Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
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Todays Fabulous Feature is Kelly over at Hey Cancer, you picked the wrong Bitch.
Her Journey has just begun:
I decided to start the blog to keep my friends and family informed about what I was going through. It was easier to send out a link that they could check at their leisure rather than send out a mass email and worry if I forgot to include someone. After I started it, I realized that there was a much bigger advantage to the blog . . . networking. I hadn't been to any support groups mainly because in my area there are very few young women that know what I'm going through. The blog however has opened up that area to me.
2. When did you make the decision to go and see a doctor?
January 2008. I had a large mass in my breast from a previoius reduction surgery two years prior. Multiple doctors told me that it was most likely just scar tissue and that it was nothing to worry about, this was over a 1.5 year span. In December 2007 I lost my mother to February 8 and I got the news February 12. and in January I noticed that my bra was not fitting correctly on the right side. I called back the doctor and told him what was going on and that I was ready to have a biopsy done. He scheduled a mamogram for , biopsy
3. What has/had brought you hope and courage during the scary times?
I have a very supportive network of friends and family. Besides that, I somehow just knew that this wasn't going to get the best of me. It was just very nonchalant, like "Ok, cancer. How do I get rid of it". I think that finding this out so close to my mother passing away, I haven't adequately dealt with either on an emotional level. So, I'm sure that once all this is done with and I have time to take a step back and breathe that I may just have a melt down. At which point I'm sure I'll be contacting a therapist! :)
4. I read that you were told you might not be able to have children, how have things changed? have they changed? Do you have children?
5. Did you have a strong support system (family, friends, etc) during all your treatments? Did you take part in any ? What is your advice to those who might not have a strong support system?
Kinda touched on this one in question 3. Most of my friends are from grade school, we've been there for each other for many years and through many difficult times. They were so supportive. Before this, my family wasn't the closest. But now, we've become much more close and they were a big source of support. I didn't attend any support groups. Most of the women in them (in my area) are much older than me and have children and husbands. They couldn't relate to what I was going through. I did attend one seminar in Boston geared towards young women with , which was helpful.
6. Do you have a family history of cancer?
My mother had ovarian cancer, twice - first at 50 then again at 56. And my paternal aunt had breast cancer, not sure what age but it was later in life.
7. Did you lose your hair? If so, what was the bright side of dealing with your hair loss?
8. If there is one thing you could tell women about Breast Cancer what would it be?
9. Anything else you would like to share?
Some sites that were most helpful to me:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
WebMD Health News
Nov. 24, 2008 -- Can breast cancer disappear? The question may sound ridiculous, but some breast cancers detected on mammography may have spontaneously disappeared if they had not been found and treated, according to a team of researchers from Norway and Dartmouth Medical School.
But a spokesman for the American Cancer Society calls that conclusion an "overreaching leap in logic" and stresses that the benefits of regular mammograms far outweigh the potential harms.
"Some breast cancers will not continue to behave as cancers, even though they look like cancer under the microscope, and they grow and reach a size where they can be detected on mammograms," Jan Maehlen, MD, PhD, a study co-author, tells WebMD. "But if they had been left intact [instead of treated after detection], some will stop growing and shrink and disappear over a course of perhaps two years."
To read the full article go HERE
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It ends this SUNDAY! Go HERE to enter!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Scientists ID genes never before linked to deadly acute myeloid leukemia
updated 5:44 p.m. ET, Wed., Nov. 5, 2008-- taken from MSNBC HealthWASHINGTON - Scientists for the first time have decoded the entire genome of a cancer patient, identifying a series of genes never before linked to the type of white blood cell cancer that ultimately killed the woman.
The study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, represents a new approach to grasp the genetic underpinning of cancer and pave the way for better treatments, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said.
The patient was a woman in her 50s who died 23 months after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, according to Dr. Timothy Ley, who led the study. Only one in five patients who get this disease, also called AML or acute myelogenous leukemia, lives more than five years after diagnosis.
AML, a common kind of leukemia in adults, begins inside bone marrow, tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. Each year in the United States, about 13,000 people are diagnosed with AML -- usually in people age 60 and older -- and it kills about 8,800 people.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I have cancer but cancer does not have me.
Cancer is not who I am.
It’s only a bend in the road that is my life’s journey…
An unexpected detour on my path.
It is a lesson in the cosmic schoolroom that is human existence.
So I will pause to rest and heal
And study the lesson
Before I move on to my life beyond cancer.
I will not give in to fear,
And I will not be discouraged by setbacks.
Setbacks are only opportunities to review the lesson.
I will not be ashamed of my scars.
My scars are brushstrokes in the masterpiece that is my life.
I will be thankful for the many blessings that cancer has brought into my life:
People I never would have known,
Love that I had never been still or quiet enough to witness,
Humility I needed,
Strength I thought I had lost,
Courage I never knew I had.
I will remember that I can still have fun
And that it’s okay – even healthy to be silly.
I will remember that to find the joy in rainbows
I must endure the rain.
And I will remember always that
While I may have cancer
Cancer does not have me.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Don't qualify for the study- no worries. You can help spread the news about cancer awareness by voting for my bloggy friend Meaghan's blog. Click here to vote or read more about it on her site!
Be sure to enter HERE for our November scrapbook layout from
Crafty & Contemporary!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Megan at Ramblings of a Crazy Mom
I have you added to my Blog list and my button list!"
be sure to contact me with your info
Meaghan at I kicked cancers ass
who said her favorite bag was: "Seafarer is my favorite for sure!!"
be sure to contact me with your info
Go HERE to enter!!
During one portion of the conference we had the Government Affairs guy from the Great Lakes Division talk to us about the impact that we were making through the ACS Cancer Action Network (CAN) program - which is an advocacy program for volunteers to lobby their state representatives and help get cancer related legislation passed. One impact that the ACS CAN program had, recently, was in the passing of Michelles Law....
A Brief History of Michelle’s Law.
That’s when the Morse family discovered that they were caught in a terrible catch-22. If Michelle cut back, as her doctors recommended, she would either lose her insurance or would have to pay C.O.B.R.A. The premiums for C.O.B.R.A. were approximately $550 a month (not including copays), would be more than the family could afford.
As both a parent and a teacher, AnnMarie felt that students like Michelle should be allowed a brief medical leave (up to 12 months) during which they could cut back or leave college to concentrate on their health needs – without jeopardizing the insurance they rely on for their treatments. With the help of some legislators, and backed by a number of medical and professional organizations, AnnMarie Morse took the issue to the NH legislature.
After 18 months Michelle’s Law was signed into law by Governor John Lynch on June 22, 2006.
- Michelle’s Law allows full-time college students to take up to 12 months medical leave.
- Michelle’s Law applies to students who are covered under their parent’s health insurance plan.
- “Medical leave” can mean that the student is absent from school or reduces his/her course load to part-time.
- The date the medical leave begins is determined by a student’s physician.
- Signed into law on June 22, 2006, the legislation was officially named “Michelle’s Law” and took effect immediately.
It doesn't take much time to help make a difference in the fight against cancer. Join ACS CAN today... you will be glad you did.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Crafty and Contemporary to give away a:
handmade, cancer related,
2 PAGE SCRAPBOOK LAYOUT
For a second entry, (you must do #1 first):
1. visit Nicoles site and tell us what you like best about her craft-iness
Giveaway ends November 30th - so enter now!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Click HERE to enter! Giveaway ends tomorrow!
Today's Fabulous Feature Friday is about a women named, Gina, that I found through the Secret is in the Sauce blog site. I was so incredibly touched by her story that I had to post it for you all to read. When Gina's husband was diagnosed with cancer her world turned upside down. After several attempts with the traditional methods of chemo and radiation Gina and her husband George decided to take another route- through an alternative cancer treatment center in California. Because insurance would not pay for George to have treatments at the center in CA, Gina set out on a mission to raise enough money to send him there and to save her husband.
Here is their story:
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Seriously? I couldn't believe what I was reading when I saw this article:
Women who suffer from migraines may take at least some comfort in a recent, first-of-its-kind study that suggests a history of such headaches is associated with a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. In particular, migraine history appeared to reduce the risk of the most common subtypes of breast cancer.
So, I ask a question to all the migraine suffers out there: think it's worth it?
To all those without migrains: are you jealous?
Kinda weird, and un-helpful if you ask me.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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It ends Saturday, Nov. 15th
From OncoLog, November 2004, Vol. 49, No. 11
taken from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
by Rachel Williams
New parents lose a lot of sleep worrying about their newborn’s adjustments to this world, but some parents have more serious concerns—like coping with the dismay of finding out that their baby has cancer.
In fact, about 10% of all cancers to strike children under the age of 15 are diagnosed in infants one year old or younger. Infants get the same types of cancer that tend to develop in older children and adolescents—acute leukemias and tumors of the brain, nervous system, lymphatic system, kidneys, bones, and muscles—but the prognosis, behavior, and treatment of these cancers in infants can be very different.
While infants with cancer have a much lower five-year survival rate than older children (33% vs. 75%, respectively), pediatric specialists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center point out that some types of cancer actually have a better prognosis in infants than in older children. And in every case, treatment options improve with specialized care.
“For example, children under one year who have neuroblastoma have a better prognosis than older children and are therefore treated a little differently,” said Joann Ater, M.D., a professor in the Division of Pediatrics who has worked at M. D. Anderson for 15 years treating this most common form of infant cancer. “Stage 4, or metastatic, disease has a much more serious prognosis in a patient who is 18 months or older than it does in an infant. Usually, older children get bone marrow transplants, but the really young ones have a good chance of being cured with surgery and chemotherapy. For some of them, if the tumor is local and not metastatic, it is curable with just surgery.”
Surprisingly, though, some neuroblastomas are curable in infants without any treatment at all. Over time, stage 4S neuroblastoma (a special stage, distinct from stage 4) can actually regress or even entirely disappear on its own.
Genes may be key
A tumor’s unique behavior in infants may have an underlying genetic cause. “Tumors in babies are genetically different in many cases from tumors that occur in older people, even in the same types of cancer,” explained Dr. Ater.
Cynthia E. Herzog, M.D., an associate professor in the Division of Pediatrics, explained that there is no specific biomarker that allows researchers to distinguish the type of neuroblastoma that can regress on its own from others, so it is a matter of watchful waiting and careful balancing of treatment decisions.
“It is different, but we cannot say exactly how it is different. It can’t be defined biologically or histologically, and we can’t predict which kids have this type of tumor and which do not,” said Dr. Herzog. “The trick is that you don’t want to overtreat kids who have tumors that will regress on their own; on the other hand, you don’t want to undertreat the ones that don’t have the kind that will go away.”
Leukemia, the second most common cancer in infants, also behaves differently in infants than in older children. According to Michael Rytting, M.D., an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatrics and a specialist in treating pediatric leukemia, infants with leukemia generally have a worse prognosis than older children, and the poorer prognosis has a genetic link.
“Infants with leukemia frequently have a rearrangement of the MLL gene in the leukemia cell,” said Dr. Rytting. “This rearrangement is the principal difference between babies and older children with the disease, and it is known to be a poor prognostic factor.”
Dr. Rytting explained that accurately diagnosing leukemia in infants can be difficult. “Some infants with trisomy 21 have a transient myeloproliferative disorder that looks very similar to leukemia,” he explained. “This illness frequently resolves on its own, though these children remain at high risk for leukemia later in life.
Emiliano and his mother, Denise (center), traveled to M. D. Anderson from Chihuahua, Mexico, to seek treatment for his neuroblastoma. Emiliano is receiving chemotherapy, which will be followed by surgery to remove the tumor.
“When the MLL rearrangement is involved, it takes a little longer to achieve remission than you might see with older children, and resistant disease probably is more common,” said Dr. Rytting. “These patients tend to be negative for CD10, the common acute lymphocytic leukemia antigen, and those patients are known to not do very well. However, the small group of infants who are positive for CD10 and do not have the MLL rearrangement do almost as well as other older children, so it is important to make that distinction.”
Specialized care is best
Regardless of the type of cancer, experts agree that treatment of infants is best handled in a highly specialized environment. “Babies present a challenge and really should be treated in a center that can meet their distinctive needs,” Dr. Rytting said.
For parents, having access to nonmedical support staff who specialize in pediatric cancer can ease the strain during a very difficult time. “For young and sometimes inexperienced parents, having an infant with cancer can be a very shocking emotional experience, so we have a lot of support staff to help,” said Dr. Ater.For instance, M. D. Anderson psychologists developed a program called “Maternal Problem Solving” to help mothers learn to cope with catastrophic illness. “We’re very geared toward helping young parents through problematic times when their baby is diagnosed with cancer,” Dr. Ater concluded. “It just makes things a little easier.”
Monday, November 10, 2008
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This is the newest addition to the Nana's Box family. I recently had the opportunity to make a box for Lindsey over at Pleasant Drive.
That next week I was able to feature her husband and his thoughts and feelings on her diagnosis. Go here to read his feature.
They have been so kind in letting me share their story, and abit of insight into their world, with all of you.
Since then I have been in awe of their courage and strength throughout this whole ordeal. They truly are fighters.
Friday, November 7, 2008
KCraine Handbag & Clutch giveaway!!
Just when the caterpillar thought life was over..
it became a butterfly....
PreCancer Girl.... I was a healthy, happy wife and mom. I had a busy, hectic and very wonderful life. I was planning my daughter's graduation party, dorm shopping, attending banquets, regattas, and travelling with my younger daughter for her horse shows...
Wow...This is harder than I thought. My cancer journey began when I found a rock hard lump in my breast. Ok, I have had lumps before...they come and go, but this one felt very different. I was due for my annual check-up in 4weeks so I WAITED until then to ask about it. It didn't hurt and there is no cancer in my family history so it would probably just go away in a few days. My Dr. immediately.... that day, sent me for a mammogram..which I have had faithfully for the past 13 years. My mammogram came back all clear but there was still something there...so I had an ultrasound. I could tell by the silence in the room that it was not good. The radiologist told me it had to be removed. I was in shock. I have never had surgery before. I had 2 babies but never stayed in a hospital for anything before..
Cancer Girl.....It was June 29, 2006.... Funny how every cancer patient remembers the day they were diagnosed. It was my husband's birthday, 3 days after I dropped my daughter off for her Freshman year at college, and my younger daughter was getting ready to start high school in the Fall. After many difficult decisions and a whirlwind of appointments, my whole life changed. I had a very aggressive form of Cancer..a fast growing HER2 positive Stage 2. Only 25% of women get this form of cancer. I have had 8 surgeries, 6 rounds of Chemotherapy, and 18 Herceptin Infusions. and I lost count of the # of Dr. visits and shots...... A total of 2 years of my life from the initial diagnosis to the final......... see you in 6 months conversation.
Post Cancer Girl....I am a 2 year Breast Cancer Survivor! I am feeling like my old self only with a new appreciation of what is really important in life. Cancer gave me a gift....Wisdom. Cancer in many ways has been a blessing. It taught me to LIVE my life with a new perspective. I welcome birthdays...I am just so happy to still be here. Sure, every once in awhile I get a pain or an ache and panic will rush back in my mind.. but I am enjoying every minute of every day and I am surrounded by the people that mean the most to me.
Warrior Woman... I now have a voice to help other women who are unfortunately in their own cancer journey. Breast Cancer Awareness and Early Detection can save your life. Cancer is no longer a death sentence as so many wonderful drugs are now available. I am about to walk my second 3 day 60 mile Breast Cancer Walk. 20 miles a day for 3 days thru the beautiful city of St. Pete Florida. This is truly a life changing and inspiring journey of hope. This is my way of celebrating my survival...I walk for those who cannot. I am walking in hopes that my daughters will never have to...I want a cure!
Joanie recently finished her 3 day 60 mile Breast Cancer Walk for the Susan G. Komen foundation. To see pictures of her trek and to read more about her and her beautiful family visit her blog site here.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Cervical: TEAL & WHITE
Childhood: METALLIC GOLD
Colon: DARK BLUE
Esophageal: PERIWINKLE BLUE
Kidney: KELLY GREEN
Leukemia: LIME GREEN
Lymphoma: LIGHT GREEN
Multiple Myeloma: RED
Oral, Head, Neck: BURGUNDY & BEIGE
Pancreatic: LIGHT PURPLE
Prostate: LIGHT BLUE
Testicular: LIGHT VIOLET
The winner randomly picked from the leftover entries is: (drum roll please)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
a **BIG** thanks to Bethany for her beautiful donation and support!
1. Visit KCrain Handbags and then come back here and leave us a comment about which bag is your favorite.
2. For a second entry tell a friend about us- have your friend follow step #1 in addition to leaving a comment about you telling them about our giveaway. (make sense?)
3. For a third entry add us to your blog roll or list of blogs that you follow! (third entry subject to verification)