Monday, October 31, 2016
In my research and personal reading I have found some great quotes from celebrities and historical figures about cancer, hope, and inspiration. I would like to share some with you today. We can always use encouragement in our lives for no reason at all and when we need it the most.
I don't think there is a professional athlete, or actor who doesn't like encouragement or "cheerleaders" in their corner supporting them to keep going and succeed. Why should we be any different?
Bring on the encouragement!
You Can Do it!
Keep on keeping on!
You are awesome!
You are stronger than you feel.
Michael Douglas said, "Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet." That sounds empowering to me and I admire that. I like to be reminded of his quote when I have moments of doubt or weakness.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”-Eleanor Roosevelt
“Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.” -Ingrid Bergman
Former president Teddy Roosevelt," Believe you can and you are halfway there."
Even Kim Kardashian has said something encouraging, "No matter how long you've had a dream, it can still come true if you persevere."
Encourage yourself, encourage others we are all in this life together on earth and should support and lift up each other.
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Thursday, October 27, 2016
A lot of cancer survivors ask themselves or even their pastor, therapist, or doctor; “why was I spared? Why did I live when others just like me die?” I asked the same question, wanting to know why I was spared when my mother in law died of her cancer while I was fighting my own at the time going through chemo. My mother-in-law was a good woman, she had a huge heart, loved God, a devote Christian, she saw the good in people, rarely cursed and was just a good person. I too am a Christian but a very flawed one, and when I compare myself to her I consider her to have been a much better person and Christian. So other than the obvious reason that I am younger and have 2 small children to raise who need me, why was I spared? Well I may never really know the reason why until I am able to ask God myself, but I “know” what my heart and soul tell me, what I believe with all of my body, what the Holy Spirit put on my heart the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
God has a plan to use my journey with cancer for good, for His glory and to help others. I have a purpose and passion to use my cancer to help others.
I have struggled with this since I was diagnosed in 2011, as much as I want to give 100% of myself to the task God has given me I am also going through treatments, surgeries, recovery, side effects and tests for my own battle with cancer. Not to mention I have a family, I am a wife, mother, daughter, friend and I am trying to maintain my life and my health. This isn’t easy for someone who is stage 4 metastatic with two kids in elementary school and a husband in retail.
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus returns." (Philippians 1:6)
This verse helps to get me through especially when I am struggling with my survival guilt and questioning why was I spared.
We shouldn't get caught up and dwell on the why we are spared from whatever tragedy we survive. I know it is common to question, but we really shouldn't waste time on this. Enjoy the fact that you are still alive and move on with your mission in life. There is a reason why some die and others live, and we may not know that reason until we meet them in heaven. Find your purpose, find your "why" you were spared, there is obviously something you are meant to do that hasn't been accomplished yet. Share your story, share your struggle, there are those out there in the world who will be touched by it, who will be comforted by it.
As survivors our duty is to share our story for those who aren't able to, we share ours and offer the world our hope, strength, and truth. We are a bright light in a dark world, shine bright my fellow cancer stars.
Please stop by our website www.cancercutie.com or check out our Facebook page Thrive Cancer Support Services or follow me on Twitter @wondermom76
Monday, October 24, 2016
Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Vegetables
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 20 min
½ Pound small red potatoes rinsed, cubed
1 ½ Cups baby carrots
1 Cup green beans, trimmed
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved (about 1 pound)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ Cup lemon juice (divided)
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 Teaspoon grated lemon peel
¼ Teaspoon ground pepper
1. In a medium pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil
2. Add potatoes, carrots, and green beans and cook for 5 minutes: drain and set aside
3. Cut chicken breasts in half, place olive oil and chicken breasts in medium skillet; cook over medium heat for 5 min on each side
4. Add potatoes, carrots, green beans, and all remaining ingredients to skillet, except 2 tablespoons lemon juice
5. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes more or until chicken is fully cooked, add remaining lemon juice to taste and serve.
Recipe is taken from the Cancer Cutie Cookbook and can be purchased at www.cancercutie.com or www.amazon.com
* You can substitute rosemary for garlic salt or minced garlic. Serve with whole wheat rolls
Thursday, October 20, 2016
WTH! I will never forget when I was going through my 2nd time going through chemo after my mastectomy for breast cancer when my oncologist exclaimed to me that I finally looked like a cancer patient. I had been feeling particularly crappy that day, it was 2 days after chemo and I was coming in for my routine fluids and anti-nausea medication. All through chemo and radiation I wore my normal makeup like any other day. I didn't want to scare anyone, and I didn't want to scare myself.
No, the real reason is because I wanted to keep things as normal as possible for my kids who were little at that time. Knowing that I would lose my hair and that other ugly side effects could happen I wanted to keep my appearance as normal as possible. Not to mention that it is true that when you look better, you feel a little better. So into the oncologist I would go, dressed comfy but stylish and with my makeup on.
Until the day I just did not care anymore. I felt so horrible and the kids were at school, so I just went in with no makeup, dark sunglasses and a hat on wearing a matching velvet like tracksuit. I felt like crap and it showed. You know that point where you feel so bad that you do not give a Bleep. That's how I felt, and my oncologist was kind enough to point it out for everyone to see. Thanks Dr. Reyes.
I know somewhere in there was a compliment, at least I'm pretty sure there was. I guess not looking like a typical cancer patient over the past 6 months prior to that days visit was a good thing, making today's raw unadorned face so shocking.????? I don't know, but I do know that her statement stuck with me over the past 5 years of my journey with breast cancer.
I would like it to be noted that I have not shown up since that day without makeup on. Just saying.
I don't think I am a vain person, but I know I am not blessed with natural beauty, my face needs a little help and God bless makeup. :)
There is something to be said for a great shade of lipstick that makes a women feel like she can conquer the world. :) Even conquering a chemo room.
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Monday, October 17, 2016
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 7-8 hours
6 Cups diced, peeled potatoes (red and russet)
5 Cups water
1 Cup diced onion
½ Cup diced celery
½ Cup chopped carrots
¼ Cup butter
4 Teaspoons chicken bouillon
2 Teaspoon sea salt and ¼ Teaspoon pepper to taste
12-oz Can evaporated milk
3 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Cup shredded cheddar or Colby cheese
*If you are a fan, sprinkle some fresh cut chives on top before serving.
1. Combine all ingredients except milk, parsley and cheese in slow cooker
2. Cover, and cook on high for 7-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender
3. Stir in milk and parsley
4. Stir in cheese until it melts, and heat thoroughly
This soup is seriously one of my faves. I like to add broccoli and cauliflower to mine. It should be eaten on special occasion due to the high fat content or if you are needed to add some weight. It is comforting and soothing to the stomach and throat and you can add more nutrients with broccoli, spinach, bacon, cauliflower, etc.
This recipe is from our Cancer Cutie Cookbook and is available to purchase on amazon.com or directly from our website www.cancercutie.com
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
For me chemo made me lose my hair of course, my eye lashes, eyebrows and fingernails thinned extremely, I had bad dark circles under my eyes, and when my hair grew back it was grey and I was only 36!! My oncologist was paranoid about infections and my compromised immune system so I was not allowed to go to the spa, go to the nail salon, had to throw out all my make-up and buy all new make-up. Thank God for Look Good Feel Good I was able to get some free make-up. And I had scary and painful looking burn marks all up and down my forearms from my chemo IV, then when they radiated my right side I was almost 3rd degree burned from the radiation which scabbed and oozed. It was Horrible! Not to mention all the freaking surgical scars! I felt like a circus freak and cousin of Frankenstein. This lasted for over a year, and it wasn't until I had my breast reconstruction that I started to really feel like I was physically looking more normal.
But I put my makeup on darn near every single damn day. Not because I am vain, but because I didn't want to scare my kids who were little, I didn't want to look like a typical cancer patient and it's true what they say, that if you look nice you will feel better. This might sound ridiculous but we all cope in our own way, and for me I needed to have my "face on". Since I couldn't go to the salon I painted my nails at home when I felt up to it. My mom and my friends gave me little gifts to help me feel pretty like, fun earrings, bold nail polish colors, leopard print scarves and luxurious lotions. This isn't much but it helps a woman feel nice, and a little more normal.
Five years later since my first chemo and I still have to fill in my eyebrows, I have many scars, and I am still badly lopsided in my breasts. But I am alive and I am whole, and mostly back to "normal", and like a lot of cancer survivors I have a new "normal". I live with my cancer as a chronic disease as mine metastasized and is now stage 4. I can never be the same woman I was before cancer, this is both a good and sad thing.
No matter what that B*tch cancer tried to do to me, and how ugly she thought she could make me, I am beautiful. I am beautiful because I survive, and no matter how ugly I may get from my disease on the outside, nothing can take away the beauty that is in my heart. So take that you fugly b*itch cancer!!!!!
If you like my blog please visit our website at www.cancercutie.com and check out our Cancer Cutie Cookbook available on the website or www.amazon.com
Friday, October 7, 2016
Stage 4 breast cancer looks like a normal mom who takes her kids to school, goes grocery shopping, cooks dinner, has lunch with friends, works, goes to the movies with her family. Stage 4 breast cancer is not the same as other cancers that are stage 4, and not all stage 4's are the same either. Mine happens to be Metastatic stage 4 which means that breast cancer cells moved from the original tumor site and decided to grow. In my case, breast cancer cells moved and actually ate a HOLE in my iliac bone, which is in the lower back and it infected lymph nodes in the middle of my chest. It was caught and treated but I can never be cured of cancer and live with it as a chronic disease having to manage any further occurrences or as the doctor's like to put it, "flare ups". My cancer can come back at any moment for any reason, or another cancer can invade my body and I have to live with this every single day. Cancer is a mean girl, a real bitch and she doesn't give a f*ck how much she destroys. My job is to be on her ass, making sure she can't get very far, basically I have to be a bigger bitch, which is fine, because I am good at that. :)
So much of stage 4 is underneath the surface. It's not easy living with stage 4 cancer, it may look that way on the outside, but it's not. Being proactive in my own care and staying on a cancer fighting diet helps as does faith and knowing God has a purpose for my cancer and I use it to help others fighting the disease.
The key to living with my stage 4 cancer is maintaining my own nutritional and immunotherapy as well as following doctor's orders and monitoring my body with routine tests and scans. Stage 4 is not always a death sentence. It's not a walk in a park, but it can be manageable and a fairly normal life can be had. I am living proof.