Friday, April 30, 2010
I got an amazing article from Dr. Alfred Kangolle from Tanzania. He writes about the challenges they face in dealing with Cancer in his country.
A key challenge is resources. Tanzania is a country of about 45 million people, has only one hospital, the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), specialized in treating cancer. There is one oncologist.
Awareness is another huge challenge, especially with the numbers of cancer diagnosis on the rise. 75-80% of women who seek attention at ORCI have advanced breast cancer. We know the key to beating breast cancer is to catch it in the early stages. With so many women seeking treatment so at such an advance state of disease, you can imagine the outcome for thousands of women is not good.
World Conference on Breast Cancer Foundation has been working with countries like Tanzania to help them connect to resources so that they are better equipped to deal with many of their challenges.
To sign up for the WCBCF e-Newletter click here
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
I am thinking I must not be a true Canadian because I don’t care about hockey or the playoffs. Shh – don’t tell anyone. I think if I just keep bringing the snacks, I can give the allusion of being a fellow hockey devotee.
Unfortunately, if I want to watch TV, the alternative is to spend the time watching endless re-runs of the ‘Suite Life of Zach and Cody’ with Arden, my 12 year old daughter. I am not sure what is worse?
Maybe I will just clean the bathroom.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
I know that sometimes when you have had cancer you just want to get away from it. Others connected through the disease turn to others like them for inspiration and hope.
For people who have not had cancer they may reach out because people they love have it, had it, have been lost to it or have beat it.
For as hideous and devastating as a disease like cancer is - it connects us. I cannot count the number of amazing relationships that I have formed with others because I had a few cells in my breast that decided not to play nice.
Many people see cancer as a curse. I am almost embarrassed to admit it but cancer for me - was a blessing (as long as it doesn't kill me). I have re-focused my priorities and learned to live life with Passion.
The beautiful thing about tomorrow's show is I will be there standing beside my image that is in the show - called 'Strength', taken by my friend WendyD (shown in this entry). All of the visible ravages of my disease are gone today.
It is almost like cancer is my secret now - - - well except I am blogging about it so millions can see. I guess the cat is out of the bag.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I had no idea what 'savvy' was - I just knew that I needed to remorsefully nod my head and reply, "savvy Dad". He would then give my one of his loving bone crushing hugs and we would go happily on our way. I adored my Dad (and still do).
I of course I later learned that 'savvy' meant to comprehend or understand. My dad is from Northern England so he use to use all kinds of words that are not typically used in Canada.
Well 'savvy' took on a whole new meaning for me yesterday, although it is spelled 'SAVI'. This is a revolutionary new radiation therapy that will have plastic surgeons who do breast construction dancing in their scrubs and snapping their latex gloves across the OR with joy.
I told you a while back that a friend had calcification detected on her mammogram. She originally thought that it was precancerous cells, but it turns out that it was not. She has had a lumpectomy and they are using a SAVI to deliver radiation to the localized site.
The SAVI Breast Brachytherapy Device, provides breast cancer radiation treatment from inside the breast.
This is why the Plastic Surgeons will be happy, because rather than having to deal with radiated breast tissue that ends up looking and feeling like a Rubbermaid bowl (flexible but tough), the tissue is saved from the effects of the treatment - only the lumpectomy cavity gets nuked.
This is so cool!!!! It is also quite new and not widely available. My friend, who I am now calling 'Jane the Conqueror' is fortunate to be living in Texas where it is available.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Getting more vitamin D today.
Friday, April 9, 2010
- Car pool and save the environment
- Laugh my freak'n head off and build endorphins
- Eat so many vegetables I create my own personal methane plant (I guess that might counter the environment saving)
Monday, April 5, 2010
- Death of a loved one
- Jail Term
- Injury or Illness
- Fired from job
- Financial problems
- Buying a house
Sunday, April 4, 2010
So how is it that we are bouncing along all full of life, no cares, lots of confidence and then BANG we hit 12 and our self esteem hits the floor?
Shopping for my daughter’s grade 7 year end dress at the second hand store was not the usual adventure of fun, imagination and stories. She did not want to look for a dress, she certainly did not want to try anything on and no stories about previous owners were going to be told (read the last entry where I explain this).
A friend and her 14 year old daughter had joined us (thank goodness). The girls wandered through the store laughing and picking up household items. I finally convinced the girls to join us in the clothing by threatening them with the statement that I would not leave the store until at least one dress was tried on. Ugh.
We started combing through the dresses. The 14 year old kept finding really cute dresses and handing them to my daughter, who out right rejected them, pulling faces and pretending to barf. She finally settled on two and dragged herself to the change room.
She emerged in one dress, shoulders slumped forward, dower look on her face. She looked like she was going to cry. I shuffled her back into the change room, with encouragement. The next dress, her body language was happier – but not by much. The 14 year old cooed over this one and I could see the deflated self esteem filling up with every word of praise. The teen grabbed a little shrug sweater and the look was complete.
Later we tried to get some shoes. We settled on high tops. It looks really funky and really represents how unique, funny and wonderful she is. I hope her confidence stays with her so she will go through with the look.
P.S. in the car on the way home my daughter told me a young Japanese girl named Yoko previously owned the dress and had worn it on her first date with the man she ended up marrying. My little girl is still there she is just trapped inside a teenager.