love when people have a discussion on a topic esp issues that affects women. And to be a safe place that is not judgmental.

For a few of us who know John Ketchum I visited with him yesterday and he is moving from România to NYC and even more exciting he just discovered he is descendant of the founder of the Smithsonian and this week spent 3 days on a private exclusive tour with his relatives of the Smithsonian here is the news coverage

Cristina Duguay: Wow! My fav boss! After U ❤!

Karla: Here is pic of diane my sister and her husband david and son Ben who graduates today and off to Queens next year. Margo Julie alma-mater

Kelly Jung: I remember Ben as young boy. Can’t believe he is already graduating university.time flew away..pls send best regards to diane.

It’s good to be bring mind away from where we are..
Stay away from eye of storms. Karla U are walking in amazing journey. Doing an awesome job even keep us in the loop. Thank you.
You are my rock😍🤜

Linda Radcliffe: Congratulations to Ben!! I think Margo’s Phoebe and Julie’s Kennedy are seriously considering Queen’s too!!! What a lovely photo!!! 💕

Margo Vergotis: Congratulations Di & David! Looks like Phoebe will be off to Queen’s as well!

Diane Linden: That is exciting ! I will tell Ben to keep his eyes open for her!

Julie Pezzack: Go Gaels!!! Di that’s so great Ben is going to Queen’s, I hope he enjoys it as much as I did. One of my friends from Queen’s is there this weekend launching a new Sustainable Finance Institute which is kind of cool. It will be a hub for work across the country on mobilizing finance and our financial systems to move Canada to a more low-carbon economy. Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance report released yesterday if anyone is interested in such things-

Karla: Yes Margo with edit and kids as could John function without a wife lol .. sustainable finance school awesome … I love all the women’s updates. So I did a test on myself a few days ago which was could I look into a mirror or my phone and tell myself I am beautiful … it is so hard to do. So my challenge to all of you is to say it into a mirror and if you can to post to this chat that would be awesome but not expected. It sounds so easy but is so hard to do .

About The Author

A few months ago, I was told that my boobs are trying to kill me and being misdiagnosed for two years allowed them to recruit throughout the rest of my body by way of my spine. Before this, I knew f*ck all about cancer. Now, between sipping chemo cocktails, I want to talk about the truth of living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer with my support system and people I have met along the way to recovery.

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