Posts tagged cancer

David Bowie: The Fabric of My Youth


David Bowie - RIP Even though David Bowie was as far removed from my real life as possible, waking up to the news of his death from cancer caused my heart to sink. I wouldn’t even say I was a huge fan of his music other than an appreciation of his talent and art –  but to me, he represented the freedom to be different, to reinvent yourself any time, and how to live life on your own terms.  He was a part of the fabric of my youth– the 80’s music scene. Bowie, Queen, Duran Duran – huge musical influencers during the eighties.

Why do deaths of icons hit people so hard?

I think it’s a reminder of the passing of time and the realization that we are getting older, even though it feels like yesterday. Cancer hits everyone. He was 69 years old: way too young to die no matter how. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. You can be famous, rich, kind, amazing or poor and anonymous. Cancer doesn’t care.

Bowie was an artist – writer, creative genius, actor, musician. I love that he was also able to see the humor in his legacy:

He just released his final album last week – and like his musician friend Freddie Mercury, his final video was a parting gift and a goodbye on his own terms.

David Bowie’s last release, Lazarus, was ‘parting gift’ for fans in carefully planned finale : The producer of Blackstar confirms David Bowie had planned his poignant final message, and videos and lyrics show how he approached his death

Let’s Stand Up to Cancer


Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) – September 7th at 8p ET

On September 7th, the entire group of A-list celebs are going to be together helping Stand Up to Cancer during the third SU2C primetime television fundraising special on Friday, Sept. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET /PT).

Gwyneth PaltrowJulia RobertsMatt DamonMichael DouglasJessica BielSamuel L. JacksonJeremy RennerSeth RogenEmma StoneTaylor SwiftColdplayAlicia KeysTim McGraw and SU2C Co-Founder Katie Couric will all appear in the broadcast! Stars Taylor Swift,ColdplayAlicia Keys and Tim McGraw will also be performing as a way to show their support.

Stand Up to Cancer continues to help build public support for groundbreaking translational research accelerating the delivery of new therapies to patients, getting them from the “bench to the bedside” as quickly as possible. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines across various institutions to collaborate.  Without collaboration, new cures can’t be found!

Stand up to Cancer is a great organization, so please consider helping support their cause. Not because there are a bunch of celebs behind it, but because they do good work!

Stand Up to Cancer was founded in 2007 by a group of women, including Katie Couric, who had all been affected by cancer. Their hope was to enlist the media and entertainment industries in the fight against the disease.

Stand Up to Cancer will be broadcast live on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. ET.

Event to Air Commercial-Free Simultaneously on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC,

plus BIO, E!, ENCORE, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN (Lifetime Movie Network), Logo, MLB Network, mun2, Palladia, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STYLE, TBS and VH1   8:00 PM ET AND PT / 7:00 PM CT | | Twitter: @SU2C |


Saturday Ramblings from Suburbia


Nate Dogg At Football tryoutsMy boy is growing up. He tried out for flag football today and from the looks of it, he did pretty well. He was Fast! I really think it’s been the CrossFit Kids he has done that has helped me tremendously!

The gym is closed today for training and I am sort of glad. I pulled something in my upper shoulder/neck area and it is tight and uncomfortable. Every time I lift something over my head (yesterday’s push press for instance) it sets it out of whack. It’s like I have a twisted muscle or nerve that gets aggravated.

I’m going to get a massage very soon to see if that can get the kink of out of it. We shall see….

Hope all of you out there are enjoying the weekend. The weather in the DC area is incredible! And I got a babysitter for tonite, so I am going out with the Silver Fox! Here’s to a great time had by all.

Here’s a few articles I have read lately that may be of interest to you all —

Life with Cancer Improves with Exercise

No shit about this one. Exercise IMPROVES Life, Period. End of story.

Studies found that exercise may have beneficial effects in health-related quality of life, including physical functioning, role function, social functioning, and fatigue.

21 Day Sugar Detox Results

I’m doing my detox starting two days ago,so I have been reading about others experiences to help inspire me! PaleoOMG is always a great place to start! I gotta tell you though, today my stomach was not kind to me. I am not sure if it’s my body saying get this shit out of me –but it sure has! Sorry if that is TMI — i guess I can look at it like a good thing!

And finally this is a GREAT Post that couldn’t have come at a better time:

Two Paths

When were we taught to compare ourselves to others? When were we taught that what someone else did was better than what we did? Did it start in grade school when we got picked last for the kickball team? Or maybe in high school when our classmate Jessica did something right while we were scolded for doing the opposite? Or was it when we got older and our best friend lifted more than we did at the gym?

Whatever the situation may be, we compare ourselves. We compare ourselves to friends, classmates, coworkers, and even our significant others. We worry about what others are accomplishing and dwell on what we have not. And while worrying, we forget our own accomplishments. We forget our goals. And we forget how far we have come.

I watch people compare themselves every day in the gym. I watch them stare at another person’s barbell while they load their own. I watch them worry about beating another person’s time so much they completely throw form out the door. And I watch others sink into frustration and sadness when they don’t beat their friend’s score. But what is that accomplishing? How are we improving ourselves if the only thing we are doing is steering off our own course and trying to follow the path of another?

 read more…


Explaining Cancer to Kids


I get asked a lot about how my two kiddos handled Scott being sick and how we, as their parents handled it. It’s not an easy thing and showing weakness and sadness to your kids at any time is hard but when you are dealing with something as HUGE as this –man I can’t even describe how hard it is/was.  But Scott and I live a truthful life, and kids know what’s going on. So without causing fear or instability, we were honest about what was going on. But, honest in a young kid way.

Nate & HannahAnd for us, the most important thing was to address their fears, but make sure they knew that their lives were not going to unstable. They would still go to school and their friends’ birthday parties. Just that someone else may be there to pick them up. And sometimes Dad won’t feel good. Like when they have a cold or fever and they want to just stay in bed and rest. So when he’s resting –that means you have to be respectful of that and not barge in. But we also said, like with any illness –some people get better and some don’t. Daddy WILL get better –so we just have to be patient, helpful and be his cheerleader. And of course gave them the room to talk about it as much as they want, ask questions as much as they want, see what was going on. We also told them sometimes they may see Mom or Dad sad and/or crying –it’s ok. This is tough to see someone you love in pain and it makes us sad.

Here are some more suggestions — but every case is different. You know your kids, so you have to adjust what and how you say anything based on them.

10 Tips for Talking to Kids About Cancer

Children who are old enough to speak need to be told about a cancer diagnosis. Begin by identifying your illness by name without confusing euphemisms. Discuss how it will be treated and what will happen to you during treatment (losing your hair, feeling tired and so on). Tell them who will be taking them to soccer practice, cooking their meals and how their day-to-day lives may change.

The Truth About Heart Disease


As a family recovering from Cancer – I am very interested in looking at what chronic inflammation can do to our bodies and how it sets up a perfect environment for cancer and other diseases to thrive.  We are all so conditioned to believe what we are told in terms of proper nutrition and what we should and should not eat, that most of us never question the validity of it. Well – just as we re-look and revise how we approach business, education and everything else – nutrition and the science of how our bodies function needs to change as well. We know so much more today than ever about what’s going on inside our bodies, how come nutritional advice hasn’t changed that much? Come on — think about it.

World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

Feb 4: World Cancer Day


It’s Friday and it’s my birthday weekend. Hard to believe it’s February already and my birthday is here again.  And tomorrow it’s World Cancer Day — What a great way to kick off the weekend.

World Cancer Day is this Saturday, 4 February 2012. It is the occassion to unite the world in the fight against the disease through raising awareness, educating the public, and lobbying for change. 

It is only by every person, organisation, and government, individually doing their part, that the world will be able to reduce the global cancer burden.

So get involved and do something this World Cancer Day – because Together it is possible! 

In light of what’s going on with Susan G. Komen Foundation  – if you are looking for another non-profit to support that helps breast cancer patients and cancer patients around the world, consider the American Cancer Society.  They do great work for support and research and deserve lots of support from all of us!

Do I look tired in this pic or what — I took it after my CrossFit workout. Mary, one of the mean bad girls of CrossFit reared her head this morning and holy crap – she is a force to be reckon’d with.  I mean who invented pistols aka a one legged squat?  Squats are tough enough, now let’s be evil and make em do it with one leg. Jeesh.  Thank goodness for scaling -balance, coordination and strength all wrapped into one seems to challenge me every time – but practice makes better!


General Stretching
25 DUs
10 Squats
10 Push Ups
10 ?? (I can’t remember for the life of me!)


Pistols (one leg squats)


10 Pistols
15 Pull Ups

Total: 10

Today’s workout felt great. My kipping is coming along and boy it makes a difference when you are doing long workouts with lots of pull ups. It’s night and day and it’s so energizing to me. Every time I get the right momentum, inside I get all giddy. I so, so, so  needed some progress to reignite me and there it is. Now — on to the rest of my day so I can get ready for my big birthday celebration tomorrow with the CF girls of CrossFit Impavidus. Watch out World — Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

American Cancer Society Relay for Life


It was another proud moment yesterday watching Hannah up on the stage sharing our family’s story. She worked hard to improve her presentation and it really showed. Remember, she’s only 9!

It was a touching evening overall –the videos and the stories really touched my heart. I can relate to much of it and it’s comforting to hear from others going through the same thing. It’s sad that we all are a ‘family’ because we have had to deal with some scary challenges in our lives, but it is what it is and you come together to help one another the best you can. This year they are also going to honor caregivers.

As a caregiver of a cancer fighter myself — I know it’s a really hard job in every way. So honoring those that care so much is so worthwhile!

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life sounds like a very fun event —

  • Overnight relay-style event
  • Teams of people camp out around a track
  • Members of each team take turns walking around the track for the duration of the event
  • Food, games and activities provide entertainment and fundraising opportunities
  • Family-friendly environment for the entire community

Because it’s a Relay, you’re not required to be there the entire time…but it’s so fun, you’ll probably find it hard to leave!

Now – we all have charities we support, so when looking into one –make sure that it meets your own goals and also look into how they spend their money. I am often dismayed to find out how Non-profits use the money we all donate. Be a smart with your donations and make sure they are doing what they said they were going to!

I like events that give people the opportunity to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease.

Are you doing what you love?


This morning’s workout was the famous Lady of CrossFit – FRAN.  Mentally I was just not in the game this morning – I heard some very sad news yesterday that brought both Scott and I to tears and has thrown me for a loop this morning.

Mrs McMichael, Nate and Ms. Megan

Nate, who is in 2nd grade now, had the most wonderful Kindergarten teacher. Mrs McMichael is the definition of teacher – smart, interactive, passion for teaching. While Nate was still in K, she and I talked about kids in general. She and her husband had been trying to have a baby for some time but had not given up hope. Last year, she finally got pregnant but the pregnancy was a very rough one. She was very sick and was put on bed rest.  But she made it through the 9 months, and now Carter is 11 months old.

During her hard pregnancy, her husband became seriously ill and turns out he had a brain tumor.  He died on Monday. 33 years old.

I have not been in regular contact with her since Nate graduated although have attended the fundraisers on their behalf and sent her a note. I can not even begin to understand what she must be going through – my heart breaks for her in so many ways. As a mother, a wife, a cancer caregiver, a young adult who shouldn’t be dealing with cancer changing their family. And as I have mentioned before, it brings up our own experience each and every time we hear about someone losing their cancer battle. That could have been our family –

I just can’t seem to get it all out of my mind — it definitely is a good reminder about priorities in your life. I wrote this short status update yesterday:

Life is so short & unpredictable– wake up every day thankful and appreciative of all the great people in your life. You never know what tomorrow will bring…

It’s the kind of news that you just shake your head a lot and think about where you are in your life — and what if it all ended tomorrow? Are you doing what you love?

Resolution Follow Up: Get Moving


It’s a great day isn’t it? It’s Friday, many of us have Monday off — the weather in Northern VA isn’t too shabby. Life is pretty good right now, right this second, day. What are you doing to kick off your day? It’s the 13th of January and for many of us, we vow to make changes but never really sit down and think through the ‘HOW’ of making the changes. Nothing comes easy or free — weight loss, good spirits, fitness are no different.

I don’t really share any in depth info about my husband Scotty very much on this blog. Partly because this is my journey and while he is definitely an influencer of it in more ways than I can count, it’s my story to tell. Also, he’s more private about stuff than I am — obviously. He doesn’t live his life like an open book. This may surprise you, but I don’t either.  My book is certainly more open than most, but there are some things that I choose to keep private.

This blog highlights one aspect of my life –my personal passion. You can call it an obsession but I find that with that word brings certain pre-conceived negative ideas.  If something brings you joy, keeps you healthy, surrounds you with a great community and keeps you learning and striving to improve – it’s a passion. Does I sometimes get carried away with it all — yes but I recognize that and that’s what counts.

Anyway, back to my original point — Scotty. Scotty started CrossFit a few weeks ago. I could not be more proud of him, even though he comes home ‘mad at me’ for encouraging him to go. I will take him mad at me forever if it means he’s working on getting back into shape and getting healthy.

Since his cancer treatment, it’s been hard for him to get back into any sort of fitness routine. He still has some neurological issues because of the chemo and while you and I can push through them — imagine having your hands and feet hurt all the time and try to do any sort of fitness. You use your hands and feet all the time! It’s no excuse though. When we finished up chemo, Dr. Marshall – our oncologist – told us “your diet matters but what is most important is getting regular fitness in.  We know, it’s proven,  that regular exercise helps prevent colon cancer from returning.”

Now, think about that. The Dr just said regular exercise can help prevent a re occurrence. After all he has been through, he owes it to himself to get moving. So, although there is a cancer card in the mix, he’s no different than many people out there struggling to follow through on their NYE resolutions to get in shape. Look at it this way – We know – there is proof – that regular exercise can prevent so many cancers and other diseases from occurring.  You owe it to yourself to get moving!


Have you checked out – a website that educates people about the benefits of asking for more personalized cancer treatment?

When we first found out Scott had colon cancer –we had no idea what to do, where to go, who to talk to.  During the course of our treatment, I found out we were not alone. How the heck do you find out information about your cancer? Yes, lots of people had/have colon cancer but to us — we were dealing with only SCOTT having colon cancer.

One of the most important things that i learned early on – you have to be your own advocate. You have to go in there prepared and ask questions. Doctors don’t know everything and your course of treatment should be part of a discussion and decided together with your medical team. You or someone on your behalf has to form your team. We were Team Hoaglund and we worked with the oncology team at Georgetown Medical Center. Yes they had more knowledge about the cancer we were looking at, at all the tests, our symptoms, our options –but we knew US.

Is My Cancer Different™ gives families and patients another tool to let them be their own project manager and gather information on why, when and how and ultimately decide on the treatment strategy that works best.

If you or someone close to you is looking for tools and resources as they begin their cancer journey — have them check out

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