Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brittany Maynard, Terminally With Brain Cancer, Died Today; On Her Terms, At Age 29

I have such immense respect for this woman!
Having experienced the merciless reality of cancer and the unbearable toll it takes on the body, mind and spirit, I cannot/will not judge her choice - her right.

"Click" on the image to view an incredibly moving video she made a few days ago.

R.I.P. Brittany...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Again, Lung Cancer

Last week another aunt of mine was laid to rest after a recent lung cancer diagnosis.  She is my 3rd aunt to die from this type of cancer - the 2nd this year. 

My heart is full and I hope and pray EVERYONE understands the importance of timely detection through screenings!

Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage when it may be easier to treat. Lung cancer may have spread by the time a person has symptoms. One reason lung cancer is so serious is because it usually is not found until it has spread and is more difficult to treat. Screening may provide new hope for early detection and treatment of lung cancer. Scientists study screening tests to find those with the fewest risks and most benefits. They look at results over time to see if finding the cancer early decreases a person's chance of dying from the disease. Three screening tests have been studied to see if they decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer.
  • Chest x-ray:A plain x-ray of your chest. An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. Chest x-ray is no longer recommended for screening.
  • Sputum cytology:A sample of mucus you cough up from the lungs (called sputum or phlegm) is looked at under a microscope to see if cancer cells are present. Sputum cytology is a procedure in which a sample of sputum (mucus that is coughed up from the lungs) is viewed under a microscope to check for cancer cells
  • Low-dose spiral CT scan:A CT (or CAT) scan is a special kind of x-ray that takes many pictures as you lie on a table that slides in and out of the machine. A computer then combines these pictures into a detailed picture of a slice of your body. A procedure that uses low-dose radiation to make a series of very detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
Of these tests, studies showed that only low-dose spiral CT scan reduced the risk of dying from lung cancer in high-risk populations. Chest x-ray and sputum cytology are two screening tests that have been used to check for signs of lung cancer but do not decrease the risk of dying from lung cancer.
Considering screening for lung cancer can bring up a variety of questions. The American Lung Association has released new guidelines to help physicians, their patients and the public in their discussions about lung cancer screening.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy 4th Of July

The weather was perfect, and we had a fun day of bike rides, badminton and fierce family basketball games!  The day ended with a FABULOUS fireworks display along the Mighty Mississippi River!

Wishing you and yours, a Happy Independence Day! 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brain Cancer Symptoms

Unfortunately, it is very common for brain tumor patients to experience symptoms associated with their tumor(s) and/or treatment(s).

People with brain tumors often suffer from:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Sensory (touch) and motor (movement control) loss
  • Deep venous thrombosis (DVT, or blood clot)
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Behavioral and cognitive (thinking) changes
  • Endocrine dysfunction (hormone/gland changes)
These symptoms may be associated with the type, size, and/or location of the tumor, as well as the treatments used to manage it. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other treatments all have the potential to generate new symptoms as they work to reduce the impact of the tumor. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In Rememberance-Dr. Maya Angelou


May She Rest In Peace And Rejoice In Love Above!

This is probably my all time favorite poems by Maya-"click" the link below.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

June 1st Is...

A survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer – from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.

Today, is a day we set aside to honor cancer survivors and their hard fought battles.   Today, we CELEBRATE their lives!

I happily celebrate my dad, cousin, uncle, mentor/soul sister, and many dear friends who have persevered through their cancer journey.  

I stand in awe of your strength, courage, and unshakeable determination. 
Facing Cancer Together!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brain Cancer Awareness Month-May

The diagnosis of a brain tumor is the start of a journey that nobody expects to take. Understanding what is happening and the medical terms that doctors are using can be overwhelming and confusing.

The brain and spinal cord together form the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is the core of our existence. It controls our personality, thoughts, memory, intelligence, speech and understanding, emotions, senses, and basic body functions, as well as how we function in our environment.

Brain Tumors do not discriminate. Primary brain tumors - those that begin in the brain and tend to stay in the brain - occur in people of all ages, but they are statistically more frequent in children and older adults. Metastatic brain tumors - those that begin as a cancer elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain - are more common in adults than children.

Brain tumors are the:
  • second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (males and females) under age 20 (leukemia is the first).
  • second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males ages 20-39 (leukemia is the first).
  • fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females ages 20-39.

 Risk factors can be environmental, such as being exposed to certain chemicals at home or work, eating or not eating certain foods, physical activity level, and/or other lifestyle choices such as tobacco and/or alcohol use. They can also be genetic, or based on the characteristics we inherit from our parents.

 Learning about the various parts of the brain and spine, as well as how they work, will help you understand the symptoms of brain tumors, how they are diagnosed, and how they are treated.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

National Women's Health Week

Why women should take care of themselves...

National Women’s Health week began this Sunday with celebrating our moms on Mother’s Day. Now, in an effort to encourage healthy living for all of the special women in our lives, the Department of Health and Human Services wants women to take steps to living healthier and happier lives.  
“We know that women are often the ones who make sure everyone — everyone else, that is — in our families are cared for. But too often, we put our own health last,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a press release.
She also continued to say that when women take care of themselves first, this will lead to them taking care of their families better. Eating right, exercising, and taking other steps to continually improve health is an everyday and constant effort that should be made.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Stroke Awareness

May is American Stroke Month, which is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s annual campaign to increase stroke awareness and to educate Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable. 

 Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. Unfortunately, many Americans do not think of stroke as a major health concern.  

 A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Asthma Awareness Month

As a mom of two kids who were each diagnosed with asthma as toddlers, the month of May represents not only 'May Flowers', but oftentimes, reoccurring asthma symptoms which my kids struggle with.
  After a decade of too many doctor appointments, treatments, visits to the ER and urgent care to count; along with continual maintenance, we are extremely blessed our children have outgrown the majority of their asthma issues.  Periodically, they still have a tough time breathing normally.  I am so grateful to the American Lung Association!

Please "click" on the image below to learn about the important work of the ALS!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014



  Saturday, May 17th, Saint Paul River Centre St. Paul, MN

The Wish Ball is the signature black-tie gala benefiting Make-A-Wish Minnesota. This premier event features an elegant dinner, drinks, music, dancing and the chance to bid on amazing items and experiences in the live & silent auctions. Most important, The Wish Ball will help raise funds to grant wishes of Minnesota children with life-threatening medical conditions

Make-A-Wish® grants a wish, on average, every 38 minutes to a child with a life-threatening medical condition. Wishes come in all shapes and sizes.

Wishes strengthen wish kids and their families, rally communities together, and change the lives of everyone involved. Experience the stories of those who know firsthand the power of a wish come true. Each one a life-affirming testament to hope, inspiration, and resilience.

"Click" on the image above for more information on Make-A-Wish

Monday, April 7, 2014

National Volunteer Week


"Through countless acts of kindness, generosity, and service, Americans recognize that we are all bound together -- that we move this country forward by giving of ourselves to others and caring for those around us. Every day, Americans carry forward the tradition of service embedded in our character as a people. And as we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we embrace our shared responsibility to one another and recommit to the task of building a more perfect Union."

-President Barack Obama, 2014 Presidential Proclamation

I am thankful for the continued opportunity to serve within my community, and am grateful to those who also serve!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Metro Friendship Foundation-Ice Breaker Social~April 13th

I am thrilled to support this amazing organization and event, which helps so many families!

Metro Friendship Foundation (MFF) empowers individuals with ASD to fulfill their life's potential through scholarships.
Metro Friendship Foundation is viewed as the premier charitable organization granting scholarships to every qualifying individual seeking social skills development through approved providers.  This social skill development will enhance the recipients' opportunities to reach their potential to become contributing members of society by making a living with meaningful work, engaging in and contributing to their communities, and enjoying relationships.

Please join us for a wonderful fundraiser in Minneapolis!

"Click" the image below for more information

Autism Awareness

Every day, the millions of Americans living with autism and their families face unique and daunting challenges that many of us will never fully appreciate. During National Autism Awareness Month, we renew our commitment to better understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and improve the lives of individuals living with it.

ASD is a developmental disability characterized, in varying degrees, by persistent difficulties in social communication and restrictive and repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities. We know that early screening and intervention at younger ages helps children get the most effective treatments earlier in life. Yet the CDC found that most children with autism are diagnosed after age 4, even though autism can be diagnosed as early as age 2.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans must now cover autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months – with no out-of-pocket costs.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act includes many important benefits and protections that address the health care needs of those with autism. Insurers are no longer allowed to exclude anyone with autism or charge more based on this pre-existing condition. Also, children are now able to remain on their parents’ health plan until the age of 26. And millions more families now have access to affordable quality health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

10 Related Facts:

1. About one in 68 children has been identified with it, according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

2. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

3. It is almost five times more common among boys (one in 42) than among girls (one in 189).

4. Studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has autism spectrum disorder, then the other will be affected about 36 percent to 95 percent of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has the disorder, then the other is affected about 0 percent to 31 percent of the time.

5. Parents who have a child with autism spectrum disorder have a 2 percent to 18 percent chance of having a second child who is also affected.

6. Almost half – 46 percent -- of children identified with autism spectrum disorder has average to above average intellectual ability.

7. Children born to older parents are at a higher risk for having autism spectrum disorder.

8. On average, children identified with autism spectrum disorder were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as 2.

9. It is estimated to cost at least $17,000 more per year to care for a child with autism spectrum disorder than it does to care for a child without the condition. Costs include health care, education, autism-related therapy, family-coordinated services and caregiver time. For a child with more severe autism spectrum disorder, costs per year increase to over $21,000. Taken together, it is estimated that total societal costs of caring for children with autism were more than $9 billion in 2011.

10. Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without the disorder by $4,110 to $6,200 a year. On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder were 4.1 to 6.2 times greater than for those without the condition.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Just 30 Minutes A Day

Today is National Walking Day!
We’re encouraging Americans to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It's a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to get your family, friends and co-workers started on a healthier way of life!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lace Up Everyone-April 2nd!

American Heart Association's National Walking Day!

Get Up and Move! These days, adults are spending more time at work than ever before. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we're becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease!

But take heart! It's a problem you can help fix by encouraging your community and company to take part in the American Heart Association's National Walking Day.

On this day, Americans are encouraged to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It's a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to get your family, friends and co-workers started on a healthier way of life.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Colon cancer facts...

    Colorectal cancer is both preventable and curable. Colorectal cancer is prevented by removing precancerous colon polyps.
  • Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine.
  • Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in males and fourth in females in the U.S.
  • Risk factors for colorectal cancer include heredity, colon polyps, and long-standing ulcerative colitis.
  • Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps. Removal of colon polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
  • Colon polyps and early cancer can have no symptoms. Therefore regular screening is important.
  • Diagnosis of colorectal cancer can be made by barium enema or by colonoscopy with biopsy confirmation of cancer tissue.
  • Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the location, size, and extent of cancer spread, as well as the health of the patient.
  • Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer.
  • Chemotherapy can extend life and improve quality of life for those living with colorectal cancer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Learn about the benefits of catching colon cancer early, identifying the people at greatest risk for developing colon cancer, and the steps you can take to detect colon cancer early or even prevent it altogether

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February Is Black History Month

"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us." - Wilma Rudolph

This year marks the 50th year of the Civil Rights Act

This document was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction

In a nationally televised address on June 6, 1963, President John F. Kennedy urged the nation to take action toward guaranteeing equal treatment of every American regardless of race. Soon after, Kennedy proposed that Congress consider civil rights legislation that would address voting rights, public accommodations, school desegregation, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, and more.

Despite Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963, his proposal culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson just a few hours after House approval on July 2, 1964. The act outlawed segregation in businesses such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels. It banned discriminatory practices in employment and ended segregation in public places such as swimming pools, libraries, and public schools.

Passage of the act was not easy

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

National Wear Red Day-Feb. 7th

Heart Disease is the #1 killer among women...  

Protect your HEARTS ladies!  After all, nobody knows your heart better than you!

***"Click" on the image for AHA information

Monday, January 20, 2014

Celebrating the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.      

This is a great opportunity for families to volunteer, celebrate and honor an amazing man and change-agent. 
My family an I had a great time during our volunteer event-hope you do too!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

A New Year To Remember!

                                       Welcome 2014! 
I feel Blessed to have lived to experience another year and look forward to this one with great anticipation!

As I celebrate the new year and possibilities, I sadly look back on 2013 and to my uncle, who courageously lost his battle to cancer.

I pray this is a year of no diagnosis and lives taken away by cancer within my family. 
                          I pray this year will be different.

I continue to be filled with gratitude for my life and remain hopeful for the future.

-Facing Cancer Together