I learned today that while Hispanic women don’t have the highest incidence of breast cancer, they do fare worse after diagnosis than many other women. Here’s why.
My friend Julian sent me these photos today, along with these words:
I ran 3.2 miles for the cause.
I am still working in Iraq.
The function organizers were expecting 500 and over 1000 people showed up — almost all military and some civilian contractors. This was the largest turnout on this base.
If you think this breast cancer bracelet would look great on your wrist, or you’d love to give it to someone as a gift, or you just like scoring things for free, then you’ve got to enter this giveaway.
My friend Dawn over at Out of the Blue Delivered is giving away this pretty piece, and all you need to do to enter this contest is leave a comment on this post — well, after you hop on over to Dawn’s online store and shop around a bit. Out of the Blue Delivered specializes in gifts for every occasion, and I want to know all about your favorite find. Here’s exactly what you need to do:
- Leave a comment below and share what gift you like best from Out of the Blue Delivered.
- Leave your comment no later than 5PM ET on Wednesday, June 25, 2009.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
- One winner will receive one breast cancer ribbon bracelet, valued at $18.
- Winners will be notified by email and in a post on this blog, so make sure to check next week to find out if you’ve won!
If you want to get something for someone with cancer and you have no idea how to show you care, Out of the Blue Delivered has you covered. They’ve got unique gifts made by artisans for every occasion and life event, and unfortunately, cancer has become quite a common life event. Shop on over here and check out all the nifty options — bracelets, earrings, Soup for the Soul, pillows and the cutest ever Hug Shrug. And see that “Heal” plaque pictured above? It’s my favorite.
Maybe cancer isn’t your occasion (and I hope it’s not). No problem, there are plenty of other gift themes available — Father’s Day is coming up, might want to shop for that. If you like all things green and recyced, this is your place. Need a teacher gift, a housewarming gift, a mommy gift? Yep, Out of the Blue Delivered has those too. Take a peek — I know you’ll find something to warm the hearts of the special folks in your life.
The toughest part of my dance with breast cancer was losing my hair. Seems crazy, doesn’t it, that a tumor was living in my body, threatening to take my entire life away, and I was worried about my hair. Yea, crazy. I know that now that I’m alive, probably because the same drugs that left me bald also wiped out a treacherous disease. Still, it’s heartbreaking to lose a headful of hair. Even Farrah Fawcett, who is courageously fighting her own cancer battle, hung onto her famous hair for as long as she could, only succumbing recently to the toxic hair-stealing chemotherapy drugs.
The reality of cancer treatment is that many people will lose their hair. And lots of them, like me, will determine it a tragedy. That’s why the Look Good … Feel Better (LGFB) program exists — to help women face the challenge of a lifetime. LGFB (organized by the American Cancer Society) offers workshops to help cancer survivors feel better. I attended one, and I learned how to draw on eyebrows (yes, chemo takes those too), apply make-up on blotchy skin and cover my head with wigs and scarves. I went home with my very own cosmetic kit, matched to my skin tone, and I met a whole bunch of women walking in shoes that were much like mine. LGFB also offers one-on-one consultations, self-help materials and a 24/7 toll free information and help line — 1-800-395-LOOK.
Take advantage of LGFB if you can. And suggest it to any loved ones who might need it. And do you know of any survivors who deserve to win a trip to NYC (you, maybe)? Check out this contest. LGFB is celebrating its 20th anniversary by searching for five Women of Hope they can pamper with a complimentary make-over and a trip to the annual DreamBall, a black-tie gala and the program’s largest annual fundraiser.
By the way, that’s Nancy up top. She’s a LGFB participant. Doesn’t she look good?
See those two little boys? They are mine. The one on the right is Joey, and he was not quite 4 years old when I found out I had breast cancer. Now he’s 8. Danny, the guy next to him, was only 18 months old. He turns 6 in two weeks. The girls belong to my sister. Jordan is on the left, and she was only a few months old when she started sitting with me during chemo treatments. She’s 4. And her sister, Tori, well, she knows nothing of the disease at all, and hopefully never will. She turns 2 the day after Danny turns 6.
Over at the PlanetKid Child Care Blog, we’re giving away one $20 gift card to Smoothie King. Got one near you? Check out this locator and find out. And if you do and you want something for nothing, just click here and leave a comment (don’t leave your comment on this Breast Cancer blog, you must go to the Child Care blog) and you might just be the lucky winner. You have until May 19 to comment. Good luck.
Here I sit in a chemo chair in February 2005, getting dosed with the toxic drugs that are hopefully saving my life, while my mom sits nearby, holding my baby niece Jordan. This lovely man toured the infusion center on this Friday, singing a personalized song to each patient in my similar predicament. He sang about me, my mom and Jordan — the two girls who sat with me for every chemo session. Click on the photo to start video.
I love you.
Happy Mother’s Day.
I love to give baskets full of goodies for gifts. I love a good theme too. So I’m recommending you get yourself a basket (or a mini storage bin, tote bag, anything that hold goods — just don’t make it a laundry basket, OK?). Then get yourself a theme, and put together a little something special for mom on Mother’s Day.
Pick a healthy eating theme, and fill your basket with an assortment of fruit. Choose a summer reading theme, and stock your basket with a few books (try this one), a bookmark, a pair of sunglasses and a sun hat. How about summer movies? Gather some movie tickets or a Blockbuster gift card, some microwave popcorn and some not-so-treacherous movie candy (Milk Duds are better than peanut M&Ms). And my favorite: The R&R basket, complete with candle, bubble bath, body lotions and gift certificate for a pedicure. Your basket can be a hodge-podge of all mom’s favorite things, too. You get to decide — just get out there and decide, because Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and it’s Friday, and, well, you’re running out of time.
I haven’t been watching much of “Grey’s Anatomy” lately, but I do know that Katerine Hiegl’s character Izzie Stevens has cancer, so when I caught tonight’s episode, I was somewhat prepared for the storyline. What I wasn’t prepared for was my reaction to the end of the show, when Izzie pulls fistfuls of hair from her head.
I cried big, sobbing tears, because even though I am almost five years removed from that same helpless, hopeless feeling, it was still there, right in the pit of my stomach, waiting to be called up.
My cancer memories are vivid. Every one of them. But nothing is as vivid as the feeling that suffocated me the day my hair started falling out, when it washed from my head in the shower and gathered in the drain, and wound around my brush, and then covered my pillowcase when I woke up the next morning.
“That was the worst,” I told my husband as “Grey’s Anatomy” ended tonight and Izzie sat in a hospital bed with a completely bald head. “You survived it,” John said. Yes, I did. But I’ll never forget it.
Are these not the cutest flip flops ever? They’d make a pretty nifty Mother’s Day gift, wouldn’t they? I’m thinking so. In fact, I know how comfy these Havaianas Fit cuties are — my sister won a silver pair in a giveaway recently, and she passed them on to me (she’d just bought herself some silver sandals and was feeling generous) — and so I can promise mom will love them. Well, maybe not promise. But chances are, she’ll feel pretty sporty and summery in her very own pair. All you need to do is shell out $30 bucks (she’s worth it, right?) and order a pair for mommy dearest. Pick from pink, white, black, silver or gold. Hey, get a pair for yourself while you’re at it.
I know moms and flowers go together pretty well, and you might be thinking of sending your momma a perfectly pretty bouquet of arranged flowers for Mother’s Day this year. But flowers are expensive, and they don’t last very long, and that’s why I suggest you head over to your nearest garden shop and buy a few plants your mom can plop right in her own yard. Hand deliver your favorite picks, and help mom bury them in the dirt. If you don’t live nearby, bundle up a few packets of seeds and some other garden goodies and mail them off to your special girl. Whether you live near or far, mom will get to watch your love grow.
Times are tough, and money is tight. But even though you might not have much to spend on mom this year, doesn’t mean you can’t treat her right. In fact, if you’ve got a TCBY nearby, you can get your mom something — for nothing.
TCBY is handing out a free cup or cone to all moms who stop by one of their stores on Sunday, May 10. I, for one, have this marked on my calendar, because I love frozen yogurt (try the non-fat, no-sugar-added flavor — it’s always yummy), and I don’t want to forget to get myself there for my very own freebie. Oh, and TCBY will be dishing out the same deal for Father’s Day, so mark your calendars for that too. But for now, plan to take mom for a frozen treat on Sunday. She’ll love you forever. Well, she’ll probably love you forever anyway, but just to seal the deal, get her something smooth and creamy, and maybe even sinful.
Here’s what TCBY says about their great gift to moms: “For the second year in a row, TCBY will open its doors to celebrate moms on Mother’s Day with a sweet tribute to the women we all love. And there is arguably no better gift than one that’s both delicious and healthy. TCBY’s yogurt is low in fat and calories, when compared to ice cream, and is loaded with plenty of live, active cultures (probiotics) to improve overall health and digestion.”
If you’re a mom, or you have a mom, or you love someone else’s mom, then you know how important Mother’s Day is. Sure, we should honor the moms in our lives every day, but I like that there’s one special day set aside for celebration. Kind of like a birthday, where balloons and candles and mounds of gifts are the norm, Mother’s Day should be treated like one big party.
Let’s talk gifts — do you know what you’re getting mom this year? Do you know what you want this year? Between now and the big day — Sunday, May 10, 2009 — I’ll be naming some ideas and sharing them here and over here, at the PlanetKid Child Care Blog.
Today, let’s start with something for the foodie mom, the mom who is interested in food but wants to be healthy and maintain her weight too. How about this nifty food scale, which comes in all sorts of colors and is perfect for measuring out that exact one-ounce serving of dark chocolate, which, you know, is actually a healthy daily indulgence — you did know that, right? Makes a good case for buying mom some of the dark stuff too.
A friend asked me the other day what I suggest she buy her neighbor who is in the midst of breast cancer treatment. I gave her three ideas. First, I suggested this inspirational book by Dr. Bernie Siegel. It’s all about exceptional patients, and it will convince you that the right attitude really does heal.
Then I recommended this book by Dr. Susan Love. I was once told it’s the bible on breast cancer, and now that I’ve consulted it for my every breast cancer question, worry and freak-out, I know that every breast cancer girl should have this book by her bedside. Dr. Love knows her stuff, and she explains it like she’s a trusted friend with all the answers.
And then there are socks — comfy, cozy, fuzzy socks. I got yellow ones in the mail (Thanks, Ginger!) when I was knee deep in chemotherapy, and they really saved the day. There’s nothing like feeling all warm and toasty when the world is crashing down around you.
I’ve never heard anything like it and apparently, not many people have, because the parents of this sweet little girl are at a crossroads over how to treat their 10-year-old daughter, who was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Hannah Powell has invasive ductal carcinoma, Stage IIA.
Here’s the dilemma: What type of treatment should a child with an adult disease receive? Hospitals that deal with breast cancer usually do not treat children, and children’s hospital do not have facilities for treating breast cancer. Hannah’s family posts on their website, “We have two options at this point; (A) Hannah goes to a breast center that does not have the experience in children or (B) she goes to a hospital that has more pediatric care but not so much in the breast cancer area.”
Hannah’s family is searching for answers, and if you have any information that might help them, please stop by their website and let them know. Do you know of any very young breast cancer patients? Do you know of any doctors who have treated very young breast cancer patients? Even if you don’t know how to specifically guide this family, I know your well wishes would help. So pay them a visit when you can.
Want five ways you can decrease your risk of getting breast cancer? FitSugar has them, and the crew over there presents them in a snazzy little slideshow, which really is worth checking out, especially if you like walnuts, little bits of alcohol and sleeping. Click here, see what you think and pass this on to all the women in your life.
At 8 a.m. this morning, I arrived at the oncology clinic at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL for a six-month breast cancer follow-up. I sat in a nearly empty waiting room for a short time, then was moved to an exam room, where I had my blood drawn (ouch!), my weight checked (good news), my blood pressure taken (low, but good) and my temperature taken (98.3). Then met with my lovely Dr. who checked my boobs, my lymph nodes, my belly and my breathing.
Everything was just fine.
And then I drove away. And it’s been a glorious day ever since.