Pink Ribbon Bear Gives 100%

pink-ribbon-bear-200jd09281
lynnsagebear.com

100% of the profits generated from the sale of this organic pink ribbon bear go to the breast cancer cause. The cute, cuddly thing costs $25, so that means $25 is donated.

Now, that’s what I like!

100%!

More info:

CHICAGO, IL – October may be Breast Cancer Awareness month, but Zubels is committed to the cause year round as they introduce their new pink ribbon bear. The breast cancer awareness bear is hand made by talented artisans using 100% organic cotton eco-friendly yarns. Their aim in this adorable new addition to their collection is to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. This bear symbolizes the continuous fight with the hope to one day eradicate breast cancer.

With over 200,000 women being diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone, Zubels has partnered with the Chicago-based Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. The Lynn Sage Foundation, which was established by her family in her memory, is committed to the discovery of a cure for breast cancer. Since it was founded in 1985, the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation has raised over $20 million in the fight against breast cancer.

As friends of the Lynn Sage Foundation, Zubels has designed a special bear for a special cause. 100% of the profits from the sale of this bear will go to the Lynn Sage Foundation for breast cancer research and help bring us one step closer to a cure. This disease has touched many lives and we hope that through research and perseverance we can make a difference.

With the purchase of this bear you will not only benefit breast cancer awareness and research, you will also be purchasing an environmentally friendly hand knit toy. All Zubels have been tested safe and are suitable for your little ones from birth and up. Every Zubels character is created with a distinct personality, just like every child!

Zubels are heirloom quality toys which are sure to be cherished and loved by children of all ages. This 100% super soft organic cotton knit bear also washes beautifully. Zubels 12” breast cancer awareness bear retails for $25 (with all profit going to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation) and is available at www.lynnsagebear.com.

ABOUT ZUBELS: Family owned Renzo Company Inc., has committed themselves to creating eco-friendly toys to be cherished and loved by children of all ages.  Renzo Company, which has been in business for over 30 years, offers traditional, eco-friendly, hand knit toys, quality gifts, accessories and apparel (0-6x www.petitami.us) which are available at various boutiques and online retailers.  Additional information, an online catalog and a store finder is available at www.zubels.us.

For more information on the Lynn Sage Foundation, please visit: www.lynnsagefoundation.org.

CHICAGO, IL – October may be Breast Cancer Awareness month, but Zubels is committed to the cause year round as they introduce their new pink ribbon bear.  The breast cancer awareness bear is hand made by talented artisans using 100% organic cotton eco-friendly yarns.  Their aim in this adorable new addition to their collection is to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.  This bear symbolizes the continuous fight with the hope to one day eradicate breast cancer.
With over 200,000 women being diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone, Zubels has partnered with the Chicago-based Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.  The Lynn Sage Foundation, which was established by her family in her memory, is committed to the discovery of a cure for breast cancer.  Since it was founded in 1985, the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation has raised over $20 million in the fight against breast cancer.
As friends of the Lynn Sage Foundation, Zubels has designed a special bear for a special cause.  100% of the profits from the sale of this bear will go to the Lynn Sage Foundation for breast cancer research and help bring us one step closer to a cure. This disease has touched many lives and we hope that through research and perseverance we can make a difference.
With the purchase of this bear you will not only benefit breast cancer awareness and research, you will also be purchasing an environmentally friendly hand knit toy.  All Zubels have been tested safe and are suitable for your little ones from birth and up. Every Zubels character is created with a distinct personality, just like every child!
Zubels are heirloom quality toys which are sure to be cherished and loved by children of all ages.  This 100% super soft organic cotton knit bear also washes beautifully.  Zubels 12” breast cancer awareness bear retails for $25 (with all profit going to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation) and is available at www.lynnsagebear.com.
ABOUT ZUBELS: Family owned Renzo Company Inc., has committed themselves to creating eco-friendly toys to be cherished and loved by children of all ages.  Renzo Company, which has been in business for over 30 years, offers traditional, eco-friendly, hand knit toys, quality gifts, accessories and apparel (0-6x www.petitami.us) which are available at various boutiques and online retailers.  Additional information, an online catalog and a store finder is available at www.zubels.us.
For more information on the Lynn Sage Foundation, please visit: www.lynnsage.org.

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Cancer Caregiver? Take This Survey

If you are a cancer caregiver, then please take this survey for Navigating Cancer — an online resource that helps folks take control of their experiences and navigate their journeys.

This survey, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete and closes on October 15, will help Navigating Cancer understand the needs of the cancer caregiver community so tools and resources can be developed to help caregivers provide the best care for their loved ones.

If you know of anyone else who has provided care in the past or is currently providing care to a cancer patient in any way, please copy the link below and pass this survey along.

http://www.navigatingcancer.com/caregiver_survey

Thank you!

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The Pink Ribbon Diet

www.amazon.com
www.amazon.com

Dr. Susan Love thinks lifestyle plays a role in preventing breast cancer.

The authors of “The Pink Ribbon Diet” happen to agree.

(For the record, so do I.)

“The Pink Ribbon Diet” offers an effective, research-based diet plan for overweight breast cancer patients and anyone else at risk for the disease. The book comes stocked with 150 Mediterranean-inspired recipes, and the featured foods are both nutritious and thought to lower breast cancer risk.

Authors Mary Flynn, RD, and Nancy Verde Barr explain what to eat, what not to eat, and why. They discuss reframing the approach to eating, and then they dive into the goodies: Soups, sandwiches, salads, veggies, casseroles, pasta, seafood, and more. Yes, even dessert!

They recommend this diet to those wishing to improve their health, and to anyone trying to lose weight. Why not eat to accomplish both, they say.

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Dr. Susan Love’s New Breast Book: Giveaway

www.amazon.com
www.amazon.com

Five and a half years ago, my surgeon called it the bible on breast cancer, and Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book has been a constant companion of mine ever since. It’s the one book I recommend to everyone I meet with a new diagnosis, it’s my go-to gift recommendation for family and friends who don’t know how to help, and it sits tattered and worn on my bookshelf, ready for instant consultation.

As of yesterday, I have a brand new shiny copy of Dr. Love’s treasured book of wisdom (fifth edition) — the coveted resource she revamps every few years so that women everywhere have the latest and greatest information on a disease we so badly need to understand.

How is this book different from all the others? Well, it’s been totally reorganized and rewritten in order to communicate two paradigm shifts that have taken place over the years:

(1) We now know that all breast cancers are not the same. There’s actually five or six molecular subtypes, and treatment must be personalized to match each one.

(2) We also know that cancer cells do not function in isolation. There’s more than a mutated cell at work — it needs an environment to nourish it. A bad cell in a good environment will likely stay dormant. But if the environment changes, there might be trouble. Aha, lifestyle is important.

With these two topics woven throughout, Dr. Love breaks down everything from the biology of the breast to risk factors to decisions regarding treatment. She talks recurrence and research and politics, and she’s got sketches, drawings, charts, and graphs to help make sense of it all. The book is more than 600 pages long, and that should tell you something about how detailed and complex breast cancer can be. Don’t be intimidated, though. You don’t need to sit down and start reading — just use it for reference, and be thankful that there’s someone out there, armed with the best and most accurate information, who cares enough to try to stop this deadly disease once and for all.

It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to give away one copy of Dr. Love’s book. If it happens to land in your hands, you will be forever grateful for the direction and inspiration that lies within.

Ready to play? Just follow the steps below:

  • Leave a comment sharing why you need this book in your library!
  • Leave your comment no later than 5PM ET on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, who are 18 and older.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing via random.org.
  • One winner will receive one book, valued at $22.00.
  • Winners will be notified by email, so make sure to check next week to find out if you’ve won!

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Metastatic Breast Cancer: Share the Little Things

Find this image on ShareTheLittleThings.com
Find this image on ShareTheLittleThings.com

Among all the celebrations of survivorship, women with advanced breast cancer can often feel forgotten in the month of October. That’s why ShareTheLittleThings.com exists — to offer the metastatic community a place to be heard, and to provide a forum for women with advanced disease to recognize they are not alone.

It works like this: Head on over to ShareTheLittleThings.com, and post on the wall a story, a photo, a feeling, a quote, a piece of art, anything that pays tribute to living and coping with breast cancer. It’s really a seamless and simple process. (I just did it — see if you can find the above photo on the wall.) Then scroll around and gain strength from what others have shared. It’s hard not to be motivated and inspired!

You’ve got to check it out to really grasp the power of this place. And if you decide to add to the wall while you’re there, $1 will go toward supporting both the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network and Living Beyond Breast Cancer (up to $20,000).

Oh, and by the way, October 13 is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Note: That’s a BondiBand headband in the photo above. Discounts on cancer-themed bands and hats now, through October 31, 2010.

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Hats For You

Hats For You offers hats, caps, and scarves for those suffering hair loss due to cancer and chemotherapy, and from the looks of this online store, there are many options, which is a big thing in the chemo game.

chic-locks-400jd092810
www.hatsforyou.net

Hair loss is a biggie. I mean, a B-I-G-G-I-E, and sometimes even worse than the cancer itself. Just look at what some readers had to say in response to my post, “Hair Loss: How Did You Handle It?”

I did not look at myself in the mirror while I had no hair unless I was wearing a hat and then only rarely. / Caroline

I so want to keep my hair. It took so long to get it where it is, it’s really screwed up to have to start over from zero. / Tracy

This too has been one of the hardest things I’ve endured during this adventure in “cancerland!” / Lisa

I still don’t know how exactly to describe how I felt about my hair loss. I told myself and anyone that asked that losing my hair was the least of my concerns and I really believed that I would be okay with it. I mean it’s just hair, and it does grow back. I had my hair cut short for the first time in my adult life 2 weeks before it was scheduled to dissappear. Someone told me that this might make the transition easier. Many compliments and thank-yous later I found myself in the shower with large clumps of hair in my hands, sobbing uncontrollably. I had a complete meltdown that morning, the first. Privately. And I so shocked myself with my reaction and the ensuing fear that my legs gave out on me in that shower. This made it real. / Liane

Yes, options are good. See what you can find at Hats For You!

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Eggland’s Best Spotlights Pink Dozen Bloggers

Screenshot of the Eggland's Best website.
This is just a screenshot!

There are 12 bloggers out there partnering with Eggland’s Best for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I am one of them. Eggland’s Best Pink Dozen is what we’re called, and the plan over the upcoming weeks is for the dozen to be spotlighted on the EB website. Well, my turn is right now, and the photo above is a screenshot from the front page of the website. It’s not clickable, so nothing will happen if you hover your cursor over it, but you can click here to land at the page, and browse around.

Coming soon on the egg front: A cooking segment (and by that, I mean, a video!), featuring two boys and a mom making Heart Healthy Pumpkin Bread. Two EB pink ribbon eggs included.

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Pink Hair Products, Good Prices

www.sallybeauty.com
www.sallybeauty.com

This is a really good deal — a pink flat iron (the GVP version) for $59.00, plus a free pink and black cosmetic case. Sally Beauty Supply is the spot, so head into a store near you, or you can order online. Your call —  just keep in mind, these are limited-edition items, and they’ll only be around while supplies last. Hurry!

You don’t have to get the flat iron if you need other hair care gear — there are pink traditional curling irons and blow dryers, too — I just have flat irons on the brain, because mine fell on the bathroom floor two days ago and cracked into a bunch of little ceramic pieces, which lead me right to Sally’s, where I got myself a shiny new one!

cosmetic-case
www.sallybeauty.com

Don’t worry if you don’t have a hair on your head right now, or your locks are tumbling from your head, because it will grow back, and you might end up with curls in a few months, and you might hate those curls, and you might need to straighten them. That’s how it happened for me, anyway, which is why I crank up that iron every morning, and why you should get yourself one now, while the price is right.

I’m telling you, you just might need it!

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Eggland’s Best Helps Promote Health, Prevent Breast Cancer

pink-dozen-logo-200jd092910The pink ribbon has been popping up all over the place in anticipation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month — you know it starts tomorrow, right? Everything from hair dryers to toilet paper to Sharpie pens are turning shades of pink.

So are eggs!

Yes, eggs.

Eggland’s Best eggs to be exact.

See for yourself the next time you’re strolling the aisles of your local grocery store.

For the first time in the brand’s history, Eggland’s Best, Inc. (EB) will display the Susan G. Komen for the Cure running ribbon logo on their egg cartons during the autumn of 2010.

How cool is that?

Just about as neat-o as a pink version of the iconic “EB” stamp appearing on individual eggs.

Egglands-best-400jd092910

Kinda makes you not want to crack open that pretty little shell, doesn’t it? Well, you should, because what you’ll find inside is a powerhouse of nutrition. More to come on the nutrition front (I’ll be back with nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden, who will weigh in on the incredible, edible egg), and stay tuned over the next month or so, because I’ll be spouting out all sorts of other eggs-travagant information.

For now though, I just want to say Thank You to EB for the $50,000 they’ll be donating to Susan G. Komen for the Cure (the world’s largest breast cancer advocacy organization), and for the opportunity to help spread the word about the health benefits of the good ‘ol egg. (Honored, I am, to have been chosen as one of the Eggland’s Best Pink Dozen bloggers.)

This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best. I received monetary compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

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Sisterhood of the Traveling Wig

wig-200jd092910
Hip Hat With Hair!

I’m not sure which I like more — the hair or the hat.

But the hair, well, that’s where the story is.

That pretty blond hair is a wig. It’s mine, and because I never did find the courage to rock my bald head during chemo, I wore it every single day for months and months. It was perfect.

Made of human hair, and with a soft cotton top, my underhair was made by Hip Hats With Hair. It’s intended for use with hats, or scarves, or something that covers the top of the head, and there’s nothing itchy or scratchy about it.

That’s why Tina loves it.

I think she’s going to enjoy how easy it is to care for, too. She just needs to wash, condition, brush, comb, curl, spray — anything she’d do to the hair that once sprouted from her head.

Tina — whom I’ve come to know via a common friend — shaved her head just this week because the darn stuff was falling from her head in clumps. The wigs she’d tried were uncomfortable, and so I mailed her mine. She received it today.

Tina’s not the first person who has used this hair, my friend Carmen borrowed it, too — twice. It just sits in a box on the floor of my bedroom closet, and since I plan to never need it again, I am happy to share. Tina’s friend calls it the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Wig,” and that pretty much sums it up. Connected by cancer, we girls must stick together.

And matters of the hair take top priority.

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Countdown to Pinktober

Photo: momo_mika, Flickr
Image: momo_mika, Flickr

It won’t be long now until the the world as we know it turns pink. I know, it’s kind of annoying for all sorts of reasons, which I won’t dive into right now, but I do sort of like October for the mere fact that I commit myself to blogging more than usual, and that makes me happy. It just seems like a good time to spotlight some special people, some truly charitable products, some giveaways, and more.

So keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for little nuggets of breast cancer goodness! It all starts this Friday, October 1, 2010, and you’ll need to stop in for about 31 days to see what I’ve got in store. Teaser: Julie Clark will make an appearance, Dawn from Out of the Blue Delivered will offer something fancy (and free), and did you know October 13 is National Face Your Fears Day? I’ll tell you about it, plus so much more.

I can’t wait.

Bring on the pink!

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‘You Are the Best Medicine’ Book Giveaway

book-cover400jd090310
harpercollinschildrens.com

You probably know Julie Aigner Clark best as the mom who launched the wildly-popular Baby Einstein empire. I know her voice was ever-present in my house during those early years with baby Joey. He was not a very happy and content boy, but Baby Mozart and Baby Bach helped infuse our crankiest days with a little joy. We liked Baby Santa’s Music Box, too, and even though Joey is now 9 years old, and his brother is 7, that Christmas DVD is still in our media cabinet. Yea, a good Spring Fall clean is in order.

Julie has accomplished more than just engaging little ones, though. She has partnered with John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted” to create The Safe Side (all about kid safety), and there’s also Memory Lane (for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia). And now, what might be my very favorite is her new book, “You Are the Best Medicine.”

Julie (a two-time breast cancer survivor) wrote the book, Jana Christy illustrated it, and WOW, what a treasure for parents with cancer who want to explain the disease to their young kids in the most delicate and gentle manner.

In her book, Julie draws parallels between navigating cancer and growing up:

For a while I will have to take medicine that makes me feel bad, and this medicine will make all my hair fall out. I will look different. But I will laugh when I remember your own sweet little baby head, how round and bald it was, and how warm it was on my lips when I kissed it every day.

I like Julie’s overall message — that children can help parents feel better, just like mom and dad do for them; that cancer can be a tough; that life can return to normal; that love and kindness really are the best medicine.

I also like that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of her book go to breast cancer research, and oh, best of all, I hope to soon talk with Julie herself. Just as soon as I do, I’ll publish my interview here. If you’ve got a question you’d like me ask her, please leave it in comments!

So, do you think you want to read Julie’s book? Well, then, I recommend you get yourself a copy. But first, throw your name in the hat and try to win one for free. Right here. Right now. All you need to do:

  • Leave a comment and share why you want this book in your hands!
  • Leave your comment no later than 5PM ET on Tuesday, September 14, 2010.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, who are 18 and older.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing. using random.org.
  • One winner will receive one book, valued at $16.99.
  • Winners will be notified by email, so make sure to check next week to find out if you’ve won!

Best wishes!

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Wish Upon a Wedding

Photo: wishuponawedding.org
Photo: wishuponawedding.org

Wish Upon a Wedding has been making dreams come true since January 2010, and if you or someone you know would like a wedding or vow renewal despite a terminal illness and serious life-altering circumstances, this nonprofit wish-granting organization might be able to help.

Wish Upon a Wedding offers folks (regardless of sexual orientation) a chance to enjoy a very special day, free of stress, while surrounded by family and friends.

There are more than a dozen chapters serving wish applicants who want to get married within 300 miles of one of the chapter locations, so take a moment and check out this rockin’ place!

Then submit your wish.

You can also become a Wish Granter, and you can volunteer in all sorts of other ways, too, like donating airline miles and wedding products, and of course, money, since that’s kinda what makes the world go ’round, you know?

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Coping with Cancer Magazine

If you find yourself in a cancer doc’s office anytime soon, see if you can find the latest copy of Coping with Cancer magazine (the July/August 2010 issue). Then turn to page 28, and you’ll find me staring back at you!

Thanks to this very blog, I was given the opportunity to write for Coping. My story is called, “Blogging Cancer: How and why to start blogging.” I wish I could lead you to an online version, but there isn’t one, so you’ll have to read it the old-fashioned way.

Update: 7/30/10

Wait, the webmaster of Coping magazine just left a comment that reads:

Actually, your article is scheduled to be posted on the website homepage on August 23 under our featured stories.  The week of August 30 it will be the leading story on Wellness/Emotional Support landing page.

Stay tuned!!

Yay!

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Deviant Jeans Stitches Together Support

deviant-jeans-200jd060210
deviantjeans.com

I’d love to take this great story about Deviant Jeans and put it into my own creative words, but I’m afraid I just wouldn’t do it justice.

So, I’m going to do what no writer really ever wants to do — copy and paste.

It’s the only way, though, for you to feel the emotion that powers this company.

Yes, I’m cheating a little. But right after I cheat, you’ll find something I did work on myself — an interview with Deviant Jean’s Kristin Dudley.

OK, here goes:

Deviant Jeans began in a hospital room at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute when a genetic counselor broke the news that Kristin Kantner’s mother, Doris, tested positive for a gene no one else had. After a moment of silence, all her family in the room began laughing at the notion that within their perfect mother was a little deviance — a “deviant gene.”

Kristin’s mom, a positive, independent, and fashion conscious woman, recognized during her cancer treatments that she had to compromise her style in order to be comfortable and compliant to doctor’s orders. As side effects of her treatments persisted, she found buttons, zippers and the basics of adorning regular clothing a challenge. Kristin watched her mother struggle to match practicality, comfort and fashion and decided to take action…

Kristin collaborated with her entrepreneurial neighbor and friend, Jane Hoffer, and by a twist of fate, the two met Kristin Dudley, a Philadelphia based fashion designer focused specifically on designing for women’s wellness. After a year of planning, designing, and caring, Deviant Jeans™ apparel is now “MADE WITH LOVE IN PHILADELPHIA,” and available to women nationwide.

And now for the fancy interview:

Tell us exactly how some of your products make life easier for cancer patients.

A major consideration in all of our designs is for our apparel to transition from every day to treatment days, without the need to disrobe when receiving chemotherapy or undergoing testing. The Deviant Heart Camisole is especially helpful for women undergoing breast cancer treatments. It is designed with a comfortable shelf bra, and features a contoured neckline to allow for easy port access. The straps are wide, which alleviates the shoulder of the digging and indentations that typically occur from bra and spaghetti straps.

How do you determine what women need?

I have been designing products and apparel for women’s wellness for the past 4 years. Throughout this time, women have approached me with requests for apparel designed to suit their changing bodies and lifestyles. I began receiving faxes with hand drawings of what they were seeking! I have met with many medical professionals as well, who also influenced my design. I address the construction issues, and then I add style!

You’re not just about selling stuff — you’re charitable, too. Tell us more.

When initiating Deviant Jeans, there was one thing that was clear between my partners and myself: we are here to make a difference, not a fortune. We decided to give the customers the unique opportunity to choose their preferred charity they wanted a portion of their purchase to benefit. We offer a list of different charities to choose from at our online checkout, and accept requests from those who wish to support their local support group or other charity.

Name one great clothing tip for women making their way through treatment.

Light layers are essential! Hospitals tend to be very cold inside, yet at the same time, you never know when a hot flash may pop up. Begin with your favorite camisole and layer with a loose fitting button down shirt or tunic. Bring an open front sweater or wrap to wear on top of that. Have fun with your middle layer — seek brilliant colors and wild prints! Think of your clothing as your armor, and fight your battle boldly!

Pretty cool, stuff, isn’t it? Well, it’s going to get even cooler, because very soon, Kristin and I are going to be sponsoring a fun contest. Called “Message of Strength,” it involves calling up your artistic talents, and it could win you a free EMPOWERWRAP. More to come, so, keep checking back.

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Life Over Cancer

www.lifeovercancer.com
www.lifeovercancer.com

A new book made its way to my mailbox the other day, and here it sits on my kitchen counter, full of good stuff for treating and beating cancer. Since it might be just the book you need for your library, here’s a little rundown of what you’ll find on its 594 pages.

Life Over Cancer is all about integrative cancer treatment, and the guy who wrote the book — Dr. Keith I. Block (Director of Integrative Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago) — has treated thousands of patients who have lived long, full lives beyond their original prognoses.

Dr. Block is an expert at understanding how the mind and body work, he believes that lifestyle plays a major role in combating cancer, and he uses his wisdom to help folks meet the demands of their treatment and recovery. His book features the following:

  • Innovative approaches to conventional treatments, such as “chronotherapy” — chemotherapy timed to patients’ unique circadian rhythms for enhanced effectiveness and reduced toxicity.
  • Dietary choices that make the biochemical environment hostile to cancer growth and recurrence, and strengthen the immune system’s ability to attack remaining cancer cells.
  • Precise supplement protocols to tame treatment side effects, relieve disease-related symptoms, and modify processes like inflammation and glycemia that can fuel cancer if left untreated.
  • A new paradigm for exercise and stress reduction that restores your strength, reduces anxiety and depression, and supports the body’s own ability to heal.
  • A complete program for remission maintenance — a proactive plan to make sure the cancer never returns.

Ready to buy the book? Place your order here. And to dive a little deeper into what Dr. Block has to offer, take a look at the following exclusive article he is sharing with us (breast cancer people: see purple).

Avoiding Refined Sugar Helps Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence
By Keith I. Block, M.D.,
Author of Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment

Several years ago, we saw tremendous growth in the consumption of fat-free and low-fat products. Believing we now had “healthier” versions of everything from salad dressings to our favorite desserts, these products began flying off the shelves, and formerly “forbidden” foods for those watching their diets became acceptable in their reduced fat versions. While perhaps reducing their fat intake, most consumers were unknowingly increasing their sugar intake, as refined sugar was the ingredient most often used in place of fat. The increased consumption of refined sugar can have serious health consequences, including a greater vulnerability to cancer, and possibly, even a worse outcome. Let me explain what happens when too much refined sugar and other food products are consumed.

If you ingest whole foods, insulin will be secreted slowly and the body will manage this well. Insulin is needed to carry glucose into your tissues and is essential for providing much needed fuel. However, ingest a candy bar, your favorite brand of cookies, or 12 ounces of soda pop — what I like to refer to as carbonated belly wash — and the cells in your pancreas will respond with a surge of insulin.

In recent years, researchers found that women with early stage breast cancer who had the highest insulin levels were twice as likely to have their tumor metastasize, and three times as likely to die of breast cancer, as women with the lowest insulin levels. For this reason, I believe any patient combating breast cancer or trying to avoid a recurrence would be wise to have their doctor routinely monitor their insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as their insulin growth factor (IGF-1). Choosing a whole foods diet and staying fit can reduce the deleterious effect that elevated sugar and insulin levels can have on both the risk of recurrence and risk of death. In addition, following a nutritional, fitness and therapeutic supplement program can help achieve or maintain improved levels.

Even though all therapeutic interventions should be individualized to match the needs of each patient, I’m convinced that certain dietary recommendations are fundamental to achieving improved health.

These include:

  • Eat a diet lower in fat, and make it a better quality fat. Ideally, fat should represent no more than 18% of your daily caloric intake. “Good” fats include monounsaturated and Omega 3 fats.
  • Examples of monounsaturated fats include olive oil, almond oil and walnut oil. Omega 3 fats include flax seed, canola, and, of course fats contained in cold water fish.
  • Eat abundant cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, kale and brussel sprouts — which contain plant phytochemicals that result in lower blood levels of estrogen by increasing the estrogen detoxification and dumping capacity of the liver.
  • Eat a diet high in fiber, with plant-based sources of protein. Consuming more fiber in the form of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, and beans can reduce harmful circulating estrogen levels.

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Ghost Whisperer Stands Up to Cancer

The folks at the TV show “Ghost Whisperer” are teaming with the organization Stand Up To Cancer in the hopes of bringing together the best and the brightest in the cancer community. Throughout the seasons, “Ghost Whisperer” has created promotional materials they’d love for you to check out. They’ve got an interactive game. And The Constellation. And information on teaming up yourself. And if you want to be inspired, check out these touching and moving videos:

“Ghost Whisperer” is standing up to cancer — how about you?

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A Gift Idea and a Giveaway

CM-prize-package2-400jd04181

There are a few reasons this post might please you:

1. You are a die-hard scrapbooker, and getting your hands on Creative Memories products makes you silly happy.

2. You’re a weekend warrior, slapping pics in books when a free moment presents itself (that’s me!), and so you always need some gear on hand.

3. You have piles and piles of photos surrounding you, and you desperately need to stick those things in books.

4. You care not about photos and albums and supplies, but you need a crafty little gift for someone in need.

I like No. 4 the best, because folks are always asking me to suggest a gift for someone newly diagnosed with cancer, someone heading toward a scary surgery, someone about to face chemo. I always say a candle, a book, some comfy socks. But I’m thinking this is a pretty grand idea, too: How about a small scrapbook with blank pages inside? A pen, some stickers, inspiring embellishments, maybe? Perfect for journaling a cancer adventure — I promise the act of writing it all down can heal lots of wounds.

Another idea: You create a book for your special someone. Add a few photos, some favorite quotes, let your imagination run wild. Need ideas? Here are a few.

OK, time to head on over to the Creative Memories website and browse around. (Be sure to check out these two options, my favorites: Paper Album Kit and  Faithbooking Bundle.)

Now, here’s the best part of this post: For every purchase made by a reader through my friend Mischelle (she’s a CM consultant), she will donate 20% of the order (before tax and shipping) to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. And for every $25 you spend, your name will be entered into a drawing for a fancy gift. So, get this: If you order $100 worth of product, your name will go in the hat four times.

And what could you win?

  • One White Pearl True 12×12 album with white pages and page protectors
  • Tape runner (adhesive)
  • Scissors
  • Photo-safe black journaling pen
  • Blooms Decorative paper pack
  • Pastel card pack
  • Simply Beautiful Title stickers.

The prize package is worth $100 (before tax and shipping).  If you order online with a credit card, please make sure your orders are made through this link, and click on the wording above each item that says: Credit this order to my Host. If you wish to order directly through Mischelle, you can pay with cash, check or M.O. — but not a credit card. Regardless of how you order, please leave a comment here to let us know you’ve made a purchase. Just say something like, “I ordered!” That’s how we’ll know you are part of the giveaway!

And please note these few rules:

  • Open to legal residents of the United States and Canada only, who are 18 and older.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
  • No P.O. boxes, please.
  • Winners will be notified by email, so make sure to check next week to find out if you’ve won!

Ready to shop? We’re giving you two weeks (time is up Sunday, May 2, 2010 at midnight) — then we’ll reveal the winner!

Note: Mischelle dedicates her participation in the project to two incredible ladies in her life: Carmen Morrison (her my mom #2) and her dear friend Chris Overstreet, both of whom are battling breast cancer.

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Ouch Pouch For All of Life’s Boo Boos

I’ve written about her before, and on several occasions, she’s graciously allowed me to give away some of her greatest gear, but until recently, I had never seen her smile up close or talked face-to-face with the woman behind Out of the Blue Delivered. Now, I am honored to say that Dawn and I have met — all because of our chance encounter on the Internet, our close proximity to one another (we live just an hour apart) and the convergence of her last-Friday medical appointment and my desire for a Cinnamon Crunch bagel at Panera — which happens to be located right down the road from her doc’s office. It was perfect — our chat over breakfast, our connection, our mutual love of carbs (well, to be fair, I ate more than she did)!

www.outofthebluedelivered.com
www.outofthebluedelivered.com

Also pretty cool about our pow-wow is the Ouch Pouch my friend gave me just after I’d scarfed down my dessert-for-breakfast. It’s something new and exciting she’s offering at her online shop, and here’s what she says about it on her website:

These trendy little pouches are PERFECT for holding items for life’s little boo boos. Measures 4″ x 5″ with clear poly front. It’s a chic first-aid on the go kit! Comes with bandaids, alcohol wipes and a lollipop to take away the pain.

Pouch ideas
Fill-your-pouch ideas!

My pouch features a black and white zebra-like stripe fabric, but yours might be different depending on the artist’s preferences. If you order, Dawn says to tell her if you would like specific colors, like girl fabric or boy fabric.

As you can see from the photos above and to the right, this is just the right token of love and friendship for so many on your gift list. It’s also quite handy for your own bag or purse, don’t you think? Only $9, too.

And if the Ouch Pouch is not right up your alley, Dawn has so many other goodies for you to check out — there’s even something named after me. See why I’m so honored to have met Dawn? Out of the blue she came into my world. And what a gift she is.

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