Posts Tagged comfort during cancer

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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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

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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.

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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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Great Holiday Gifts for Cancer Patients

Are you looking to purchase a great holiday gift for a cancer patient? To give a gift that will be special and highly appreciated, we suggest buying a gift that is both thoughtful and useful.

Cancer treatments including most chemotherapy regimens and radiation can cause unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects. Great gifts can help reduce the severity of these side effects and help to improve the patient’s quality of life.  Even simple side effect solutions can have a big effect on quality of life.

Deluxe Chemo Gift Kit

Deluxe Chemotherapy Gift

We have created a list of possible side effects and product suggestions to help combat the uncomfortable symptoms. Giving a gift of comfort shows that you understand and empathize with the patients’ health challenges.

Click on any product name below for more information and details about the product.

NAUSEA

We recommend Queasy Drops which are helpful in three ways: 1) they help to reduce nausea and 2) they help keep a dry mouth hydrated 3) they have a pleasant taste. These make a great stocking stuffer.

Biobands are simple acupressure wrist bands which can be worn round the clock with no side effects. They also help reduce nausea, and are reasonably priced.

RADIATION SKIN CARE

For compromised skin including radiation reaction and radiation dermatitis, we suggest My Girls Skin Care Cream, which is calendula based and calming. It goes on the skin feeling creamy but not oily.

For burned and painful skin we recommend RADX Radiation Therapy which also has 2% lidocaine as an ingredient to help reduce pain.  CoolMagic gel sheets also offer incredible relief.

A personal products gift collection with excellent value is the DermaQOL 9 Piece Gift Kit which includes soap, lotions, therapy cream, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, and more. The DermaQOL products contain no harsh ingredients (ie no parabens, or other harsh products).

For a calming spray, we suggest CV Skinlabs Rescue & Relief Spray or Atopalm Moisture Mist.

To help surgical scars heal consider CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm.

DRY MOUTH

Many chemotherapy regimens, and radiation to the throat and neck often cause dry mouth.  MouthKote is a handy spray that can be carried in a purse or a briefcase to combat dry mouth. We suggest Oral Balance Gel to help with mouth sores.

CLOTHING

Interesting and creative head wraps or hats may be appreciated by patients experiencing hair loss. There are also special surgical gowns that have been designed for cancer patients with special closures and port holes.  You can read about Radiant Wraps by clicking here.

STRESS

Relaxation, meditation and breathing products can help reduce stress. We suggest the Breathe with Purpose CD.  There are also calming apps which can be downloaded onto your phone. These products can help the patient relax during chemo infusions, or help improve sleep.

THE UNKNOWN

Fear of the unknown can cause escalation and rumination which can increase stress. The book “When Cancer Hits” by Britta Aragon is a complete guide to navigating all the changes that a patient will experience between the doctor’s office and everyday living including how to best manage side effects, stress and home recovery, and how to sustain positive energy during treatment and beyond.

LACK OF EXERCISE

Gentle exercise is generally recommended for cancer patients. Carol Michaels has written a book called  “Exercises for Cancer Survivors” and also has two gentle exercise DVD’s which can be done in the comfort of your own home. Some cancer patients are under the impression that inactivity will decrease fatigue and speed recovery. However, exercising during and after cancer surgery and treatments is helpful for one’s physical and mental well-being. The book and DVD’s are valuable resources and can help guide patients.

POOR APPETITE

Chemotherapy can affect appetite and taste. While many well wishers think that sweets and candy will be appreciated, many oncologists recommend that sugary products should be avoided. Therefore if considering food, we suggest homemade broths and chicken soups, or organic fruit and vegetable gift baskets.

 

Give the Gift of Comfort

Lots To Live For, Inc. delivers comfort during cancer

Lots To Live For, Inc. has been delivering comfort during cancer for over 12 years. We have helped many patients and their families combat the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of cancer treatment. We have a number of curated gift collections, or you can choose a collection of products from our website to create a more personalized gift.

by Margot Malin,

Founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.

 

CV_ skinlabs_collection

CV Skinlabs Products

 

DermaQOL Gift Kit

DermaQOL Gift Kit

 

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Lumpy Cards for Cancer Patients: Humor When It’s Least Appropriate

By Alexis Timmons, RN, Founder of Lumpy Cards

When I worked as an oncology nurse at Beverly HillsCancerCenter, administering chemotherapy daily to patients, many of suffering awful side effects, I noticed that the majority did not want sympathy. They wanted to be heard and understood, not pitied. I watched them open countless greeting cards, which said various things like: we are so sorry, get well soon, we are praying for you, and I watched their mood sink a little more. I’m sure they felt appreciated, thought of, but they most certainly didn’t feel better. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but a funny greeting card can make a cancer patient’s day brighter than a sympathy card can. As the daughter of a cancer survivor, I know it can be hard to find the right things to say, because you’re as scared as they are. So I took notes on what lifted patients up, and set out to design cards expressing those types of sentiments. I was determined to put a smile on the faces of those afflicted by cancer, and so LumpyCards was born. If you don’t know what to say to your sister, dad, coworker, or best friend with cancer, order a LumpyCard, and it will be easy.

Lumpy Cards 1

Example of a Lumpy Card

I have created greeting cards for every occasion, from birthday cards, sarcastic get-well cards from the cat, to holiday cards, a survivor collection, treatment-day cards, and others all specific to cancer treatment.

Eventually I hope to be in big chain stores like Walgreens and Target, so that my cards will be available to the masses, and cancer patients all over the country can be uplifted. Until then, you can purchase the cards from my website:  www.LumpyCards.com  While my mom was going through her treatment I searched tirelessly for cancer-related cards to make her laugh. I didn’t want a card that beat around the bush either. I wanted a card that spoke directly to the issue —in a funny way. Until now, that just didn’t exist. Now that they’re here, I’m trying to spread the word: Just say “no” to sympathy! Instead, you can order a LumpyCard and make someone’s day.

Another goal of mine is to partner with more cancer research foundations to raise money for their causes. So far I’ve teamed up with Brides Against Breast Cancer as a vendor in their latest Pasadena Fundraiser, and I plan on sponsoring many more, in cancer walks, runs, and events for other organizations. Additionally, a portion of every LumpyCards purchase is contributed to cancer research.

So many cancer survivors have said they wish LumpyCards had been around when they were going through their treatment. It makes me so happy to hear them praise my cards. I feel proud to be making a difference in one of the hardest journeys, knowing that even though I don’t have the cure to cancer, at least I can make the journey a little lighter.

Alexis Timmons, RN

Founder of LumpyCards

“I’ve always been drawn to oncology, as I felt I could make the greatest difference there. I loved the connection I got to make with my patients, and it was so satisfying to support them through something so challenging. But everything changed when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer became personal, and from then on, every patient reminded me of her. I tirelessly searched for ways to brighten her day, and ended up buying lots of blank cards, because most of the cards out there were depressing. I wanted to make her laugh. My goal now is to bring laughter to as many cancer patients as I can. Cancer doesn’t have to be scary all the time! “

LumpyCards.com

facebook.com/lumpycards

LumpyCards (LexiTLumpyCards) on Twitter

 

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COPING WITH NEUROPATHY AND HOW TOPRICIN SUPPORTS THE HEALING JOURNEY

–By Lou Paradise

Patients who are valiantly coping with cancer, supported by the love and assistance of family and friends, have to deal with the significant and often extremely painful side effects of their treatment protocols.

One of the most common and debilitating side effects of chemotherapy is chemo-induced neuropathy:  the excruciatingly intense tingling and burning in the hands and feet can be unbearable.  The nerve pain can be so relentlessly agonizing that is the number one reason that cancer patients prematurely stop their treatments.

I can so appreciate the discomfort, agony, and frustration of what pain sufferers endure because I have personally suffered from debilitating nerve pain.  And as the president and chief of research at Topical BioMedics, Inc., I am humbled by the fact that Topricin—our company’s propriety healing technology uniquely formulated with cellular biomedicines—is helping to support cancer patients on their healing journey, especially with the nerve pain (neuropathy)

I invented Topricin following two tours of active duty serving as a decorated Marine Corps helicopter combat/rescue crew chief in Vietnam.  As a result of the physical demands of my missions, I suffered from cumulative trauma injuries that felt like a severe case of bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).   Because of my nerve-related injuries, I experienced burning pain from the tips of my fingers to my elbows in both hands and arms.  When the pain was at its worst, I was lucky to get two or three hours of sleep, and had to rest sitting up in a chair in order to maintain circulation and offset the excruciating pain.

I was determined to find a cure for my war injuries, as I knew that the chemical pain pills couldn’t help and that the surgery for this condition would not be an option either.  Drawing on my years of research in how the body heals and that natural medicines stimulate healing, I began to self-experiment. Herbal medicines had little effect and single-ingredient homeopathic medicines produced some relief but not what I was looking for.   Not deterred, I deduced that maybe a combination of homeopathic medicines in a cream base applied locally to the specific pain site might be the answer.

I’ve been blessed with a strong intuition and from the 3,000 homeopathic choices was able to use a specific combination of homeopathic biomedicines and created a formula that had a measurable effect and the pain began to ease in just a few weeks. I was able to get four hours of sleep, then five, then six.  This was a wonderful achievement as sleep is crucial to the healing process since the body does its primary repair while we are resting.

I had created the prototype Topricin® formula…And now, more than 25 years later, I am happy to report that I’ve been pain free, symptom free, and medication free, enjoying a complete restoration of full function, mobility, and range of motion.  

Topricin is an innovative healing technology that is bridging the gap between well-researched natural medicine and conventional care, and is in fact used at major medical facilities around the country.  My goal in creating Topricin was to make sure no one else would ever have to suffer the way I did. Enhancing the body’s miraculous innate ability to heal itself is the answer to all painful conditions.

Why homeopathy?  Because it is a 200-year-old natural medical model that emphasizes healing as a cornerstone of why it works.  This federally-regulated medical system utilizes micro dosed natural medicines from herb, mineral and animal sources that stimulate the body’s natural healing and defense processes to achieve homeostasis and maximum healing. Healing is the ultimate form of pain relief. This non-chemical, non-toxic form of medicine is safe, produces no known side effects, and is not contra-indicated with any other medication or treatment.

Topricin Products

Collection of Topricin Products

Here’s a bit more detail.  The biomedicines in Topricin are molecular complete natural cellular compounds that are nearly identical to the body’s natural healing chemistries. Topricin has a proprietary delivery system that penetrates to deepest recesses of where we feel the pain. Topricin’s biomedicines stimulate detoxifying the lymphatic system locally, relaxing the microcapillaries to restore oxygen-rich blood to damaged cells. The relief realized is the body’s healing of the cells that cause the pain.

Patented for the topical treatment of pain associated with neuropathy and fibromyalgia, Topricin has helped hundreds of thousands of patients experiencing chemo-induced neuropathy experience the healing relief needed to overcome the side effects of chemo-therapy…reducing or even eliminating the need for oral pain pills. In the case of Rx opioids, the risks are even greater because they are highly addictive, and like all chemical pain pills they have no curative power and literally shut down the healing process, and never treat the cause of the pain. Moreover, the side effects of oral pain medication can lead to worse medical conditions then the pain you were trying to treat.

When it comes to neuropathic pain, especially in the feet and legs, our Topricin Foot Therapy Cream offers maximum benefits.  This is because it’s formulated with additional biomedicines that help reduce excess pressure inside the foot.  It also treats cracking and dry skin and supports circulation, providing needed oxygen and nutrients to repair the cells causing the pain. Apply odorless greaseless Topricin 3-4 times a day initially, for best results before bed and in the morning.

I believe it is everyone’s birthright to experience a vibrant, joyful quality of life, doing the things they love with those they love best.  The Topricin mission is not just about the end of pain; it’s about the beginning of relief.  I am honored to have an opportunity to support your healing journey.

VISIT THE LOTS TO LIVE FOR, INC. FACEBOOK PAGE TO ENTER OUR FREE TOPRICIN PRODUCT RAFFLE / GIVEAWAY AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/LOTSTOLIVEFOR

Founder of Topical Biomedics

Lou Paradise, Founder of Topical Biomedics

 

Lou Paradise is president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., Rhinebeck, NY.  A decorated US Marine Corps veteran, he frequently serves as an expert speaker on the use of natural medicines, conducts pain management seminars, and is a member of the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists.  Mr. Paradise invented Topricin® Pain Relief and Healing Cream to safely and effectively address the injuries he sustained as a result of serving two tours of duty as a helicopter medevac rescue crew chief in Vietnam.  He regularly addresses clinical audiences on the use of his company’s proprietary topical technologies in the treatment of acute and chronic pain and trauma injury including post-surgical trauma as a compliment to primary care, bridging the gap between natural medicines and the conventional medical community.  His formulas are patented for the topical treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia and both chemo-induced and diabetic neuropathy.  www.topricin.com

 

You can purchase Topricin Pain Relief Cream and Topricin Foot Therapy cream at www.LotsToLiveFor.com where you will also find additional products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment.

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Tips to Improve Comfort During Cancer Treatment / How To Combat Cancer Side Effects

By Margot Malin, CEO and Founder of Lots To Live For, Inc.

 

Starting either chemotherapy or radiation oncology treatment can feel overwhelming. There are logistics and arrangements to consider, medical research and treatment options to review, as well as getting through daily tasks.  Patients often forget to explore how they can reduce cancer treatment side effects.  Reducing unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects is important because the more comfortable you feel during treatment, the more likely you will be to continue through treatments uninterrupted, and the better your overall frame of mind will be.  We will give you an overview of some simple ways you can combat the side effects of cancer treatment.

 

Lots to Live For, Inc.  offers a variety of products to help you reduce and relieve side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.  Many of the products have been developed by cancer survivors and thrivers who saw an unmet need when they went through treatment and decided to “pay it forward” by developing a solution. Many of these products are manufactured by small, innovative and entrepreneurial companies without a “national marketing machine” so they may not have recognizable brand names.

 

Radiation Skin Care

Radiation can cause many different skin reactions – including but not limited to dryness, redness, tenderness, burns, radiation reaction and radiation dermatitis. Some lotions and creams can be very effective at reducing these side effects. Highly effective brands include RADX radiation therapy, My Girls Skin Care (all natural) and 7 Cream (homeopathic). Gel sheets and pads such as CoolMagic hydro gel sheets or the Lind Skin Cooler Roll can be cooling and soothing, and can be applied directly, or over a radiation cream, providing intense relief. Explore products to help heal and soothe radiation burns at Lots To Live For, Inc.

 

Oral Care

It is a good idea to have your teeth cleaned, or other dental work performed before starting chemotherapy or radiation to your chest and neck area. Many medications will affect your mouth.  Use a gentle toothpaste, such as Biotene, and keep your mouth fresh and lubricated with gentle products such as Biotene or MouthKote Oral Balance can help to soothe mouth sores and enhance hydration.

 

Hair Care

Many chemotherapy medications can cause hair to fall out, and they can also make the scalp feel itchy and tingly. Explore the newly introduced Penguin Cold Cap to help hair retention during chemotherapy treatment. Thymuskin hair care topical products can help reduce hair loss and accelerate hair regrowth.  Alra shampoo and DermaQOL hair products can help ease an itchy scalp.

 

Nausea

Ginger is a natural product that can help nausea.  Biobands are acupressure wristbands that can also help.  Try Queasy Pops and Queasy Drops for added comfort.

 

Cancer Gifts

All of the products mentioned also make excellent gifts for cancer patients. If you are a friend, relative, caregiver, or co-worker consider a “gift of comfort” as an expression of your concern and support. Click here to find a collection of cancer gifts.

gift_of_comfort

Beyond personal care products that can help maintain comfort during cancer treatment we also share additional lifestyle suggestions.

 

Nutrition

There is a wealth of information dedicated to healthy eating during cancer treatment. One suggestion is: The American Cancer Society Complete Guide To Nutrition for Cancer Survivors.   There are many articles about superfoods, and the importance of reducing sugar in the diet. Remember to stay well hydrated! We suggest searching the internet for additional information.   The Anti-Cancer Club provides additional suggestions about nutrition.

 

Exercise

Research is increasingly proving that gentle exercise has many benefits. Physical activity can decrease depression and anxiety. Additional benefits from exercise may include the reduction of stress, increased confidence and reinforcement of other positive health habits. Exercise can also help the patient gain endurance, increase energy level and decrease fatigue, which may be caused by treatments. Studies have recently shown that exercise may in fact help prevent reoccurrence.

 

Items to Take to Treatment

Taking these items to treatment with you can help pass the time and keep you warm and comfortable.  Find a cheery and colorful bag to carry: a pen and pad so you can jot down medical questions, a journal if you like to write, an ipod or tablet computer, warm booties, a blanket, a meditation or breathing CD or phone app, a book, warm booties, Queasy Drops to keep your mouth hydrated and water or green tea for additional hydration. Remember to ask your oncology nurse whether these items can be used during your specific therapy.  Remember to dress comfortably too!

 

This article has offered tips to enhance your comfort during cancer treatment. If you find it helpful, please share it with others traveling a parallel journey.

Please visit us on facebook at www.facebook.com/LotsToLiveFor

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