Dear readers and friends,

I am Kathryn’s daughter. It’s with a very heavy and aching heart that I have to inform you that my mother was taken from us suddenly and unexpectedly in the early morning hours of December 21st as the result of a serious stroke.

As I’m sure you all know, my mom was a generous, kind, sweet, intelligent, and all-around amazing person and she will be greatly missed by anyone who knew her. I want you all to know that being a member of this community and acting as an advocate for people was so very important to her. She cherished all of the relationships and friendships she developed within this community and she was always talking with me about people she had met through her blog. I know that it is difficult to celebrate and mourn people that you may have never met in the physical world, but please take comfort in the fact that my mom gained much strength and joy from her interactions with all of you.

Unfortunately, we are not familiar with all of the people she met through this blog and her other online groups, so if you would like to hear from us, please leave your contact information in a comment.

Thank you all for all of the joy you brought my mom.





Kathryn Chastain Treat:

I am so happy to have been chosen as Nonnie’s 3rd 12 Days of “Authors!”. Thank you so very much Nonnie. I am smiling from ear to ear.

It is also my pleasure to support both Rave Reviews Book Club in whatever role I can as well as the amazing group of authors I have met because of my membership. If it weren’t for Nonnie, this club would not have happened!

Originally posted on Watch Nonnie Write!:

Hello, and welcome to my very own 12 DAYS OF “AUTHORS!”  Today, I begin with my theme song:  “On the 3rd day of authors, Ms. Nonnie gave to me, a Kathryn C. Treat from Cali!”  You’ve heard of the 12 Days of Christmas, right?  Well, this is  my version of that, my gift to these very special people and to you!  This all started on Sunday, December 14, with John “Fio” Fioravanti,  as the 1st of my 12 Days of “Authors”, then Marlena Hand as my 2nd day, and it will continue until Dec. 25, Christmas Day.  Each day I will profile one very special author and their written work.  Because I am in awe of so many of you, (definitely more than 12), I had to come up with a process for my selection.  So, I threw a bunch of names into a pot and the…

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chronically ill holiday guide…

Kathryn Chastain Treat:

I am so inundated with just trying to get through the holidays that I haven’t posted anything this year. I guess I need to re-blog some of my holiday posts if I can manage to even get that done. Loo

Look forward to some of my holiday posts from holidays past soon.

Originally posted on Musings of a Dysautonomiac:

This is the third year I have posted this guide for people with chronic illnesses and their loved ones. I wanted to share it again this year, as I have made a few updates.

The holidays are a wonderful time of togetherness, but can also be a time of stress and frustration as well. If you’re already dealing with the stress and frustration of a chronic illness, holidays have the potential to be miserable.

stuffed snowman in the snowAlthough I wouldn’t consider myself to be religious, the holiday season is my favorite time of year. It is also my most fatigued time of year, but if you need to nap, there’s nothing like napping under a warm blanket, surrounded by holiday lights, with the smell of baking cookies and a flickering fire nearby. Of course, our condo doesn’t actually have a fireplace, but those fireplace apps for the t.v. are pretty cool.

Although I’d like…

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citric acid

Oh my goodness! I just meant this to be a topic that I was saving as a draft. I guess, I need to spend some time and come back and get the post written now that it is up.

Nose Blind?

I, and several other bloggers who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity, talk about how hard difficult it is to navigate  public places and deal with the multitude of fragrances both in the buildings themselves and on those in the buildings. Have you ever walked by and thought the person you just passed must have bathed in perfume?  Since becoming ill I have thought that these people have masked to chemicals or have simply lost the ability to smell. Therefore, they keep putting on their fragrances until they can detect the fragrance.

I remember returning to my last workplace after becoming ill and being absent for many months. I had gone to gather my things because it was obvious that I would not be able to return to work. I walked in with my mask to gather up my belongings. Suddenly I realized that their were fragrances. The fragrances were everywhere I turned. They were overpowering even with my mask on. I quickly walked out. My fellow co-workers wanted to visit with me. I had to stand outside and keep them at a distance. I asked them if they had always worn perfume? They all replied that they had. Why hadn’t I noticed before? Why didn’t I notice the odor of the paint that was being applied to the door facings while I sat at my “new” desk with “new” carpeting still being laid down around me? My only answer is that my sinuses, because of so many infections and surgeries, just could no longer detect anything. I was sick everywhere I went but had no idea all these chemicals were adding to my body’s already weakened system and over all body burden.

It wasn’t until recently when I had a bad night and could not sleep that I turned on the television and heard a commercial. AHA! There was the answer. I  had been “nose blind” due to all that my sinuses had gone through. This also explains why so many others not only where perfume or cologne, but bathe in it. They are “nose blind” until they get to a certain level of fragrances.


The commercial was for “Febreze”. The person was talking about their pets and the odors they caused. The person said she had become “nose blind” to all the pet odors. When friends came to visit it was like visiting a place with twice as many animals. The answer, of course, was to just spray the house with “Febreze”!

The chemical industry is bombarding us with more and more chemicals on a daily basis. I forget the number of new chemicals that are introduced each year; the number is staggering. Dr. Rea said once that we were just the tip of the iceburg so to speak when he talked about chemical sensitivities.

We need to stay vigilant and continue to speak out about the dangers of chemicals and the debilitating effect they have on us.


Canaries in the Coal Mine: Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Myth Vs. Reality

Kathryn Chastain Treat:

I first found this on Sondasmcschatter.

Originally posted on Sound as a Crystal:

Photo by Majd Mohabek via Flickr creative commons Photo by Majd Mohabek via Flickr creative commons

When people find out that I am sensitive to the chemicals in everyday products, I almost invariably find that they believe one or more of the many myths surrounding MCS. First, what is MCS?  I’m constantly surprised by the fact that almost no one knows what I’m talking about when I use that acronym.  MCS stands for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.  The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation defines it this way:

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a medical condition characterized by a heightened sensitivity to chemicals. People who have MCS become ill when exposed to a variety of chemicals, many of which are commonly encountered in everyday life. Some people have only mild chemical sensitivities, while others have a more severe form of the illness called MCS.

Now that you know what it is, I imagine some of you are probably thinking, “Ooooh, I think…

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It’s Not Personal, It’s The Chemicals

Kathryn Chastain Treat:

I like this post! It is definitely the chemicals, but it is personal when others who know my situation choose to ignore it.

Originally posted on Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution:


Have you ever noticed how some people get offended when we are disabled by, or get sick from something in the products they’ve used?

What’s up with that?


What about those who feign disbelief that we could be harmed by something they are using? Or that they could be using something that is harmful?


While I am not up to delving into the psychological and emotional intricacies of those responses here, or how industry pays big money to create them, I did come up with a few simple images with variations of the following text:

It’s not you! It’s not personal! It’s the chemicals!

Fragrances, personal care, and laundry products
contain toxic chemicals that make it impossible
for some people to be around those who use them.

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Outshine Ovarian Cancer Anniversary

Karen Ingalls (@kareningalls1) recently celebrated a blog anniversary at Outshine Ovarian Cancer. I have been following along with Karen and her story for quite some time and have read her book Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.  Outshine is an inspiring book that not only chronicles her battle with ovarian cancer but shows a deep faith and spirit.

Karen had a giveaway to celebrate the anniversary of her blog. I was a lucky winner of this beautiful plaque that now graces a shelf in my office alongside a photo of myself in my early days of illness and a beautiful glass that belonged to my paternal grandfather (one of the few possessions of his that I am able to have in my home).  The plaque reads: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength…Phil 4:13 .  Thank you Karen for such a lovely gift.


Since writing Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, Karen has had a recurrence of cancer and gone through yet another round of treatment. Karen is a brave lady and I am happy to call her a friend despite never meeting in person.

Thank You For Following Me!


I have had many new followers in the past week thanks to the I Am A Writer’s $300 Holiday Cash Giveaway that I am participating in. Following my blog is my entrance requirement to the giveaway. I would like to say “thank you” to all my new followers. I hope you will continue to follow along and learn more of my journey with mold-induced illness and multiple chemical sensitivities through my blog posts and my book.

Thank you also, to my loyal followers and especially to those who take the time to not only read my posts but comment and re-blog them.

The Rave Awards! Have you voted?

Today is the final day to vote for your favorites in the Rave Reviews Book Club’s Rave Awards. Voting ends at midnight CT. Hop on over and show these amazing people some support.

Rave Reviews Book Club is rounding out its first year with the Rave Awards. The club has been growing strong over the last 12 months. Book Club members and the public are invited to vote on their favorite Blog, On The Shelf Interview, and Book Trailer.

I am excited to say that I have been entered into all three categories! Please take a moment to hop on over and look at all the wonderful interviews, blogs, and book trailers and vote for your favorite (I hope that you like mine). Voting ends at midnight CT on December 5th.

I am getting my evening gown all ready for the red carpet! What color should I wear? Oh,no! I don’t have my speech yet.

I began the year as Membership Director but as you all know my health is tenuous and I have stepped down as Membership Director and taken on the roll of a general member and Social Media Assistant. I am so happy and excited to be a part of this club. Rave Reviews Book Club has done so much for me this past year. If you are an avid reader, an author or soon-to-be author, please take a look at our FAQ page. If you like what you see and think our club is a good fit for you, click on the Join Here button and don’t forget to mention that I sent you.