Monday, October 12, 2009

Breast Cancer Prevention

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month ladies! I'm sure if you are faithful readers of my blog you have already discovered that. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (cancer) in January of 2006. At the time of diagnosis, I was pregnant with our sixth child and 38 years old. The Lord brought me through it and I am a two and a half year survivor now!!!! I have been struggling to write down "My Cancer Journey" but decided to get to it and I finally finished it today, just in time for BCA month!! Perhaps it can encourage others somehow. Anyways, I thank the Lord for bringing my family through it.

I consider myself (A Breast Cancer Survivor) an advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (just one of several types of breast cancer) in January of 2006. At the time of diagnosis, I was pregnant with our sixth child and 38 years old. I am now a two and a half year survivor!!!!

If you are the 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime you need to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. When breast cancer is found early, the 5-year survival rate in the United States is 98%, which is why there are over 2 million breast cancer survivors today. Whether you are 20 or 80, you need an early-detection plan.

Every month (regardless of your age) you need to do a self-exam. Taking a few minutes to do a breast self-exam a minimum of once a month can make the difference of a lifetime, literally. Nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams. Write it down on your calendar. I send out reminders on the 19th of every month (my birthday falls on the 19th). Click here to go to my page on how to perform a self-breast examination. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic—8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.

Once a year have a clinical breast exam by a qualified nurse or doctor to check for lumps or other physical changes.

Get a mammogram once a year. A mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast and the primary tool in diagnosing breast cancer.

If you would like to share your story please, please, please leave a note or a link in the comments section.

post signature

Pin It

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Red Meat Risk and Breast Cancer


Many studies have proven that women who eat the most red meat have an 88 to 330 per cent increased risk of breast cancer. Alarming!

When animal protein is cooked structural changes in the protein, amino acids and creatine in the meat creating dangerous carcinogens. One study found that red-meat protein is associated with a 220 to 770 per cent increased risk of breast cancer.
The animal fat in red meat raises insulin levels also increasing risk of breast cancer by 283 per cent.

Growth hormones and simulators is linked to an alarming 700 per cent increased risk of breast cancer.

Cooking at high temperatures (grilling and frying) to well-done also had a significantly higher risk of breast cancer.

This is scary stuff ladies! I still eat some red meat, but I have drastically reduced my consumption of it. After researching this...it will be reduced even further!

Credit: The Perils of Eating Red Meat, Christine Horner, MD,article in Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine, Fall 2008.

post signature

Pin It

Friday, October 2, 2009

Breast Cancer Affects Young Women Too


When you're young, breast cancer is probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, it shouldn’t be. Although breast cancer in young women is significantly less common among those from 20 to 39, it does happen. Don’t believe it won’t happen to you, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38 while pregnant with our sixth child. Finding time to incorporate breast self exam into your monthly schedule is easy when you realize just how important it is. Since my birthday in on the 19th of the month I have chosen to do my exams on the 19th of every month and I will remind my readers to do their exams your's too.


Except for certain types of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women of all ages. Although the most confirmed and noteworthy risk factors for developing breast cancer are gender and growing older.

Younger women diagnosed with breast cancer often experience a more aggressive cancer and a lower chance of survival. This fact alone is enough to make early detection and breast self exam crucial for younger women.

Generally, screening mammograms are recommended at age 40. Sadly, this occasionally results in younger women not being diagnosed with breast cancer until the cancer is in a later stage, and can lower their chance of survival.

Because breast tissue isn't as thick when you're younger it can make diagnosis of breast cancer difficult. For this reason young women should begin monthly breast self exam at age 20, so that you can become familiar with how your breasts look and how they feel, thereby making it easier for you to notice any changes in your breasts.

Because the lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in seven for American women, establishing good breast health practices while you are still young can reduce your chance of getting breast cancer at a later stage.
Remember, anytime you see or feel any kind of change in your breast(s) you should see your health-care provider. Only a qualified medical professional can definitively diagnose the cause of breast issues. Breast changes don't always mean breast cancer, but they do mean you should see your doctor.

Click HERE for instructions on how to perform a self breast-exam.

Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Pin It

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Cancer Journey

My Cancer Journey

In December of 2006 I was mom to four already plus my soon to be step daughter and pregnant with our number six. Kevin (my fiancée) found a small lump in one of my breasts. I asked my OB/GYN about it immediately. The doctor was certain it was just breast changes from being pregnant. I reminded him that my mother had breast cancer and he responded that my risk factor was low. Dismissed. About a week that small lump was almost twice as large. My OB/GYN again said. “We’ll, just watch it, don’t worry.” Days went by and now my small, turned large lump was four times the size it had been when we discovered it. Where do you think I headed…back to the OB/GYN. Finally, he scheduled me for an ultrasound. Did I mention, finally?

Three days later I’m big, fat, pregnant and at the hospital getting my ultrasound. After that I was sent for a mammogram. They fitted me with a makeshift lead shield with the lead aprons to protect the baby. Then they sent me back to ultrasound again. The radiologist came in and told me I will need to do a biopsy as soon as possible.

Friday, January 13th I had the biopsy. Monday evening we were just finishing dinner. I’m sure you can imagine how crazy it can get with five kiddies in the house, getting them all fed, clean up dinner and all of them baths. My phone rings and it is my OB, remember him? “Sorry Tammy, I sure didn’t see this one coming! You have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. This is an extremely aggressive type of cancer so we really have to attack this head on. You need to get a lumpectomy followed by Chemotherapy and Radiation”. More was said but my brain seemed to malfunction. So…that was that.

Later that week I had the surgery. I had to have an axillary lymph node biopsy because of the pregnancy and couldn’t have the dye required in the less invasive biopsy. They removed one-quarter of one of my breast. The pathology report determined that there were clear margins! And my lymph nodes were all clear! I only had eight more weeks until Ki could be delivered full term. The OB, Surgeon, Pathologist, Oncologist, and Radiation oncologist all had a meeting to “discuss my case”. After lengthy discussion they agreed to wait until after the baby came to begin further treatment.

The baby’s scheduled inducement date (to weeks early) came. I chose to have an epidural block. It helped with the pain…way too much. Apparently I had too much medicine and it flowed up virtually hibernating my heart and lungs. Finally they got it all straightened out, of course that meant NO MORE PAIN KILLERS!!!! There she is, the newest addition to our family!

Six days after the birth of our sixth child I began chemotherapy. The very first session clashed with my medications because I felt suicidal (which is extremely not me). My meds combined with the stresses of being a mom to six children, still recovering from childbirth, dealing with a newborn, finances and the fact that I was losing my insurance in five weeks, apparently was too much for me. Jeez!

My hair lasted about 15 days, then it all started coming out. Not just a little here and there, by the handfuls. Weird!!!! I tell you some people are really rude too!

The next three and a half months of chemo went like this; total exhaustion, weight gain, weakness, absent-mindedness, clumsiness, nausea….I still did everything I always had done (laundry for eight people, cooking, cleaning, kids, normal stuff).

As soon as I finished chemo I started radiation. I had forty-three treatments of radiation to my right side. I found that radiation made me even more exhausted than the chemo did. It was summer vacation so I had all my children in tow for my treatments. This went on everyday, Monday thru Friday for 43-8 minute long sessions.

Now I am on Tamoxifen for five years. I also had an oophorectomy (removal of my ovaries and tubes). This was in hopes of reducing my estrogen.

You’ve heard about my cancer itself so far but the effects on life and my family in general was a whole other battle.

One of my daughter’s (six at the time) was parading around the house one day in one of my hats and said “When I grow up and get cancer, can I wear this hat?” To hear those words come out of your daughter’s mouth and then rationalize the fact that could be a reality for her.

On a separate occasion my step-daughter who was 5 at the time and myself were sitting on the swing talking. We were in the back yard and I asked her what if we saw a snake right now! She said I have an idea Tammy, you could just take off your hat and you head would scare him away! Was this what my reality was becoming? A scary old snake scarer!

Financially the impact was horrendous and we still haven’t recovered. In order to qualify for Medicaid I had to quit my job. The loss of my income made and is still making it extremely difficult just to pay for life necessities.

Cancer did give me a different view of life: I have absolutely no idea what trials and tribulations others are walking through; There is more to life than just getting dinner on the table, the laundry done and all six kids bathed; I want to enjoy every single day.

Through it all I had a beautiful daughter who thank God was not affected by my cancer and Kevin and I got married in February 2007. As far as I know I’m cancer free. Unfortunately I have been without insurance for some time now so I haven’t had any of my follow up testing done. However, at the end of the day I must say thank you to everyone who was there for me.

One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. When breast cancer is found early, the 5-year survival rate in the United States is 98%, which is why there are over 2 million breast cancer survivors today. Whether you are 20 or 80, you need an early-detection plan.

Every month (regardless of your age) you need to do a self-exam. Taking a few minutes to do a breast self-exam a minimum of once a month can make the difference of a lifetime, literally. Nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams. Write it down on your calendar. I send out reminders on the 19th of every month (my birthday falls on the 19th). If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic—8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.

Once a year have a clinical breast exam by a qualified nurse or doctor to check for lumps or other physical changes.

Get a mammogram once a year. A mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast and the primary tool in diagnosing breast cancer.

Early detection is essential ladies. If you forget to change the oil in your car…your car may have engine problems….if you skip your self-exams, you just might lose your life for it.

Please CLICK HERE for great instructions for a breast self-exam. THESE ARE SOOO IMPORTANT LADIES!!!

post signature

Pin It

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Words


Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold.

~Chinese Proverb
Pin It

Monday, September 7, 2009

The tired princess


Awe! Too cute. And (ahem) no of course I didn't take this pic while I was driving. That would be dumb! I was stopped at a red light......I think!

post signature

Pin It

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Boys

What fine young men!

post signature

Pin It

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Josh and Scrappy


Too cool Man. Josh hanging out on his hammock with the baaaaaad pup Scrappy!

post signature

Pin It

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am such a sucker

A new nameless (still) puppy. She's adorable thoug.
Chocolate lab, German Sheppherd and Wolf mix.

post signature

Pin It

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My girls

What little princesses!

post signature

Pin It

My Kiddies

Aren't they adorable???

post signature

Pin It

Quotes

"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best."
– Henry Van Dyke
Pin It

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pin It

Quotes

If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. - Jay Leno


The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous. - Shana Alexander

post signature

Pin It

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Potty Tots Training System


Potty Training Kit - Girl Version

Emily's little sister, Lilly, is starting preschool and doesn't know how to go potty. Emily comforts her sister by sharing a story of her experience in Miss Maggie's preschool class. Through colorful laminated charts, DVDs, songs, a book and even tattoospotty training can actually be fun! My two year old daughter and I have been working on potty training.

I love the six step chart walking her through going potty. She used to pitch a fit if her pants weren't completely off until she saw the little girls with their pants by their ankles. This even walks her through washing her hands. I was so excited when this arrived in the mail! It is beautifully packaged as well and came with a letter addressed to my child.

There is also a wonderful interactive web site we have frequented regularly. She can watch the videos, print out coloring sheets, and even a diploma. There are also great tips for parents as well including a newsletter. I was very impressed with this kit.

I am mother to six great kids and have done the potty training bit more than I care to remember! This actually makes it enjoyable!

The kit includes: • A story/guide book • Animated DVD -featuring three original Potty Tots songs and 2 bonus music videos • One 11"X17" Illustrated potty chart (easily wipes clean with damp cloth) • One 11"X17" “Toilet Bowl" progress/reward game with clings (easily wipes clean with damp cloth)

post signature

Pin It

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chalkboard Tee


Chalkboard Tee

I honestly had no idea what this t-shirt was going to be until it arrived and I was completely in awe! I have five children full-time and they all wished they had one (especially my 15 year old son!). What a creative idea. I ordered a small for my youngest but in retrospect I think this would make a totally awesome gift for an older child. They could have a ton of fun at school or church letting their friends write on it! If there is a design with chalkboard on the back….just imagine! I only wish I’d thought of the idea. This is a very fun and creative product.

Click on the photo of the adorable shirt to get to the site!


post signature

Pin It

Friday, July 24, 2009

SummerTime

Summer time!

Sorry followers....I will be back! Eventually! Six kids + working = NO TIME FOR MOMMY!!!

post signature

Pin It

Eco Bag


I was supplied my ecobag from the company. I love the black with the bright green detailing. The black hides soil but the green helps to locate it! The bag is constructed of very rugged material and well stitched. I have been putting my bag to the test.


I have purchased many re-useable bags at grocery stores and other retail stores. However, seams seem to fall out and the material is so incredibly thin they certainly don't last long around our family of eight. There is truly no comparison between this bag and the regular retail bags. The design and construction makes it truly a "green bag" whereas other bags seem to be fairly disposable.

I have been using my bag very often for the last seven months now. I have even tossed it in the washer about four times and it still keeps on serving our needs. I consider this bag a good buy and a wise investment.

post signature

Pin It

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny


If Mama Don’t Laugh, It Ain’t Funny

Written by Lucy Adams

Palm Tree Press

A copy of this humorous book was provided to me for review. Lucy Adams is a hoot. Adams is a syndicated humor columnist, web blog host and second grade teacher. She shares stories of her life and motherhood with us with such an entertaining flair. She turns the everyday humdrum of being a mom into laughter and joy. I am the mother of six children so I could definitely sympathize with many, many of her "experiences". I am certain though that non-moms would also appreciate her humor as well.

Here is a snippet from her story about burying their beloved pet Jimmy (the watermelon), "My spouse said a few words over the dissected: "Here rests Jimmy, red and green, put to pasture by the Queen of Mean. [I shot eye darts at him] Poor Jimmy, a life cut quick, by a woman who needed a Ginsu fix. [I glared] Okay. Sorry. Sorry," he chuckled. "Jimmy, we hate that you fell to pieces man."

Adams’ southern charm also comes out in "A Pig that Good," "Difficult Decisions" and "Oh, the Delirium of Summer." She also shares about marriage in "Rambling My Way to Purgatory." Short story after story will have you laughing...at least this mama was laughing.

post signature

Pin It

Photos




post signature

Pin It

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At the Beach

Photobucket
Debbie (big sister) and I at the beach, decades ago!!!
Pin It

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cat Number 9


Introducing Jackie! We named her Jackie because she has a white Jack-o-lantern face on her belly!! Really! Guess I should snap a pic of that too before our "cat curse" kicks in again!!!!

post signature

Pin It

Our zucchini

Hmmm....guess we didn't see this one! The wonders of MiracleGrow!

post signature

Pin It

Pocahontas

We went to the Pow Wow Saturday. We met Pocahontas (sp?) She was the voice in all the movies and she even looks like her too. She has been in 48 movies and tv specials. I was thrilled to meet her. I asked her if it was still exciting and she said "Absolutely!"

Pretty cool, huh??

I guess Josh (16) was too "old" for a photo with Pocahontas.
Pin It

Saturday, June 6, 2009

All About Me

1. You can ONLY answer Yes or No.

2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and asks. And believe me, the temptation to explain some of these will be overwhelming nothing is exactly as it seems.

Copy and paste this into your notes, delete my answers, type in your answers, and tag as many of your friends as you'd like to.

------- ------- ------- ------- ------- -------
Kissed any one of your Facebook friends? --- Yes
Been arrested? --- No
Kissed someone you didn't like? --- Yes
Slept in until 5 PM? ---No
Fallen asleep at work/school? --- No
Held a snake? --- Yes
Ran a red light? --- Yes
Been suspended from school? --- No
Experienced love at first sight? --- No
Totaled your car in an accident? --- No
Been fired from a job? --- No
Fired somebody? --- Yes
Sang karaoke? --- Yes
Pointed a gun at someone? --- No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? --- Yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? --- Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? --- Yes
Kissed in the rain? --- Yes
Had a close brush with death (your own)? --- Yes
Seen someone die? --- Yes
Played spin-the-bottle? --- Yes
Sang in the shower? --- Yes
Smoked a cigar? --- No
Sat on a rooftop? --- Yes
Taken pictures of yourself nekkid? --- NO
Smuggled something into another country? --- No
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? --- Yes
Broken a bone? --- Yes
Skipped school? --- Yes
Eaten a bug? --- Yes
Sleepwalked? --- No
Walked a moonlit beach? --- Yes
Rode a motorcycle? --- Yes
Dumped someone? --- Yes
Forgotten your anniversary? --- No
Lied to avoid a ticket? --- No
Ridden on a helicopter? --- No
Shaved your head? --- Yes
Blacked out from drinking? ---No
Played a prank on someone? --- Yes
Hit a home run? --- Yes
Felt like killing someone? --- No
Cross-dressed? --- No
Been falling-down drunk? --- No
Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? --- Yes
Eaten snake? --- No
Marched/Protested? --- No
Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? --- Yes
Puked on amusement ride? --- No
Seriously & intentionally boycotted something? --- Yes
Been in a band? --- No
Knitted? --- No
Been on TV? --- Yes
Shot a gun? --- Yes
Skinny-dipped? --- Yes
Gave someone stitches? --- No
Eaten a whole habenero pepper? --- No
Ridden a surfboard? --- No
Drank straight from a liquor bottle? --- Yes
Had surgery? --- Yes
Streaked? --- No
Taken by ambulance to hospital? --- No
Passed out when not drinking? --- Yes
Peed on a bush? --- Yes
Donated Blood? --- No
Grabbed electric fence? --- Yes
Eaten alligator meat? --- Yes
Eaten cheesecake? --- Yes
Eaten kids' Halloween candy? --- Yes
Killed an animal when not hunting? ---Yes
Peed your pants in public? --- Yes
Snuck into a movie without paying? --- No
Written graffiti? --- Yes
Still love someone you shouldn't? ---
Think about the future? --- Yes
Been in handcuffs? --- No
Believe in love? --- Yes
Sleep on a certain side of the bed? --- Yes

post signature

Pin It

Top Ten Reasons Eve Was Created

10. God was worried that Adam would frequently become lost in the garden because he would not ask for directions.
9. God knew that one day Adam would require someone to locate and hand him the remote.
8. God knew Adam would never go out and buy himself a new fig leaf when his wore out and would therefore need Eve to buy one for him.
7. God knew Adam would never be able to make a doctor's, dentist, or haircut appointment for himself.
6. God knew Adam would never remember which night to put he garbage on the curb.
5. God knew if the world was to be populated, men would never be able to handle the pain and
discomfort of childbearing.
4. As the Keeper of the Garden, Adam would never remember where he left his tools.
3. Apparently, Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.
2. As the Bible says, It is not good for man to be alone!
And finally, the Number 1 reason why God created Eve . .
1. When God finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched his head, and said, "I can do better than that."
I got it here. Check out this site - cool stuff!

post signature

Pin It

Count your Blessings


I'm working today. Saturday.

My first customer today had brain cancer.

I'm sure everyone can be grateful and count your blessing but once you have lived through something similar you can only be yet even MORE grateful!

Count your blessings everyone!!


post signature

Pin It

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lightning

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school.

As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up,along with lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she feared the electrical storm might harm her child.

Full of concern,the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did,she saw her little girl walking along. At each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another flash of lighting followed quickly and with each, the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile. When the mother's car drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called to her 'What are you doing?'

The child answered, 'I am trying to look pretty because God keeps taking my picture.'

My mom sent me this and I smiled big. I thought you might enjoy it. Thanks Mom! See I read your emails!

post signature

Pin It

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Summer

I got it here! What an awesome shot!
Happy summer everyone!

post signature

Pin It

Saturday, May 23, 2009