Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beta Blockers To Treat Cancer?

I just came across an article this morning on twitter that I thought we should share.  Apparently, it looks like beta blockers, medications commonly used to treat conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma and migraines, might also play an important role in certain types of cancer, including some forms of breast, lung and ovarian, among others.  The theory came about after studies showed a lower death rate among individuals taking beta-blockers over an extended period of time to treat other conditions.  The study is being led by Professor Anil Sood at MD Anderson right here in Texas.  Another reason I sing the praises of MD Anderson--they seem to be at the forefront of everything.  The article does caution that cancer treatment using beta blockers is a little ways away, until they figure out how the side effects of the beta blockers effect cancer patients.  If you'd like to read more about this study, click on the link below!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Why Didn't I think of That?

Over the years, the older I get, the more "Why on earth didn't I think of that?' moments I have.  And this past week when I stumbled upon the following article about a daughter who is petitioning Victoria's Secret to create a line of bras specifically for breast cancer survivors, I had yet another one.  A huge one.  I mean, this idea should have had flashing lights as bright as Vegas!  As the daughter of a 26 year-metastatic breast cancer survivor and former employee of Victoria's Secret (granted my vicky days were a long, long time ago in a galaxy far far away :), how could I not have thought of this! I have been bra shopping many, many times with my mother, and have witnessed firsthand the frustrations of trying to find a bra when you have had a mastectomy.  And if you are lucky enough to find one that will somewhat work it's never the one with the sparkles--the one displayed on the mannequin at the front of the store when you walk in.  The one that oozes femininity, sexiness, self-confidence.  No, of course not.  Rather, the one that fits (well, somewhat fits with the help of inserts and additional tweaks) is usually the one that is stuffed away in the drawers in the back corner of the store.  Tucked away with all the other bras that only come in your standard black/white/nude variety.  And my mom was a young survivor.  I was seven and my sister was three.  My mom was 35.  Didn't she deserve the sparkly bra that coordinates so beautifully with the matching panties?  Doesn't she (and all the other women out there in her situation) deserve the most beautiful bras the industry can offer?  So, today's post is entitled, "Why didn't I think of that?".  Well, maybe I didn't, but I am so grateful for the someone who did.  And so, I am asking all of our sweet readers to please sign the petition requesting that Victoria's Secret start a line of 'survivor bra's' for women who have had mastectomys.  What a wonderfully brilliant and long overdue idea.  As we all know, there is power in numbers.  So, let's all show those executives over there that there is a demand and great need for 'survivor bras'.  And I don't want them to just create something overnight and slap it on the shelves.  There needs to be research--for as we all know--all mastectomys are not created equal.  They are as unique as each survivor.  There needs to be thought, feedback, studies, input, and other variables for this to work.  Women who had a mastectomy twenty years ago are going to need a different design than the ones who had their surgery more recently.  And you know what? It will absolutely be worth the time, effort and money. Speaking on behalf of all daughters of survivors out there, if Victoria's Secret does start a 'survivor line', I will be more than happy from now on to shop for my bras exclusively at Victoria's Secret (well, I already do--but this will seal the deal!) simply to show my appreciation.  It will be another round-a-bout way for me to support my mother.  So, click on the link below and sign away.  Looking forward to seeing all those pink-ribbon bras at a Victoria's Secret near you. 

Psst...don't forget to click below:


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Sunsets of our Lives

It's been a while since I've 'posted' and I truly just seems like the time is flying by so fast.  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that this year will be a healthy and happy one for all of you!

 I love these kind of days. Where the crisp air is chilly enough that you actually need a sweater to venture outside. These kind of days in south Texas are rare and so I decided to take full advantage of it and go for  a short walk.  Soon enough it will be hotter than blazes and we'll all be staying inside - hiding behind our air conditioners. It felt so good to be outside..twlight  is my favorite time of day... when the sky turns into  brilliant shades of pink, purple and gold.  The birds sharing  their own unique song before settling in for the night. And the stars begin to peek out from behind the clouds. The walk helped clear my mind.  I had asked God to tell me what to blog about tonight.  And so before I came back inside, I just stood in my front yard -eyes closed, soaking up the gentle rays of the warm sun before it drifted out of sight. Another sunset. And suddenly I knew. Today's Daily Word was about divine order. I quote:"I move through change with ease. Divine order is a continual process.  I know that when the sun sets on one side of the world, it is rising on the other. When I consider my life in this way, I see my own sunsets from a new perspective.  I accept and honor the transitions in my life. I allow what was once part of my experience to pass and to wait patiently for what is next. As I move through change, I am not alone. The love of God is my assurance and support.  With God, I gain a deeper understanding of my life.  I know that after every sunset, I will experience a grand sunrise."

This morning, I was on the way to my doctor and Casey, my daughter, called to tell me about a young woman who has been blogging about her battle with  breast cancer for seven years now. On Wednesday,the 26th of December, Bridget posted what in her words would be her last. So, while I was sitting in the waiting room, I decided to pull up her blog. - My Big Girl Pants - to find out more  about the life of this brave young woman. I have to tell you that her story is completely heart-wrenching. There is no other way to describe it.  I don't think Bridget will mind that I'm mentioning her blog or her story because I feel as though I've already met this courageous and beautiful young woman through her own words. She was only 21 when diagnosed with breast cancer. She had her whole life in front of her. The strength, determination and courage she displayed throughout  her journey is nothing short of remarkable. She is a hero in every sense of the word.  Her hope was that she would be remembered.  How could anyone possibly forget her if they've  read even just one of her posts, much less her last?

We all know that when we begin this journey, that there are two possible outcomes. And we do everything in our power to help us achieve the right one. Sometimes though, inspite of all our best efforts, things just don't work out the way we'd hoped and prayed. Sometimes life doesn't seem fair. Period. And we'll never know why some things happen the way they do. No rhyme or reason. Why someone so young, beautiful and full of hope like Bridget won't be around to see her little niece grow up or  have her own beautiful children one day. News like this makes us all want to pound our fist on the wall and cry out...why God...WHY?  It doesn't make sense and it makes you question your own faith. It reminds me of one of my close friends who lost her battle to breast cancer at a young age. I couldn't wrap my head around why God didn't heal her.  But then we have to pull ourselves back up and remember that God is still in control. There is so much in this life that we will never understand.  We just have to give thanks that Bridget's life was a gift to us all. She was the embodiment of hope, and courage. Strength and determination.  Her life was an example of the beauty and tenaciousness of the human spirit.

So, as I was standing outside, my face being warmed by the sun I thought of Bridget.  I have no idea how she is doing since her last post.  But I do know that whenever the sun does set on her beautiful life, she will experience a grand sunrise.  And God will welcome another angel home.  Please put Bridget and all of her family in your prayers.

And God shall wipe every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow or crying, neither shall there be any more pain...  Revelations 21:4