spring cleanse :: digestive tract tour

April 19, 2014

i eat vegan organic food with fiber as much as i can + want to make sure i don’t have any cancer growing in my digestive tract, where my immune system is based. i chose my doctor because she got 5 stars on yelp 🙂 i had a colonoscopy with no drugs, so i was wide awake + got to see my appendix, large intestine + small intestine 🙂 colonoscopies don’t hurt, because you don’t have nerve endings in there. while preparing for my colonoscopy, i googled + saw that narcotics aren’t necessary or even offered in a lot of countries. i am so happy i got to be wide awake, get a guided video monitor tour of my digestive tract + see when 2 pre-cancerous polyps were found + removed. 1 was flat, which is most often cancerous, + the other looked like a wart. they were both painlessly snared + cut out, so that was instant cancer prevention 🙂 honestly, i wanted to get this important cancer check over with, but i had to reschedule my 1st appointment, because i was feeling panicky. it’s scarey before, but awesome to have it over with + know cancer isn’t growing in my colon. make your appointment to cancer cleanse your colon 20140419-100910.jpg 20140419-101000.jpg 20140419-101018.jpg 20140419-101045.jpg 20140419-101105.jpg 20140419-101132.jpg 20140419-101148.jpg 20140419-101206.jpg



For Those Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer (by Judy)

November 2, 2011

Researchers are surveying people living with metastatic breast cancer about how they make treatment decisions. If this applies to you, please consider taking the survey. Their deadline for the survey is November 11. Thanks so much.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation (by Judy)

October 27, 2011

Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation is exactly that: an organization that makes memories, wishes for those who have metastatic breast cancer, and, depending on the wish, their families.

Their mission is:

To provide an opportunity for metastatic breast cancer patients’ dream or wish to be fulfilled by providing a special time of ‘Making Memories’ together with their families, a chance that might not have become a reality without the assistance of the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

To advance the awareness of breast cancer and to educate the public about the vast resources and support available to breast cancer patients and their families.

Recognizing the huge financial strain placed on families wherein a member has metastatic breast cancer, Making Memories provides a way for metastatic breast cancer patients to make wishes come true, whether they’re in the form of a trip with their famly, a way to bring family to their bedside, or grants for publishing memoirs or other endeavors.

Making Memories hosts events and promotions as fundraisers. In addition, their website is a source of information about subjects including breast cancer facts and FAQs. Naking Memories currently has a list of wishes from people who have applied to Making Memories.

I think organizations like Making Memories are vitally important to metastatic breast cancer patients who find their finances depleted from cancer treatment and wish to make memories for themselves and their families. I plan to financially support Making Memories somemtime during the coming year. I hope you’ll join me in doing so as well.


Cross-posted to .Just Enjoy Him

Featured Charity: Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (by Judy)

October 13, 2011

On Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, I’d like to feature the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, or MBCN.

MBCN was founded in 2004 by Jane Soyer and Nina Schulman. When diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, they experienced feelings of isolation from the very groups established to provide support. They felt the stigma of being a ‘failure’ in the breast cancer community. Their belief that cancer cannot be viewed as a disease from which one is either a ‘survivor’ or to which one has succumbed, fueled their desire to advocate for change.

As someone with metastatic breast cancer, I applaud Soyer’s and Schulman’s organization. It is self-described as:

a national, independent, patient-led, non-profit, advocacy group dedicated to the unique concerns of the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.

For one thing, I’m glad tney recognize that men can also get breast cancer. For another, an organization like this makes me feel less lonely and isolated in the cheerful pinkness of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That’s because the board and members themselves are people with metastatic breast cancer. Their mission statement revolves around both awareness and education. Their website includes sections on Education, Developing Awareness, Support-Resources, Special Events, and News. MBCN even has an annual conference with this year’s conference being held on October 29 in Baltimore, MD.

Kudos to MBCN for filling a gap in breast cancer awareness and education. I applaud those who founded and/or are involved in MBCN.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: The IBC Network Foundation (by Judy)

October 10, 2011

It’s vitally important not just to feature breast cancer charities, but for me, particularly, to feature charities that focus on Inflammatory Breast Cancer (which I have) which is a rare and deadly breast cancer.

As I’ve said before, IBC typically presents differently than “regular” breast cancer does. A woman with IBC may not have a lump at all, and it’s often misdiagnosed as a breast infection such as mastitis. Women who have features of IBC that don’t go away need to be vigilant in asking their doctors for tests that will identify breast cancer. Often IBC doesn’t even show up on a mammogram.

Enter Terry Lynn Arnold, an IBC survivor. She is so passionate about educating people about IBC that she founded The IBC Network Foundation. The goals of The IBC Network Foundation are, as its website states:

To fund research regarding Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

To provide an avenue to network proactive education to the general population as well as the medical community regarding Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

To offer college scholarship for students who have been impacted by this diagnosis of this aggressive cancer as a way to show support to our Inflammatory Breast Cancer community.

This is a relatively new organization which could sorely use funds to help their efforts. I fully support The IBC Network Foundation and am impressed with the work that Terry Lynn has already accomplished through this foundation. Instead of buying pink items this October, why not send a few dollars to The IBC Network Foundation? Every little bit helps.

Way to go, Terry Lynn, on establishing this foundation and on working to educate people about IBC. As I said, I’m impressed. 🙂


Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: My Hope Chest (by Judy)

October 9, 2011

I recently had the honor of meeting the founder of My Hope Chest which is located in Seminole, FL. Alisa Savoretti, former Las Vegas showgirl, founded My Hope Chest to provide funding for breast cancer survivors who are uninsured, underinsured, or have somehow fallen through the cracks of a system that’s supposed to provide reconstruction if a woman has had a mastectomy.

Alisa was faced with this very dilemma herself in the Fall of 2003 when she had no insurance, had to have a mastectomy, and then was unable to take, as she says:

the final step in breast cancer treatment – restoring body, mind and spirit.

As someone who herself had a mastectomy and then, surprisingly, felt unwhole and ugly without one of my breasts, I underwent three surgeries and several procedures to reconstruct my left breast. I was still left with $4,000.00 that my husband and I have to pay to the hospital out-of-pocket. I appreciate what Alisa and her board do.

Alisa told me that everyone who works with My Hope Chest is a volunteer and the funds go to providing surgeries for women in need. She also told me that this calendar year, they were able to provide surgeries for six women. Remarkable for a small, grassroots organization!

Bravo, Alisa! While I know that reconstruction isn’t for everyone, I believe that women who want their breast(s) reconstucted should have that opportunity.


Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

An apple a day keeps cancer away? What to eat when you have cancer.

October 5, 2011

roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar - yum!

Cancer bursts into our lives ripping away any illusion of  control we though we had in this world.  Suddenly, we find ourselves full of questions and vulnerable to all sorts of “curative” advice – we are willing to do anything to live.  From prayers to potions to Pilates  to what’s on our plates, we plead, Will this be what heals me?”   

Make no mistake about it, our friends and family love us and every healing suggestion they bring is brought with love.  They feel just as powerless against our cancer as we do.  How simple it would be if we could just find the right magic [sprouted, organic] bean so that our cancer would be cured.  Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.  While there is no cure for cancer, there are things we can do to fight this killer disease.  For many of us, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the first weapons of choice.  Prescription drugs soon follow.  Meanwhile, outside the walls of traditional medicine, we start to dabble with remedies of our own.  Food and supplements serve as powerful weapons in our “Kill Cancer” arsenal.

Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not a member of the emailing forwarding “You got cancer from drinking out of plastic water bottles” crowd.  I’m also not one to spend $99.95 (plus shipping and handling) on exotic herbal pills offered on late night t.v. infomercials. More likely than not, you can find me sipping a Diet Pepsi or sneaking a cookie instead of juicing a beet/broccoli smoothie. However, I do live in one of the health food Meccas of the United States and did consult with a local dietician post- treatment to get some diet advice. She put together a list of the some of the best anti-cancer foods.  I’m not saying if you only eat these things, you will cure your cancer. And I’m not saying that if you don’t eat these things, your cancer will spread.  What I am willing to say is that these foods are good for you and some have powerful healing properties.  Bottom line?  They can’t hurt and some of these things actually taste good too!

Food ideas from Nutri-Physique, Pam Vagnieres, Boulder, Colorado

  1. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brocco-sprouts, watercress, cauliflower, collards, Brussel sprouts, kale, turnips, radish, arugla, bok chok, rutabga, cabbage…)
  2. Green Tea (Brassica and organic powdered green, Tea Tech)
  3. Berries
  4. Citrus (use the zest)
  5. Asian Mushrooms (shiitake, maitake….)
  6. Flax seeds (fresh ground organic)
  7. Nuts and Seeds (especially Brazil nuts, organic and raw, no peanuts)
  8. Garlic (crushed and raw)
  9. Dark Leafy Greens (kale, collard, mustard greens…)
  10. Legumes
  11. Pomegranates
  12. Dark chocolate (oh yeah! 70% and greater)
  13. Miso soup (yum!)
  14. Wild fish, organic grass-fed lean beef, lamb or buffalo, organic eggs and poultry
  15. Organic veggies (lightly steamed or juiced – especially brassicas, beets and artichokes)
  16. Sea vegetables
  17. Green drinks
  18. Whey protein powders (only processed at low temp)
  19. Pineapple stem
  20. Tomatoes cooked in olive oil
  21. Umeboshi and kuzu 
  22. Organic raw Kombucha tea
  23. Olive, avocado or coconut oil (and coconut milk)
  24. Spices (garlic, lemon grass, cumin, ginger, cayenne, oregano, tumeric, citrus peels, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, black peper)
  25. No sugar of any form (you may have stevia or xylitol)

Pam concludes her list with, “Don’t forget to get some fresh air, sunshine, walk, hike, swim, bike, and lift a few light weights to stay strong.  Most importantly, do whatever it takes to lift your heart and spirits and surround yourself with love!”

As a mother with four years under my belt living with Stage 3c breast cancer, I’ll add in my own words, “Do whatever it takes to lift your heart and spirits and surround yourself with love even if it means having the occasional slice of birthday cake or celebratory glass of champagne.”  Did I say champagne?  I meant Kombucha tea! 😉 Here’s to living well – whether we have cancer or not.