Cancer Related Information
Last week, Scotty’s car had issues and today, my engine light came on. Should be interesting to find out what’s causing the issue, but in perspective – it’s not that big of a deal. Life certainly doesn’t slow down or stop for anyone, does it?
Which brings me to a topic on my mind lately…
The Christmas and New Year holidays bring out a lot of emotions for everyone, including me. I have been reading about long term mental and emotional effects of cancer among those who are cured from cancer and the caretakers who were affected by the experience. I have been somewhat off kilter since learning of Mathias Giordano’s death.
Just because the Cancer is gone, the CANCER isn’t gone.
“Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving. Even if your lucky enough to be told “You’re cured. Go home.”, that is rarely the end of the story. Survivors are often unprepared to handle long-term mental health effects can last a lifetime.” I would also add that caretakers and families are forever changed as well. The boards over at Stupid Cancer reflect a growing group that needs attention.
Although Scotty has been cancer free for 6+ years, he still has lingering effects. His sleeping patterns have not been the same since his diagnosis, his immune system is weakened and you can imagine what having half a colon does to his daily habits. And although he doesn’t really talk about it, I know mentally there are things that creep up from time to time.
Our kids still get nervous and anxious whenever Scott mentions he’s not feeling well – even for a common cold. There are news events and others’ experiences (like Mathias’s passing) that quickly remind me of what we went through and immediately take me back to that time including the emotions of it all. Both Scott and I get nervous every time he has to see a doctor – nothing is routine anymore when it comes to his health.
So, what’s my point in sharing this? I guess it’s more to remind people that cancer is a forever changing disease – and while those that become cancer free are free from the actual disease, they will never be the same. Friends and family shouldn’t act like it never happened once it’s over, because it’s never really over.
- Adult survivors of childhood cancer get help with late effects of treatment
- Stupid Cancer: Long term mental/emotional effects.
RIP Joe Cocker - who died today from his cancer battle at age 70.
Hours after I published my last post, I saw the post that crushed my heart…
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that our hearts shattered into a million pieces as of 5:00 pm , Sunday night. December 7th will be the date that our beautiful, handsome , strong, brave, athletic , smart, loving , caring, incredible , perfect…MVP decided to be cancer free & leave this earth. He was surrounded by love , as Chris , Troy & I were holding his hands & telling him how much we love him . #MathiasStrong
I wish the family healing, peace and love while they grieve and learn to live their new normal…
A few weeks ago, I tried Zumba. According to Wikipedia, Zumba is an aerobic fitness program featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music.
I went with a few of my boxing buddies and we had a blast. After the first class, I realized it had been way too long since I did something totally outside of my norm and laughed. I am no dancer and after the first song or so, it didn’t even matter. It’s just about moving – and dancing for an hour or so. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to replace my strength and conditioning work but I am going to add it weekly for now. As a way to just go a bit crazy, dance and laugh for an hour.
This past Saturday, after my boxing session, I went to a 2 hour Zumba charity event, where proceeds went to the St Judes Children’s Hospital. I was able to dance for a hour and half before I just couldn’t do anymore. When I got home, I was spent. Boxing and then dancing for 1.5 hours can take it out of you.
Even though I was tired on Saturday, it was worth it to help raise money for St. Judes. I’ve been feeling rather sad about a local boy’s cancer battle…
Mathias Giordano is a 13 year old boy in Leesburg who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, cancer of the bone, in July of 2012. Over the past 28 months, he has endured biopsies, port placement, 30+ rounds of high dose chemo, 3 major lung surgeries, an amputation of his right leg below the knee, and 27 rounds of radiation. Not to mention a few clinical trials.
Needless to say, Mathias is a strong warrior who has fought with so much grace and dignity. His courage and spirit inspire everyone who is lucky enough to meet him. His smile lights up the room and his positive outlook is truly amazing.
Mathias continues to battle the ugly beast of cancer with poise. Taking one day at a time and trying to live life at its fullest. While he is fighting for his life he is determined to make a difference and spread awareness for pediatric cancer in our community. He wants people to know that kids get cancer too and that they can’t fight alone.
A recent update from Momastary:
Mathias’s family fought and fought but now they have been told that the only thing to do is keep Mathias comfortable. They have decided to do a hell of a lot more than that.
From personal experience with my husband’s colon cancer treatment, I know how horrible cancer is, but when it involves children – it really hits me harder. My heart is breaking for Mathias and his family. I am not a deeply religious person, but I have been sending prayers and good thoughts to them each day – and I did buy a raffle ticket to lend some support to cause. If you want to keep updated on Mathias you can join his facebook page: Team Mathias
Life so short and precious which is why I decided this month was the month of giving and FORGIVING. I refuse to waste any more time holding onto anger and resentment. It’s not worth it when there are brave, little souls battling bigger issues in life…
Pomegranate seeds are antioxidant rich, and have shown to aid in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. One pomegranate contains approximately 50 percent of your daily vitamin C, as well as pantothenic acid (B5), which may help with muscle cramping and prevent insulin resistance.
I find them to be very refreshing but not in the same way a grape is. They are less sweet than a grape, akin to a cranberry but not as tart in my opinion.
Looking for a new twist on a Thanksgiving side meal? Try making a Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce…
How to Deseed a Pomegranate
A former co-worker at AOL of mine recently shared that she has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She moved away quite a few years ago but with the help of social media, we have kept in touch. We weren’t super close, but I had many conversations with her while we worked and have always liked her. The news has struck a chord and I can’t get it out of my mind. Maybe that’s what’s causing my funky mood. Scotty and I both have some post traumatic stress from his cancer treatment. I never know when and what will cause the feelings to come rushing back to me…
Even though the cancer is gone, the CANCER never goes away…
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in eightreceives a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime?
Like with most cancers, we can all do our part in prevention that revolves around living healthier…
- maintain a healthy weight
- eating healthy including lots of fruit and veggies
- limiting alcohol
- no smoking
- practice acts of kindness
- decrease stress in your life
Here are some resources for information and support:
- 6A Boxing – 1 hour
Having had to deal with my husband’s cancer battle has given me the gift of perspective. From diagnosis to treatment to learning to live a new reality post cancer is a very real and scary thing- the post below hits home for me. Please read it and learn from someone who had to face the ultimate harsh reality of cancer…
Embrace your loved one and if they cannot embrace you back, find someone who will. Everyone deserves to love and be loved in return. Don’t settle for less. Find a job you enjoy, but don’t become a slave to it. You will not have ‘I wish I’d worked more’ on your headstone. Dance, laugh and eat with your friends. True, honest, strong friendships are an utter blessing and a choice we get to make, rather than have to share a loyalty with because there happens to be link through blood. Choose wisely then treasure them with all the love you can muster. Surround yourself with beautiful things. Life has a lot of grey and sadness – look for that rainbow and frame it. There is beauty in everything, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to see it.
- Health: Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes
- Nutrition: 9 Ways That Eating Processed Food Made the World Sick and Fat
I was overcome with how many people “liked” my FB post about Scott’s cancerversary. Reminds me how lucky we are to have so many people in our lives supporting and loving us. It was a great day all around including me getting my hair done – doing my hair and buying shoes are sure fire ways of making me feel fabulous any day of the week.
The gift that having to deal with Scott’s cancer has given me is Perspective. Perspective about what is meaningful in my life, how blessed I am, what is really important. I sometimes discard it and let insignificant things get to me – but I usually find my way back. But, how do you start gaining perspective and using it to filter your life experiences?
A huge life experience like an illness or a death can get you there but what if you want to start seeing your world differently without having to struggle?
I came across this post: Two Questions to Help You Gain Perspective which really spoke to me. The two questions they suggest asking yourself:
Question 1: If someone had a video tape of your typical day, what would they see?
Question 2: Based on your current actions and behaviors, where would you expect to be in five years?
At the heart of it, these two questions are about self reflection: having a vision and goals for yourself. For every situation and decision – ask yourself:
- Does this align with who I want to be?
- Am I around people who lift me higher?
- Is the situation I am dealing with worthy of an emotional investment?
- How does it make me feel?
I also find getting outside and closer to nature helps. We all are just a small part of a huge world. We get so caught up in a rat race which leads many of us to feel disconnected – something like taking your shoes off and walking through some freshly cut grass can center and bring you back. Research shows that taking a walk in a park can help boost your spirits as it connects you to nature.
- CrossFit: Hey CrossFit: You Created the Culture, So Own It
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- Life Lessons: The politicking parent: youth sport’s biggest problem
I start my new gig next Monday which means this week is the week to tie up loose ends. It’s been almost a year since I have had to get my shit together and head into an office – and while I am excited, I’m also nervous and apprehensive. I know it will work out the way it needs to so that helps.
I forgot to mention that last week was Scott’s 6 year Cancer Free Anniversary! Hard to believe it was six years ago – Curious to read about our family’s experience? Here’s a link to my first blog which chronicles from them time we found out through his treatment and beyond: Colon C: Our Family’s Life
I was reminded of our experience when I read about a fellow CrossFitter: Jason Fine’s very recent cancer battle. He unfortunately has an aggressive melanoma and has just been told his time is short. My heart is heavy for him and his family – who have had to come to grips with the harsh realities of cancer.
Life is short and none of us knows what the future will bring, so make the most of every day!
- CrossFit: CrossFit, Your Insecurity Is Showing
- Health: How to Turn Your Nature Deficit Into a Nature Surplus
- Health: Let’s Cool It In The Bedroom
- Health: What Makes Us Fat: Is It Eating Too Much Or Moving Too Little?
I am planning to head to an evening class this evening — will update if it works out!
My brother sent me some info this week on Splenda. You know the made from sugar, tastes like sugar sweetener. My dirty little secret is I use one packet in my coffee daily. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine and I look forward to my cup of joe each morning. After reading these research findings- I’m going to have to find an alternative…
- Research Review: Is Splenda safe? This review points out that relatively low amounts of Splenda (100mg/kg/day) may cause weight gain and at moderate levels (300mg/kg/day and up), it has adverse effects on your gut, affecting both levels of gut flora and proteins.
- Splenda’s Many Secrets: Gut Flora Destruction, Side Effects This review suggests that Splenda negatively alters gut microflora in rats and may limit the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients.
- Splenda, Sucralose Artificial Sweetener, Could Affect Body’s Insulin Response This one talks about Splenda’s effect on the body’s responses to sugar (glucose) — which could thereby affect diabetes risk — despite the fact that it has zero calories.
Listen To This
The Hidden Plague with Tara Grant – Tara Grant, author of The Hidden Plague, stopped by to discuss a very common tongue twister of an autoimmune skin condition (HS) that no one is talking about, and how she was able to put it into complete remission by healing her gut with an autoimmune paleo protocol.
(29:45 – What Splenda does to your gut bacteria…and your weight!)
I had trouble sleeping last night. I read about a young guy in the NOVA area who lost his battle with colon cancer: Former Hayfield High School Principal Dave Tremaine Passes Away. Dave Tremaine was a son, husband, father, friend, mentor, educator. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. I found the blog his wife has been keeping, Embracing the Rollercoaster, and it brought back a lot of feelings and memories of my family’s experience. I am so thankful each and every day that we were able to catch Scott’s cancer early enough – it’s another reminder of how cancer changes everyone involved. My heart breaks for his family and the new normal they must learn to live… The time we have is too precious to hold grudges, to be mean, or to waste!
It’s starting to get VERY hot and humid in Northern VA — so I want to make sure to remind everyone to Hydrate!
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