Thursday, November 7, 2013

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month


Lung cancer is a complicated disease affecting over 370,000 Americans each year.
Having an aunt (who has never smoked in her lifetime) battling this disease, I have a new awareness of this form of cancer, and think this is important to share.  It's staggering that two thirds of those diagnosed, have never smoked! 
Click on the icon below for lung cancer screening information. 
                        Timely Detection is SO important!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What are the key statistics about prostate cancer?

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2013 are:

  • About 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed
  • About 29,720 men will die of prostate cancer
About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.
Timely Detection is "key", therefore men are encouraged to have open dialogue with their physician, and undergo a yearly physical, including a PSA (prostate specific antigen test)AND a DRE test (digital rectal exam). These two tests combined, take just a few minutes to complete and are not painful! 

Statistic of the day:

In the U.S., almost 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down.

*Overall, 80 percent of childhood cancer cases can be successfully treated!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

The Thyroid Gland is an important organ that regulates body metabolism. It is located in the front of the neck just below the voice box (larynx). The thyroid gland secretes two main thyroid hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of T3 and T4 by the thyroid is controlled by a feedback mechanism involving the Pituitary gland, a small organ at the base of the brain, and the Hypothalamus, a structure in the brain.
Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland.
Thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer in incidence. It affects female and males of all ages, from young children to seniors. Even when treatable, thyroid cancer is life disrupting, expensive, and stressful both for patients and for loved ones. 
*Early detection is important, because some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.
  In 2004, I learned how crucial a persons thyroid is to live.
I noticed a large golf ball-size mass on the side of my throat, while looking in the mirror.  I did notice my neck had been a bit sore for a few weeks prior.  I assumed I was in need of a new pillow, and never noticed the growth until it was HUGE!  I still can't figure out how it took me so long to notice such a large "lump" on my throat, because it was very noticeable.  After-all, I look in the mirror every morning and night while performing my hygiene upon waking up, and going to sleep! It was a bit sore to the touch, and had no recollection of pain upon washing my neck each day.

Initially, I panicked a bit (you may remember form my previous posts, cancer is very prevalent in my family, and has been a harsh and dangerous reality since age 12), as I knew the prognosis couldn't be good.  My neighbor had just informed us of his thyroid cancer diagnosis the week before, so you know exactly where my thoughts went!  
It took a week to secure and appointment for a biopsy, then an additional 6 days to receive results.  During this time I was a mess!  All I could think of is "I have cancer!  I am going to die and my babies (ages 2 and 4 months, at the time) won't have a mom-my poor husband!" 
By God's Grace, my tumor was benign!  The doctor said it was a mass of hundreds of little tumors clumped together.  
I had the tumor and half of my thyroid removed a week later.  Thankfully, I have been able to sustain with just my half thyroid, and don't require daily medication in order to live.  I get checked 3 times a year to ensure my half thyroid is functioning as sufficiently as a "whole" thyroid would, as my body needs. 
I continually pray I can sustain, so I don't have to begin supplemental medical protocol for the rest of my life. 

Did you know?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. 

Have an enjoyable and safe holiday-you've earned it!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know the average child diagnosed with cancer is 10 years old?  

This is a startling statistic!  Being a mom of two, between ages 9 and 11, with a long line of various cancers within our family, this is a sobering fact.  

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children.  

Childhood cancers are mostly those of the white blood cells (leukemia), brain, bone, and the lymphatic system (lymphoma). Each type of childhood cancer behaves differently, but all develop because of an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

There are many ways to make a difference
From making a donation that supports lifesaving research, to lending support to families affected by cancer, you can help children and families overcome the devastation of childhood cancer.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

September-Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

As you may recall, this disease is near and dear to my heart, and the inspiration for this site.  My dad continues the battle with prostate cancer, though not the same man he was when he began; he is still not cancer-free, yet "holding his own", over 13 years post diagnosis.  My uncle is surviving as well.

Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers for men living in the United States, and despite the progress we have made in controlling it, the disease continues to take a devastating toll on thousands of lives every year.  During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we remember those we have lost to prostate cancer, and we renew our commitment to detecting, and treating this terrible illness.

While the causes of prostate cancer are still unknown, men with certain risk factors may be more likely to develop the disease.  Men who suffer from prostate cancer range in age from their 20's, to men who are over the age of 65.  Those whose fathers, brothers, or sons have had prostate cancer are also at greater risk.  Prostate cancer is especially prevalent among African American men, who experience both the highest incidence and the highest mortality rates of prostate cancer.

National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

What Is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a malignancy of the ovaries, the female sex organs that produce eggs and make the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Treatments for ovarian cancer are improving, and the best outcomes are always seen when the cancer is found early.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

As with other types of cancer, varian cancer may not produce symptoms, particularly in the early stages. However, when symptoms do occur, they include abdominal bloating or a feeling of pressure, abdominal or pelvic pain, frequent urination, and feeling satiated quickly when eating. These symptoms, of course, occur with many different conditions and are not specific to cancer. You should discuss these symptoms with your doctor if they occur frequently and persist for more than a few weeks.

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

My father-in-law lost his battle with Leukemia before I had the pleasure of meeting him.  I have been told so many wonderful stories of the incredible man, husband, father, and educator he was, which is why I am so deeply saddened my children never had the Blessing of knowing their Grandpa Willie, nor he them.

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the center of the bones, where blood cells are produced. The term leukemia means white blood. White blood cells (leukocytes) are used by the body to fight infections and other foreign substances.

"Click" on the icon above for more information

where has the time gone?

Life has been nothing short of a whirlwind for the past few months!  Our family has been Blessed with incredible opportunities which have depleted my free-time (not that I ever had that much of it to begin with, but wouldn't have it any other way!), which unfortunately resulted in neglecting my site-my apologies!

I am "back" and energized to share my cancer advocacy journey with you all, and it feels great!

As you hopefully remember, September and October are HUGE months for cancer awareness initiatives, so stay with me and get ready for some great dialogue!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

National Cancer Survivors Day

June 2nd is a day to CELEBRATE!  
This day we celebrate those who continue to survive cancer, and to inspire those who are recently diagnosed.

Survival statistic
The number of people with a history of cancer in the United States has increased dramatically, from 3 million in 1971 to about 13.7 million today. About 68% of today’s cancer survivors were diagnosed with cancer five or more years ago. And, approximately 15% of all cancer survivors were diagnosed 20 or more years ago. More than half (59%) of cancer survivors are 65 or older, and 5% are younger than 40.
Most cancer survivors were initially diagnosed with common cancers. For example, 22% of survivors had breast cancer, 20% had prostate cancer, 9% had colorectal cancer, and 8% had cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancer.
The increase in survival rates is largely attributed to the following four developments:
  • Improved screening and early detection, such as mammography for breast cancer, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer, the Pap test for cervical cancer, and colonoscopy for colorectal cancer
  • Improvements in treatment
  • More effective treatment of side effects, making it possible to give patients higher, more effective doses of cancer drugs
  • The development of targeted therapies, which are more specific and often less toxic than standard chemotherapy
Source: National Cancer Institute Office of Cancer Survivorship,

Brain Tumor Awareness Month

The Facts:
  • Brain tumors strike men, women, and children of any race, and at any age.
  • Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related death in children under 20.
  • Over 688,000 Americans are living with a primary brain tumor. Each year, over 66,000 people are diagnosed with primary malignant and non-malignant tumors.
  • More so than any other cancer, brain tumors can have life-altering psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and physical effects.
  • There is hope. Scientists and researchers are more poised than ever to understand brain tumors, develop treatments, and find cures. 

May Is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). If you aren’t sure which type of skin cancer you have, ask your doctor so you can get the right information.
-Information provided by the American Cancer Society

Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

These cancers are most often found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms, but they also can occur elsewhere. They are very common but are also usually very treatable.

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma is a much less common but more serious type of cancer. Melanomas are usually brown or black, but can appear pink, tan, or even white.

Lymphoma of the Skin

Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in cells that are part of the body's immune system. Rare lymphomas that start in the skin are called skin lymphomas (or cutaneous lymphomas).

Do you know the ABC’s of sun safety?

  1. Avoid unprotected sun exposure when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  2. Block out the sun by using sunscreen.
  3. Cover your body with protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.

Honoring Heroes

As a granddaughter of a Korean War Veteran, I am truly grateful for all the men and women who have paid the ultimate the sacrifice-

From the bottom of my heart, I Honor and Thank You!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

celebrating 100 years of fighting to save lives

100 years ago, the American Cancer Society started the fight of a lifetime. Together we can finish that fight. Let's boldly join together to make this cancer's last century.

Sixty years ago, 1 out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survived.
Today, thanks in part to the work of the American Cancer Society, 2 out of 3 will survive.

I have family members and dear friends who have courageously lost the fight, continue to survive the disease, and provide care during the battle.  I celebrate this milestone in honor everyone who's lives have been touched by cancer, and look forward to continuing the FIGHT!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Metro Friendship Foundation Fundraiser

Join us Sunday, April 21st in Excelsior, to support the amazing work of the Metro Friendship Foundation at the 5th Annual Ice Breaker Gala!

I had the privilege to be a guest at last year's event, and am really excited attend again this year!

Autism and other related conditions are complex neurobiological disorders that typically last throughout a person’s lifetime and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. This condition is known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is diagnosed by a physician. Harvard School of Public Health estimates that direct costs for individuals with ASD range from $29,000 to more than $43,000 per person per year. Parents living with children with ASD have strong financial concerns for their families. 

  • Cost of caring for the child can drain family financial resources
  • Cost of caring for the child can drain family’s future finances
  • Cost of raising this child financially impacts raising other siblings
Without early intervention in social skills training, many individuals with ASD may never achieve economic self sufficiency
Metro Friendship Foundation (MFF) empowers individuals with ASD to fulfill their life's potential through scholarships.

Please "click" on the image above or below, to be connected to the MFF website.  There you will find information for the event, as well as ways to support the wonderful work Metro Friendship Foundation provides children and their families.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Is Black History Month

February marks the start of Black History Month, and this year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.

Black History Month had its beginnings in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.[1] Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.[4] Negro History Week was met with enthusiastic response; it prompted the creation of black history clubs, an increase in interest among teachers, and interest from progressive whites. Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with mayors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday.

Friday, February 1, 2013

National Wear Red Day 2013

I don't think there's a better way to kick off the month of February than with a celebration of Women's Heart Health!
As a woman with a heart issue, I know the importance of being aware, educated and pro-active in my heart health, as Heart Disease Is The #1 Killer Of Women!

Click on the icon below and find out about your heart health today-