More Inspirational Quotes for Anyone Touched By Cancer

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Sometimes we read an inspirational quote or hear a speech (like the one I posted yesterday from Stuart Scott) that lift our spirit and give us perspective.  Simple words of wisdom from someone who has shared a similar journey can give us hope and strength- two much needed weapons in the fight against cancer.  Here are 18 inspirational, hope-filled quotes for cancer fighters,  cancer survivors or anyone who needs a little pick-me-up.  Why only 18?  The number 18 symbolizes “life” & “good luck” in Judaism.

 

1.  “No one is guaranteed a tomorrow… not me, not you, not a person with cancer. So let’s make the best of today.”~ Alan Stoller

2.  “Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” ~John Diamond

3.  “There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can’t.  What you’ve got to do is turn around and say ‘watch me'”. ~Author Unknown

4.  “We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.” ~Lance Armstrong

5.  “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” ~Cayla Mills

6.  “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” ~Jim Valvano

7.   “You beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived and in the manner in which you lived. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.” ~Stuart Scott

8.  “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ~Dale Carnegie

9.  “Never, never, never give up.”  ~Winston Churchill

10.  “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~Winston Churchill

11.  “Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amidst joy.” ~Felicia Hemans

12.  “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” ~Christopher Reeve

13.  “It’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln

14.  “Scars are tattoos with better stories.” ~Author Unknown

15.  “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

16.  “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

17.  “At any given moment you have the power to say this is NOT how the story is going to end.” ~Author Unknown

18.  “Don’t lose hope, when it gets dark the stars come out.” ~Author Unknown

Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you?  Please share it with us.  What you say might just brighten someone else’s day. ;-)

 

Stuart Scott’s Inspirational Speech

 “You beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived and in the manner in which you lived. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”- Stuart Scott

 

In July, 2014, Stuart Scott, world renown sportscaster and ESPN SportsCenter Anchor, was presented with the Jimmy V. ESPY Award for Perseverance for his ongoing and inspirational fight against cancer.  His acceptance speech was one of the most moving and incredible speeches I’ve ever heard.  His message was simple…. never give up and live life to the fullest with the help and support of those around you.  Personally I listen to this speech whenever I feel down… and then… I get back up and start living life as best as I can.

New College Scholarship Announced for Breast Cancer Survivors

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I’d like to introduce you to a new scholarship program for breast cancer survivors- The Triumph Over Breast Cancer Scholarshipcreated and funded by Icing On The Ring. This $1000 scholarship is open to any student who is currently fighting breast cancer, in remission from breast cancer or has beaten breast cancer. Additional requirements include:

  • Applicant must be either currently accepted to or attending an accredited university.
  • Applicants must have a minimum 2.8 GPA.
  • Applicants must submit an official copy of their transcript.

How to Apply

Complete the Icing On The Ring Triumph Over Breast Cancer Scholarship online application.  The deadline is November 30, 2014 (scholarship will applied to the upcoming spring semester).

A second scholarship will be awarded for the Fall 2015 semester- the deadline for that scholarship will be July 31, 2015.

The scholarship winner will be determined solely by a selection committee based on the written essay and application criteria listed above.

For more information, visit Icing On The Ring Triumph Over Breast Cancer Scholarship website.

Pesticides & Food

This infographic was created by Garrick Dee of JuicingWithG, a blog that’s all about juicing. The information presented here was taken directly from the Environmental Working Group’s website.

For more information on when to buy organic produce vs. conventional produce, click HERE.

Dirty Dozen Infographic

 

Reliable, Relevant Cancer Info Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

 

Medivizor provides personalized, reliable medical information to people coping with serious or chronic medical conditions.  Medical conditions currently supported include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, melanoma and prostate cancer as well as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and infertility.

It’s similar to a google alert but much, much better.  Medivizor‘s FREE service scans hundreds of clinical reports; selects the ones most relevant to you; interprets the content; and notifies you of the findings in simple terms that even a 10th grader can understand.

Research has shown that patients who take an active role in their health care tend to have better outcomes.  The information Medivizor provides enables users become more knowledgeable about their medical condition.  Users learn about cutting edge research relative to their condition, possible treatments, clinical trials, lifestyle tips and more that they can discuss with their doctors.

SAMPLE ARTICLE I RECEIVED ABOUT breast cancer:

Breast cancer staging: one lymph node or several?In a nutshellThis paper compares the benefits and risks of axillary lymph node dissection compared to sentinel lymph node dissection.Some backgroundBreast cancer can spread to nearby lymph nodes (organ that is involved in the immune system that is found throughout the body). Generally, for patients with no cancer in their lymph nodes, sentinel lymph node dissection is performed to stage the cancer. This involves removal of only the first lymph node to which the cancer is most likely to spread, to determine the severity of cancer. For patients with early invasive breast cancer and metastatic disease (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body), axillary lymph node dissection is undertaken. This involves removal of several lymph nodes to determine the severity of cancer.Methods & findingsThe authors studied women with breast cancer that had spread to the sentinel lymph node. Data from 10 previous articles were combined and studied.

From three studies, there were similar survival rates between patients who had sentinel lymph node dissection alone and complete axillary lymph node dissection.

In one study, 1.6% of patients who had sentinel lymph node dissection compared with 3.1% of patients who had axillary lymph node dissection experienced return of breast cancer. However, another study reported that significantly more women who underwent a sentinel lymph node dissection alone had higher rates of cancer return. Women who had sentinel lymph node dissection alone had similar disease-free-survival (period without symptoms of disease) rates compared with women who had complete axillary lymph node dissection.

The studies also evaluated the risks associated with each option. Compared to patients who had complete axillary lymph node dissection, those who had sentinel lymph node dissection alone had a 70% lower risk of lymphedema (swelling in the limbs) after 6 months, 74% lower risk of limited range of motion75% lower risk of pins and needles in arms and a 42% lower risk of wound infections.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that for some women with early invasive breast cancer, sentinel lymph node dissection can be an alternative to axillary lymph node dissection.

The fine print

There could be publication bias and some studies had low strength of evidence.

What’s next?

Discuss with your doctor the advantages and disadvantages of both treatment methods.

Published By :

European journal of cancer

Date :

Mar 01, 2013

Original Title :

Sentinel lymph node dissection only versus complete axillary lymph node dissection in early invasive breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

 

Recipes to Nourish Your Body During Cancer Treatments & Beyond

Smoky-Chickpea-Red-Lentil-Vegetable-Soup

 
NOTE:  Eating protein-rich food like chickpeas and lentils gives your body the fuel it needs to build up your immune system which often times becomes compromised during cancer treatments.
Servings:  6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • large carrot, diced
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked vegetables, frozen peas or chopped fresh greens (or any combination)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, smoked paprika and cumin; cook, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t brown, about 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, red lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer; cook for ten minutes. Add the chickpeas, cover the pot and cook 10 minutes more. Fish out the bay leaves, then transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Add the puréed soup back to the pot and stir. Taste; if you want the soup to be thicker, purée a bit more soup. Add the cooked vegetables, frozen peas or chopped greens and simmer until the soup is hot and the vegetables are warmed through. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

 

grilled-moroccan-chicken-platter

 
*NOTE:  This dish contains turmeric.  The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which functions as both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.  Studies have shown that turmeric or curcumin may be helpful in treating or preventing certain cancers.
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken tenderloins)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness. (Skip this step if substituting chicken tenderloins.)
  2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Place pounded chicken breasts inside 1 gallon zip-lock bag. Add marinade to the bag, press air out and seal shut. Massage marinade into the breasts until evenly coated. Place the bag in a bowl in the refrigerator (to protect against leakage), and let the chicken marinate for 5-6 hours.
  3. Clean grill and preheat to high. Place chicken breasts on grill, spooning marinade over top. Grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes per side. Do not overcook.

 

For more nutritious and delicious recipes like these, visit OnceUponAChef.com. Jenn is a classically trained chef and recipe creator. Whenever I’m looking for something new make, OnceUponAChef is the first place I go for tried & true, crowd-pleasing recipes.

Study Finds Cancer Diagnosis Can Lead to Mental Health Disorders

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For many people with cancer, connecting with others provides emotional support and inspiration during this challenging time.  In fact, research has shown that strong support communities can be beneficial to cancer outcomes.  To help cancer patients and their caregivers get the support they need, MyLifeLine.org provides free, personal websites to anyone affected by cancer.  FREE website features include the ability to connect with loved ones (as a group or individually); post updates; coordinate meals, rides and visits with online scheduling and reminders; and collect funds from family and friends to help off-set the costs of cancer treatment.  To learn more, visit MyLifeLine.org and check out the MyLifeLine.org blog.

 

The post below was written by MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation…  

“A study published last Monday in U.S. News and World Report, found that one in three people diagnosed with cancer experience a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Researchers in the study conducted interviews with more than 2,100 individuals with cancer between the ages of 18 and 75. This study reinforces the importance of the mental health of cancer patients—the core of MyLifeLine.org’s mission; to provide the online platform for social and emotional support for all people affected by cancer.

Here is a summary of the findings from the study published on Oct. 6 in the Health section of U.S. News and World Report:

  • About 32% of cancer patients experience a mental health disorder, while general population mental disorder rate is much lower at 20%
  • More than 40% of patients with breast, head and neck cancer and malignant melanoma had at least one mental health disorder
  • The lowest rates of mental disorder, around 20%, occurred among patients with pancreatic, prostate, stomach or esophageal cancers
  • Anxiety disorders is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting cancer patients
  • Breast cancer patients were twice as likely to experience a mental disorder than people with typically more fatal types of cancer, such as pancreatic or stomach cancer

MyLifeLine.org believes social and emotional support is as important as medical care in the face of a cancer diagnosis and provides anyone affected by cancer with a place to receive support for their mental health. Because every cancer patient should feel supported, every day MyLifeLine.org provides free, personal and private websites to help them easily connect with family and friends.”

6 Signs That It May Be Time to Fire Your Oncologist

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In case you missed my most recent article for Huffington Post, I am reposting it here on CancerHawk…  After reading it, let us know if you’ve ever “fired” a doctor… What was YOUR reason?  

 

We all know there is no such thing as a perfect doctor. We also know that no doctor always says the right thing, no doctor knows all the answers, and no doctor can always be there for us whenever we want them to be. With that said, there are instances when you may need to find a doctor that is better suited for you.

So how do you know when it’s time to make a switch?

1. Your oncologist doesn’t think you should get a second opinion.

Second opinions are extremely important. They will either confirm what you’ve already been told or present different options to weigh.

Although most doctors welcome another physician’s input, there are some that do not. Those doctors may even get frustrated or angry when you suggest talking to another professional. If your oncologist doesn’t support your getting a second opinion, thenSWITCH doctors.

Remember, getting additional opinions may be required at different points in your care — not just at the initial diagnosis.

2. You don’t feel comfortable talking to your oncologist.

Being best friends with your oncologist is not required. You don’t even have to like your doctor. But you do have to feel comfortable talking to them about anything related to your health.

If you are too embarrassed to tell your doctor something, get over it. On the other hand, if you’re hesitant to raise concerns or ask about things you’ve read on the Internet for fear of the lecture you’ll receive, then SWITCH oncologists. A good oncologist appreciates a knowledgeable, well-informed patient and is receptive to such conversations.

3. Your oncologist keeps you in the dark about anything related to your treatment or speaks in medical jargon that’s difficult to comprehend.

A successful doctor-patient relationship requires 100 percent honesty. Doctors must be candid with their patients about topics ranging from the goal of treatment to the pros and cons of each treatment option to test results even if they are unfavorable. And doctors must have these conversations using simple terms that the patient understands.

If you feel that your oncologist is not being honest with you or does not take the time to explain complicated medical jargon or answer your questions in a way that satisfies you, then SWITCH doctors. Your health is far too important for you to be misled, uninformed or confused.

4. The office staff is difficult to work with or unprofessional.

This may sound trivial, as the office staff is not directly responsible for your medical care. However, telephone calls need to be returned promptly. Test results must be easily obtainable. Appointments need to be conveniently scheduled. Insurance claims must be accurately filed. The people at the front desk should be somewhat pleasant.

If you feel that the office staff is difficult to work with or unprofessional, then talk to your doctor. If the situation doesn’t improve, you may want to consider making theSWITCH.

5. Your doctor does not keep abreast of the latest advances in cancer care.

While many doctors are knowledgeable about the latest advances in treating cancer, there are those oncologists who are not. Has your oncologist explained to you that no two cancers are alike? Has your doctor spoken to you about molecular profiling and tumor testing? If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, has your doctor spoken to you about a recent FDA-approved immunotherapy regimen?

With each passing day, researchers learn more about cancer and how to better fight this disease. New treatments are morphing some cancers into a manageable disease rather than a death sentence. If your oncologist is not up-to-date on the latest and greatest advances in cancer care and personalized or precision medicine, then make the SWITCH to a new oncologist.

6. Your doctor is not a “realistic optimist.”

At the end of the day, fighting a diagnosis of cancer requires hope. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, waiting for test results, and so many other aspects of this disease can mentally and physically beat even the toughest of people down. Hope that good health will once again return is what gets people back on their feet, ready to take on another day.

Although oncologists must be honest and realistic with their patients, they can still be hopeful and never give up. Even with a grim diagnosis, there is always hope that a person can beat the odds. Personally, I will never again work with a doctor who has not had a patient that beat the odds. Had I known what I know now, I would have made the SWITCH solely based on this point.

The bottom line… After being diagnosed with cancer, even once a clean bill of health is given, your oncologist will continue to follow and screen you for many years to come. This relationship is a long-term partnership and should be viewed as such.

You deserve to get the best possible care from your doctor(s). And if you are not happy with the care you are receiving for whatever reason, you have the right to fire that doctor and find another provider.

Patients who take an active role in their health care tend to have better outcomes. So take an active role in your health care even if it means making difficult choices or going outside of your comfort zone. Your life may depend on it.

Hope In A Mouse Kept Us Afloat

 

Science Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am truly honored to have been interviewed by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel of Science Magazine for the article she wrote on using animal models to guide patient care as this is where my family’s battle with cancer led us.  You can read Jennifer’s  article “Hope In A Mouse” by clicking here.  Thank you Jennifer for including my perspective in this amazing, well-balanced and informative article.  

 

A little more info on our experience….

When I look back on my family’s war with cancer, I believe that “hope” kept us afloat.  

We tried everything possible to gain control over the cancer that was ravaging my husband’s body, but nothing was working.  We were under the care of top doctors in sarcoma (that is after we fired our first oncologist); we followed the advice of a nutritionist who specialized in working with oncology patients (as a result, my husband Alan had never looked better and his body became strong enough to withstand the massive amounts of toxic therapies he received); we even worked with a spiritual healer (what can I say, we were desperate).

 

Come November 2009, we were left with no options… and no hope.  It was pure luck (and one amazing Uncle) that led us to Champions Oncology.  Champions offered us the ability to implant Alan’s cancer into immunodeficient mice (mice with no immune system); test any drug or treatment regimen in these mice; and if we were lucky enough to find something that killed off Alan’s cancer in the mice, there was a really good chance it would do the same in Alan’s body.

 

Although we knew the odds of success were not in our favor, the ability to test different therapies against Alan’s tumors in mice using the Champions TumorGraft gave us hope. Hope gave us the strength to get out of bed each day and enjoy whatever time our family had left together.

 

Although we did not find a cure for Alan’s cancer or anything to substantially slow down its growth, we know that we tried everything possible to beat this diagnosis.  I sleep at night knowing that we left no stone unturned.

 

My family’s battle with cancer led me to create CancerHawk.  My mission is to connect cancer patients and caregivers to groups and resources they never knew existed or even thought to seek out- groups like Champions Oncology for instance.  Knowledge is hope.  And hope is everything.

 

Read the article Hope In A Mouse” in this week’s Science Magazine and let us know what you think…  Would you want access to an experimental approach to guide your treatment even if it’s not yet 100% proven?  Or would you prefer that researchers keep it locked up until it is?

 

 

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Is Actually 10 Different Diseases

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