A Unique Approach Using Food As Medicine To Decrease Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Cooking Through Cancer Treatment To Recovery” by Dr. Lisa Price ND and Susan Gins, Certified Nutritionist, is a unique cookbook in many ways. Written for family and friends, as well as people going through cancer treatment, the focus is to use food to decrease the side effects of treatment. At the same time this approach improves the quality of life by making the patient feel better, hopefully using less prescription medicine for common side effects, lightening the load on the liver and empowering people to take an active, positive part in their lives.

Cooking From Cancer Treatment to Recovery

Recipe on cover: Artichoke, Bean, Hazelnut and Asparagus Salad

 

Here is a partial list of criteria we used and why we used it:

  1. All the recipes are hypoallergenic and do not contain gluten, dairy, processed sugar or soy. 
  • Why?  Many people are sensitive or allergic and try to avoid these ingredients.  Not eliminating these foods? Then use the recipes and substitute what works for you!

 

2.    98% of the recipes are only four steps long.

  •  Why?  We did not want to add more stress to anyone’s life who was using the cookbook.  We kept it simple and flavorful. We included a shopping list guide to stock your pantry.

3.     All the recipes have Nutrition Facts information.

  • Why?  We want people to have a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and good fat. In addition, people going through treatment may have other medical problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, irritable bowel, etc. With Nutrition Facts, it’s easy to see how the recipes fit into their Doctor’s diet recommendations.

4.     Each recipe is coded for symptoms and treatment phases.

  • Why? It’s easy to see for example, if you are going through chemo and you have fatigue or nausea, you can read on the each recipe if it’s good for these issues. There’s a symbol with a letter: P/S=Pretreatment & Surgery, R=Radiation; C=Chemo; H=Hormonal Therapy; R/P=Remission and Prevention.
  • In addition, Dr. Price has created a grid in the back of the book that lists all the treatment phases and the side effects and leads you to the recipes that are recommended for example, constipation, joint pain muscle aches, nausea during chemo. There are eight pages of this grid that cover every treatment phase and all the most documented side effects of treatment.
  • There are many recipes to choose from so you can pick one or many that appeal to you at the time.
  • Each recipe has a Health Tip 101 explaining certain nutrients and why they are important to you.

 

Delicious Recipe from the cookbook

Recipe pictured: Bibimpap

It is well documented in scientific journals that people who are able to stay healthy during treatment have better outcomes and are able to transition to their pre-treatment lives more easily. The particular nutrients-vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, good fats-included in each recipe have been studied to have positive effects decreasing the symptoms of cancer treatment. Using the recipes in our book will support you in remission and prevention.

This blog post was written by Susan Gins, MS, Certified Nutritionist, and one of the authors of this book.  Visit her nutrition website at: www.nourish.net

 

To order this book on Amazon, click here

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Gale’s Story of Hope, Help and the Genesis of the Renewing You ®Cancer Gift Bag

By Gale Donovan, survivor, Founder and President of Renewing ® You

My purpose and creation of the Renewing You® Skincare Gift Bag is to provide women with uplifting and useful products while undergoing radiation treatment. My oncology nurse gave me a list of skincare products to purchase to help relieve the common side effects associated with my treatment.  I found the products to work well but was disappointed with the packaging.  These items were aloe vera gel, cornstarch, mild soap, and a soft baby washcloth.  Just think about carrying around a box of cornstarch in your purse. As a former Esthetician I had access to new products and their application.   I instantly thought of a powder sifter jar to put the pure cornstarch and a soft powder puff to apply.  I realized how easy it was to apply the corn starch to a lining of a wig to help with absorbing moisture and also to use as an alternative to deodorant.

I was faced with a tube of aloe vera gel.  The dispensing of it was messy and when going in a public restroom and not having paper towels only a hand dryer available.  I saw a bottle that I could dispense the aloe from the top with three holes on top and it was packaged in no mess applicator, keeping my hands clean.  Also, I could take the aloe vera gel bottle in my purse.

Renewing You Cancer Gift Bag

Renewing You Cancer Gift Bag

When I looked for a low lathering soap it was difficult to find one with pure ingredients with no chemical preservatives.  I customized my soap to a 7 ingredient glycerin soap, it was low lather, no fragrance, and non- irritating.  I recall using a soft baby washcloth with my twins and decided to try one to help exfoliate the sensitive areas.  It worked beautifully.

My gratitude pad is a great way for women to ask for help. My friends would always ask, “What can I do?”  As a wife, mother, and esthetician I was an independent woman doing well balancing all three. I did see the importance of having a meal made or a friend to pick up my twins from football practice.  This sticky note does that and my friends loved having a note as a gentle reminder. A gratutude pad is enclosed in the gift so all the patient has to do is fill out a helpful chore that he/she would like help with, and hand the reminder to a friend or relative.

My oncology nurse was happy to see how I was healing so quickly and she praised me for all my creative ideas.  My Renewing You® Skincare Relief Gift Bag has put so many smiles on women’s faces, each bag contains, an affirmation card, a postcard of my story, a bottle of organic aloe vera gel, a pure glycerin soap, a soft baby washcloth, pure corn starch, and a gratitude pad.  I have put my heart into searching out the purest ingredients in the most convenient packaging that can be taken anywhere on the go.

My hope for cancer patients is that Renewing You® skincare products will:

Make The Journey A Little Easier, A Day At A Time.

 

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Of Mice and Women: Investigating the Breast Cancer Virus

By Vera Gruessner

Dr. Kathleen Ruddy

Dr. Kathleen Ruddy

Have you heard about the breast cancer virus in mice? There is significant evidence that this virus is linked to human breast cancers. Dr. Kathleen T. Ruddy, a New Jersey-based breast cancer surgeon and Founder of the Breast Health and Healing Foundation, released her executive summary about her soon-to-be-published book “Of Mice and Women:  Unraveling the Mystery of the Breast Cancer Virus.” By June 2015, the book will be published and available in both print and digital formats. To learn more about the upcoming book, you can read the executive summary on the Breast Health and Healing website by clicking here.

In your free time, take a minute to download the executive summary (which is completely free) and share on your social networks! Let your close ones know about the innovative and intriguing book. Over the last eight years, Dr. Kathleen Ruddy wrote and revised this book and is now ready to finish publishing it in paper and electronic formats. Want to know the best part of it all? The digital version will be free to the public at large!

Of Mice and Women

Of Mice and Women (new book)

Did you know that 40 percent of human breast cancers have gene sequences that are analogous to a retrovirus known to cause breast cancer in mice? The retrovirus found in mice is called the mouse mammary tumor virus. Further research on the breast cancer virus is necessary to determine strategies that would prevent this serious medical condition. The researchers Drs. Pogo, Etkind, and Melena have spent decades studying the Pink Virus and its role in human breast cancer.

If we can prove that a virus causes up to 40 percent of human breast cancers, the scientific community can work toward creating a vaccine that would prevent this disease in men and women around the world. This would be an amazing opportunity to eradicate the disease once and for all!

Does the human mammary tumor virus cause breast cancer in women? If so, we need to develop vaccines that can prevent the disease.

Any and all donations that the Breast Health and Healing Foundation gains from the release of the executive summary and the book will be put toward funding the full-length documentary film, “A Pox On Us,” co-produced with Soap Box Media. The profits from the film will be used to directly fund research on the breast cancer virus.

We hope the executive summary and the book will spread like wildfire through the breast cancer community. To achieve this goal, we need your help! Please share it on Facebook. Share it on Twitter. Share it on Google+. Share it on LinkedIn. Let your friends and family know about this revolutionary work!

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Books for Cancer Patients: Inspiration, Meditation and Exercise

by Margot Malin

We got such positive feedback from our prior blog post, in which we highlighted books that are helpful for cancer patients who were just diagnosed, going through treatment and seeking to improve their diets that we were inspired to create an update. Click HERE to access our original post “Helpful Books for Cancer Patients – Just Diagnosed, Going Through Treatment and Nutrition and Diet Suggestions“.

In today’s blog post we suggest books for exercise during and after cancer treatment and books to help inspiration, calming and healing.  These books can empower the reader with knowledge and inspiration.

EXERCISE

Exercises for Cancer Survivors – Stretching and Strength Training, By Carol Michaels

According to Carol Michaels, MBA, ACSM, ACE:  “Exercise is an important component of a cancer survivor’s recovery process. Emerging research suggests a decrease in breast cancer recurrence for those who exercise. A well-designed program can also decrease side effects and improve quality of life. Moreover, acceptance of exercise as part of a good recuperation and standard of care has been gaining momentum in the medical community.  Cancer patients should begin an exercise program designed to ameliorate the adverse effects of surgery and help them regain their pre-cancer fitness level. Exercise that focuses on functional fitness will help them be able to perform the activities of daily living and return to the activities that they enjoy.”

This book educates patients about the importance of exercise in their treatment regimen. A more complete description of her book is available in this blog post: “Exercises for Cancer  Survivors – A New Book”.  Among other things, in this book patients will learn: Which exercises should I be doing and which should I avoid? Can I exercise during chemotherapy? Can I exercise if I have lymphedema? How do I exercise safely with osteoporosis? Some cancer patients will need to exercise under supervision while others will be able to exercise independently. This book isan essential guide for those who prefer or need to exercise independently.  Click HERE for more information.

YOGA

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery by Diana Ross, ERYT 500, Breast Cancer Survivor

This is an unique restorative yoga therapy book which focuses on breast health, lymphedema management and breast cancer recovery. This book contains a wide variety of supported restorative yoga poses that use different yoga props. The breath is also introduced with each flowing pose so that the mind as well as the muscles “let go” and relax allowing for the healing to begin and then to grow. Yoga poses are done either in a relaxed, reclined, seated, twisting and standing position. Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer Recovery is a great beginning to build a practice for strength and flexibility, as well as aiding in lymphedema management. This book outlines a variety of easy to learn restorative yoga poses which can emotionally and physically improve the recovery process from breast cancer surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. It is also invaluable in maintaining breast health, reducing cancer related fatigue (CRF), and managing lymphedema. If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed, is in treatment or in recovery, this yoga is the perfect place to start. Discover how a consistent practice of Restorative Yoga can provide inner peace and healing for your mind, body and spirit.  Click HERE for more information.

INSPIRATIONAL, SPRIRITUAL, AND INTEGRATIVE BOOKS AND CD’S

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Dr. Kelly Turner

In her New York Times bestseller, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds,  Dr. Kelly A. Turner, founder of the Radical Remission Project, uncovers nine factors that can lead to a spontaneous remission from cancer—even after conventional medicine has failed.

Radical Remission book

Click to order on Amazon

While getting her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkley, Dr. Turner, a researcher, lecturer, and counselor in integrative oncology, was shocked to discover that no one was studying episodes of radical (or unexpected) remission—when people recover against all odds without the help of conventional medicine, or after conventional medicine has failed.  She was so fascinated by this kind of remission that she embarked on a ten month trip around the world, traveling to ten different countries to interview fifty holistic healers and twenty radical remission cancer survivors about their healing practices and techniques. Her research continued by interviewing over 100 Radical Remission survivors and studying over 1000 of these cases.  Her evidence presents nine common themes that she believes may help even terminal patients turn their lives around.

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds has been highly recommended by numerous integrative medicine practitioners, cancer patients, cancer coaches  on blogs and on Linkedin posts.  Click HERE for more information.

Meditation to Help You During Chemotherapy Audio CD by Health Leaders

This imagery was designed to help listeners see their chemotherapy in a positive light; to help reduce aversive side effects, such as fatigue and nausea; to help the body’s immune cells fight cancer; to encourage relaxation and a sense of hope, safety, support and peace. With affirmations. Relaxation and visualization. (Running time: 41 minutes) You can take this  CD to chemotherapy treatments. Click HERE for more information.

Breathe With Purpose Audio CD by Diana Ross

Manage Stress – Learn to Breathe: Deep breathing is vital in that it encourages the release of body toxins, rebuild healthy tissue which consequently increases overall energy. This true oxygen exchange stimulates digestion, assimilation and elimination. A very important function of breathing fully and slowly is that the body’s natural relaxation response is prompted. This relaxation response results in decreased tension, anxiety and fatigue.  This CD contains 6 breathing exercises to help you reduce stress and anxiety, quiet the mind, concentrate, and more. You can take this to chemotherapy treatments.  Click HERE for more information.

Cancer: 50 Essential Things to do by Greg Anderson

Cancer 50 Essential Things To Do

Click to order on Amazon

Revised and updated for the first time since 1999, this invaluable guide to cancer recovery offers an easily accessible plan for patients and family members. Written by a cancer survivor, the book is an inspiring, action-oriented roadmap for those who choose to adopt a stance of hope and take charge of their diagnosis.

With penetrating insights that bring together more than two decades of scientifically supported research and experience, Anderson reveals a step-by-step holistic action plan that has been successfully employed by hundreds of thousands of cancer patients worldwide. Anderson’s message is: “You must not simply treat illness, you must also create wellness: physically, emotionally and spiritually.”  Click HERE for more information.

 

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeff Zaslow

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.  For more information about this book click HERE.  To view The Last Lecture “Randy Pausch:  Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” on YouTube click HERE.

Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Siegal

Love Medicine Miracles

Click to order on Amazon

Unconditional love is the most powerful stimulant of the immune system. The truth is: love heals. Miracles happen to exceptional patients every day—patients who have the courage to love, those who have the courage to work with their doctors to participate in and influence their own recovery.  To learn more about this book click HERE.

From Incurable to Incredible, Cancer Survivors Who Beat The Odds and Miracle Survivors: Beating The Odds of Incurable Cancer, both books by Tami Bohemer

From Incurable to Incredible features 27 stories of cancer survivors who shocked everyone by overcoming a terminal prognosis. You’ll learn about Dave Massey, who in 1986 and again in 1997, was given six months to live. Today, he runs marathons and speaks at cancer centers nationwide to spread his message of hope. Paul Falk, diagnosed 23 years ago at age 9 with acute leukemia, describes how his doctors wondered if he would survive two weeks. A year later, he wowed everyone by becoming the personal guest of then Vice President George H.W. Bush. And then there’s Mary Jacobson who, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, bought a coffin and made arrangements for her young daughter. Fifteen years later, she competes in Strong Woman competitions and pulls planes, trains and automobiles for charity.

If you have received an incurable cancer diagnosis, hearing about someone “who made it” is like spotting a rescue ship when you’re drowning in a stormy sea. Miracle Survivors provides that lifeline with a collection of stories of cancer survivors who were given a terminal diagnosis but shocked everyone by thriving years past their prognoses. These “miracle survivors” have different cancers and circumstances, but share a poor prognosis and incredible drive to overcome it.

Miracle Survivors will help answer the question: What sets people apart who beat the odds of a terminal or incurable prognosis? Overcoming the odds wasn’t something that just happened to those who share their stories. Each person took a very active role in overcoming their challenges, whether it was activating their faith or transforming their lifestyle. Rather than passively accepting their circumstances, they decided to transform them.

Own Your Cancer: A Take Charge Guide For The Recently Diagnosed And Those Who Love Them, by Dr. Peter Edelstein

Own Your Cancer

Click to order on Amazon

A must have book for taking charge of the medical aspects of treatment. Dr. Peter Edelstein has learned by listening to his patients and their families–whose lives have suddenly been up-ended by a diagnosis of cancer–that they need a partner to help them navigate their new, complex world. It is critical that cancer patients take charge of their health and “own their cancer” in order to remain in control of this confusing and frightening process. This extremely accessible book is that expert partner, offering a combination of crucial medical education clearly and comfortably explained along with personal guidance gleaned from real patient experiences. In an informed, compassionate, and respectful manner, “Dr. E” translates the challenging medical and psychological issues facing the cancer patient into lay terms, as well as outlining options for “owning” the path ahead. The result empowers patients and their loved ones to take control of their treatment regardless of cancer type or stage, to maintain their independence, and to oversee the processes which will determine their ultimate survival and quality of life.  Click HERE for more information.

 

Waking the Warrior Goddess, Third Edition: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer,  by Christine Horner, MD

Breast cancer has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Once a relatively rare disease, it now affects 2 to 3 million American women. What can we do to protect ourselves? Christine Horner, M.D., has the prescription: Eat healthy foods, add a good dose of certain supplements, get the rest and exercise we need, and avoid things that are bad for our bodies. We each have a Warrior Goddess in us, and it’s time to set her free.

A pioneer who pushed through federal and state legislation ensuring that breast reconstruction after a mastectomy would be paid for by insurance companies, Dr. Horner lost her own mother to breast cancer. She decided then that her mother’s death would not be in vain.

Using the metaphor of the Warrior Goddess, this book explains what Ayurveda, an ancient system of healing, describes as our “inner healing intelligence.” It also explores the various foods and supplements that enable women to prevent and successfully fight breast cancer, as they claim the healthy body that should be theirs. Dr. Horner has added a new chapter to the updated third edition of her award-winning book. In “The Spiritual Journey of Breast Cancer,” she describes why cancer is a wake-up call, a time-out in which women can turn inward to evaluate their lives with the intent to restore good health and learn how to receive, allow, trust, and surrender as they cultivate their relationship with their intuition and a higher power.

The final part of Waking the Warrior Goddess presents Dr. Horner’s Thirty-Step Program for reclaiming health and defeating breast cancer. In addition, this book includes an extensive, newly updated resources section for obtaining the particular nutrients and products that our bodies need to become and stay strong and healthy.  Click HERE to get more information.

 

Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment, by Dr. Keith Block

Life Over Cancer

Click to order on Amazon

Dr. Keith Block is at the global vanguard of innovative cancer care. As medical director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Illinois, he has treated thousands of patients who have lived long, full lives beyond their original prognoses. Now he has distilled almost thirty years of experience into the first book that gives patients a systematic, research-based plan for developing the physical and emotional vitality they need to meet the demands of treatment and recovery.

Based on a profound understanding of how body and mind can work together to defeat disease, this groundbreaking book offers:
• Innovative approaches to conventional treatments, such as “chronotherapy”–chemotherapy timed to patients’ unique circadian rhythms for enhanced effectiveness and reduced toxicity
• Dietary choices that make the biochemical environment hostile to cancer growth and recurrence, and strengthen the immune system’s ability to attack remaining cancer cells
• Precise supplement protocols to tame treatment side effects, relieve disease-related symptoms, and modify processes like inflammation and glycemia that can fuel cancer if left untreated
• A new paradigm for exercise and stress reduction that restores your strength, reduces anxiety and depression, and supports the body’s own ability to heal
• A complete program for remission maintenance–a proactive plan to make sure the cancer never returns

Also included are “quick-start” maps to help you find the information you need right now and many case histories that will support and inspire you. Encouraging, compassionate, and authoritative, Life over Cancer is the guide patients everywhere have been waiting for.   

 

Elyn Jacobs, Cancer Coach has created a great resource page for cancer patient including books and products.  You can access Elyn’s resource page on her blog  clicking HERE.

Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge is power.  Inspiration from others who have walked in the same shoes can give you strength and courage. Learning about cancer from a variety of angles can help make you a more informed and proactive patient, which will help you navigate your journey with better vision and conviction.

Margot Malin is founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.  Visit our website to learn about personal care products that can reduce and relieve the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of oncology radiation, chemotherapy and cancer surgery.  Lots To Live For, Inc. delivers comfort during cancer.

Please visit our facebook page at: www.facebook.com/LotsToLiveFor

 

 

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Love Your Melon – Helping Children with Cancer – Buy One Give One – Warmth for Head and Heart

by Connor Amundson, Love Your Melon National Ambassador Director

Love_your_melon_pic_2

The Love Your Melon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization run by college students on a mission to put a hat on every child battling cancer in the United States, and that is why we hope that every single child who has either battled or is still battling cancer can love their melon.  The hat has its obvious purpose of keeping a head warm, but it also has a deeper meaning and helps provide strength throughout treatment and is intended to help strengthen the child cancer community! For every hat sold on the Love Your Melon website, another identical hat is given to a child battling cancer. Through funding from our Buy One – Give One program and generous donations, the Love Your Melon Foundation seeks to provide therapeutic entertainment and comfy hats to children battling cancer during their difficult treatment process. The Love Your Melon Foundation creates smiles on the faces of children battling cancer, engages communities to make a difference and provides therapeutic treatment when it is most needed.

Love Your Melon was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota by two friends, Zachary Quinn and Brian Keller. On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon has been able to give and sell over 40,000 hats. It was founded on the simple concept of helping those in need and engaging communities to make a difference. On December 23rd, 2013, the organization received 501(c)(3) status and is an established non-profit. The Love Your Melon Foundation has big plans for the future.  On January 12th, 2014 it embarked on the first tour across the east coast. On May 15th, it launched a 50 day West Coast Tour in order to take its mission nationwide. Since then, it has built an ambassador program of over 1000 ambassadors nation-wide and doesn’t plan on stopping until every child in America battling cancer has a hat.

If you would like to request that a free hat be sent to a child you know undergoing treatment, please click HERE to access the Love Your Melon Request Form.

 

Love_your_melon_pic_1Ambassadors are from colleges across the states with each college having a maximum of 20 members on their crew.  These ambassadors promote Love Your Melon on their campus with advertising campaigns, sales events, and other creative ideas that the ambassador crews take the initiative to get going (5k races, bake sales, etc.).  Culminating all of their hard work, they then donate hats to children battling cancer in their community or at their local hospital.

All of our products are made right here in the United States of America.  We believe in keeping manufacturing here and providing jobs for the citizens of our country.  By doing this we are able to build better relationships with our suppliers that supply our great products.  Our beanies, scarves and shirts are made in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On October 22nd, 2014, Love Your Melon had it’s first Superhero Adventure Day.  Ambassadors from all over the United States arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota and paired up with a child battling cancer for a day filled with professional athletes, airplane and helicopter flights, race car rides, and a culminating yacht ride.

Love_your_melon_beanie

Gold Love Your Melon Children’s Hat (Hats come in different colors)

In the months of February and March, Love Your Melon has over 20,000 hats to donate to children battling cancer across the United States.  If you are interested in helping out and becoming apart of our ambassador program, please email crew@loveyourmelon.com

To buy a hat for yourself and also have one donated to a young cancer patient, click HERE.  The Love Your Melon website also features other trademarked apparel.  For any item that you purchase, a HAT will be donated to a young cancer patient. For example if you buy a Love Your Melon T-shirt, you will receive the T-Shirt and a child undergoing treatment will receive a hat/beanie and a smile.

Why donate a hat? It’s all about loving who you are, whether you have hair or not, and recognizing that the community is all rallying behind you! Here’s a link to make a donation:  http://loveyourmelon.com/products/donate-to-the-love-your-melon-foundation

UPDATE- Click to read this article from Forbes, December 2016:

Millennial Start-Up Love Your Melon: Giving Back Is Sweeter Than Success

http://www.forbes.com/sites/petertaylor/2016/12/12/millennial-start-up-love-your-melon-proves-that-giving-back-is-also-great-for-your-bottom-line/#17b780c05f72

Watch this heartwarming video of one of the Love Your Melon Smile Tours to see how this foundation brightens the lives of young cancer patients by visiting hospitals to donate hats in person, and helping bring cheer to their daily routine.

 

 

Love Your Melon Logo

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I Am Furious: Learn From My Cancer Story About Why You Must Become Your Own Medical Advocate

By Pat Wetzel, Founder of the Anti-Cancer Club

Cancer has so many stages, and not just the medical ones.  I’ve been through three rounds of chemo, got a great remission and I’m simply exhausted.  But as I learned, you can never relax. You must step up and be CEO of your own health, not just during treatment, but for the indefinite future.

I’m a reasonably astute medical consumer, or so I thought. I understood all the drugs I took; I understand my disease; I understand the profound impact of lifestyle choices and I make wise ones.  I was even married to a surgeon for 13 years so I have no illusions about the medical establishment.

But beyond recovery, you now have a new task: Following up on all those drugs and radiation that were pumped into your system. Pat Wetzel I am Furious

Your doctor may or may not warn you about the after effects of cancer treatments.  Livestrong and the University of Pennsylvania have put together an excellent tool to help.  This web based app allows you to enter your treatment history and see the most likely long term side effects to watch for. I advise everyone to try this, and to take the results to your next doctor’s visit.  Force the issue of survivorship care, because most likely, it’s not on your doctor’s 5 minute agenda.

Click HERE to access the Livestrong (Survivorship) Care Plan Powered by PennMedicine’s OncoLink.

My story highlights the need to take charge, long after treatment is done. Please share this with others, to help get word out and to hopefully spare someone else my experience.

I’ve been having trouble with my leg for over a year. I presumed it was a tennis injury that just wasn’t healing, so I finally broke down and got some x-rays.

My bones have decayed. Alkylating agents. So I googled the topic and found:

“Therapy of lymphoma with high-dose glucocorticoids and alkylating agents may result in premature bone loss, increasing the risk of vertebral and hip fractures.  In patients at least 50 years of age, 54% of men and 40% of women had baseline osteopenia.”

I am furious.

I’ve been through 2 major rounds of chemo involving Cyclophosphamide and Bendamustine, both of which are alkylating agents. I had NO idea that they might impact my bone density. The FDA warnings have no info. My doctor said nothing. Even after he saw me limping, almost unable to walk, my oncologist didn’t make the connection between the drugs and my bones. Bones aren’t his specialty. Bone docs don’t talk to cancer docs.

I am furious.

Cancer is hard enough. We bone up on the medical treatments (no pun intended);  muster our courage to pour poison into our veins; persevere through sometimes horrendous and even life threatening side effects. But it’s never over. Cancer is the gift that just keeps on giving.

The cancer community desperately needs survivorship care. But when will it be a reality? How do you get information to trickle down to the local provider? How do you install the notion of a totally new type of care into a rigid and inflexible system that is physican-centric not patient-centric?

Einstein once said that you can’t fix a problem with the same energy that caused it. How can we expect physicians who didn’t even believe in chemo brain much less other side effects to provide survivorship care?

I am furious.

Had I known, could I have done something? Some studies are using (still more) drugs (most likely with side effects of their own) to combat the bone loss. Perhaps I could have done more weight bearing exercises. Would that have helped? I’ve been active in sports my entire life. Now what? Am I to lose this too?

No one told me that there was yet another phase to this ongoing nightmare named cancer, where I had to take charge, be brave, figure it all out for myself yet again. I’ve worked through the treatments. I’ve worked to figure out the diet piece. I’ve worked to dramatically change my reaction to stress via daily meditation (I was even more upset before I meditated this afternoon!) I took charge of everything I could because when it comes to cancer, there is no one to figure it out for you. You are on your own.

I am furious.

Cancer takes so much away. We can lose our financial stability that it took years to build; some of us lose our homes, some of us lose our livelihoods. Friendships are strained when no one knows how to relate, and they fall away. This is just the last straw. Losing my mobility has been hard enough, but to find that it may be impacting my skeletal structure is too much.

And the worst part? I can’t get a hip replacement until I can move back into my house. I can’t move into my house because my insurance company, Allied which is a subsidiary of Nationwide (who is NOT on my side) has been stalling for over FIVE MONTHs on paying a claim for water damage that occurred in AUGUST while I was out of town. As a result, I’m living in a rental with little or no furniture in most rooms and a staircase that makes getting up and downstairs an overwhelming experience in total hip pain.

I am furious.

I guess I want to believe that since I toughed it out like such a trooper, I could look forward to a period of life again. I feel betrayed. Perhaps that’s unfair. I would have made the same decision to go ahead with treatment, but I wish I had JUST KNOWN about the long term implications. I just wish I had a clue what issues are related to survivorship and the various drug combinations I’ve had. If I’d been more informed, I could have been more alert to possible problems.

Why in the world does no one address these issues? For me it’s too late; I hope that for someone else reading this it won’t be. Add survivorship follow up care to the lengthy list of things you already have to take charge of. Because when it comes to cancer and health care, you are on your own.

About the Author:

Pat Wetzel

Pat Wetzel, founder of Anti-Cancer Club

Pat Wetzel is the founder of the Anti-Cancer Club.   In 2009, she was diagnosed with a rare lymphoma.  She closed down the investment fund in which she was a partner and focused on dealing with her cancer.

Cancer, she realized, is characterized by a loss of control as medical tests, treatments and protocols take over one’s life.

How does one take control of one’s health, even in the face of cancer?  What are the factors of health in the context of cancer?

Critical research by Dean Ornish, MD, David Servan-Schreiber, MD, Jeanne WallacePhD, CNC, and others all pointed to 4 key factors over which you do have control: Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Management and Connection with Other People.

Pat created the Anti-Cancer Club to shorten the learning curve for others and provide quality, actionable information for crafting a sustainable, anti-cancer lifestyle, one step at a time.  Click HERE for the Anti-Cancer Club website.

Please note the following – The Livestrong Care Plan referenced herein is intended for survivors of adult cancers. The Children’s Oncology Group website, Cure Search, is a wonderful resource for survivors of childhood cancers. In addition, childhood cancer survivors should encourage their healthcare team to review the extensive guidelines for long-term care developed by the Children’s Oncology Group.

Lots To Live For, Inc. delivers comfort during cancer. Please visit our website at www.LotsToLiveFor.com for products to reduce and relieve the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cancer surgery.  We also offer a collection of resources to help patients along their cancer journey.

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Inspirational New Book Shares Stories And Lessons From Miracle Cancer Survivors

by Tami Boehmer  (Award winning author, blogger, and speaker)

Next month, it will be seven years since I learned I had metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer. It was my worst nightmares come true. I had just celebrated five cancer-free years after being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. My daughter had just turned nine years old. My first thought was, “Will I be around to raise her?”

According to statistics and a couple of doctors I spoke with, it was highly unlikely. One told me I would “most certainly die of breast cancer.” No doubt about it. I responded, “I’m too stubborn to die”, then left determined to prove her wrong.

I recently read a quote on a metastatic breast cancer Facebook page: “Faith sees the invisible, believes in the incredible, and receives the impossible.” — Anonymous. My faith was shaky when I was first diagnosed, but there was a spark there waiting to be ignited.

I had spent my career in health care public relations, where I wrote success stories about patients who beat the odds of illnesses. I took a permanent leave of absence after being diagnosed this second time, but started feeling empty and depressed. I decided to use my experience and share stories of people who had beaten the odds of stage IV cancer.

When I started interviewing individuals for my first book, From Incurable to Incredible, I had only seven months under my belt as a stage IV breast cancer survivor. My primary goal was to inspire hope and show that it was possible to beat the odds of a terminal or incurable prognosis. Not just for my readers; but for me, as well.

In Nov. 2014, my second book, Miracle Survivors: Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer, was released by Skyhorse Publishing. I share my story, along with 23 other cancer survivors from around the country. With many years under my belt as a survivor, I got to know more people who are thriving years beyond what anyone expected and have learned many lessons from my own “school of hard knocks.” The book reflects my new perspective, as well as those of others like Carole Kubrin, who has been living with stage IV, HER2-positive breast cancer since 1998, and Greg Cantwell, a stage IV glioblastoma multiforme (the most aggressive form of brain cancer) survivor since 2004.

to buy Miracle Survivors by Tami Boehmer from Amazon, click on the image above

The book also includes an introduction by best-selling author Bernie Siegel, MD, and forewords by miracle survivors ePatient Dave deBronkart (a stage IV renal cancer survivor since 2007), the best-known spokesman for the patient engagement movement, and award-winning blues vocalist Curtis Salgado (diagnosed with stage IV renal cancer in 2007), who was the inspiration for the movie, The Blues Brothers.

While I call the individuals in this book, “miracle survivors,” overcoming the odds wasn’t something that just happened to them. Each person took a very active role in overcoming their challenges by becoming advocates for themselves and others and never giving up.

There are no winners or losers or the right or wrong way to deal with cancer and other major life challenges. But I know from experience and from talking with hundreds of people living with cancer that how we live our life is a choice. As the recently departed ESPN commentator Stuart Scott said, “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.” That’s what my work is all about.

Tami Boehmer, author

Tami Boehmer, author

 

Tami Boehmer is an award-winning author and blogger and speaker. Her second book, Miracle Survivors is available in hardback and e-book versions through Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Target.com, Skyhorse Publishing’s website and via Tami’s website, www.miraclesurvivors.com. An audio version is also available on Audible.com.

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