Tough Mom

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Wow. We don’t know about you, but this video made us tear up! Mom’s are amazing. This mother’s day, take a moment to honor your mother!

This Mother’s Day we want to celebrate mom’s who have fought the battle of breast cancer.  If you need some options for ways to honor your mother, consider making a donation in her honor.

Fundraising Websites – Crowdrise



Motivational Monday: BEGIN.

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Every Decision



Motivational Monday: Work for your DREAMS

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Dreams don't work



Motivational Monday

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impossible



Inspirational Story: Escaping The Storm

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Multi-colored storm front.

Escaping The Storm

Earlier this summer when Dean and Brenda Rummel were traveling from Colorado to their home north of Kendallville, Indiana, they took a new route to avoid Chicago’s traffic and potholes.

Dean is a real estate agent and Brenda is principal of Prairie Heights Middle School. Their motorcycle trips have taken them to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. However, on this trip, their motorcycle broke down in the middle of nowhere — but really they were in just the right place.

The breakdown led to numerous new friendships. Terry and Pat Svetlecich brought them back home in their motor home and pulled the motorcycle on a trailer. They even dropped the bike off at a Honda shop.

“That’s just me,” Terry told the Morris newspaper. “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

In return, the Rummels insisted their new friends stay the night in Indiana and made them a home-cooked meal.

The Morris, Illinois, newspaper wrote about the Rummels’ experience because Brenda sent a thank you note to the community. People who read her letter to the editor asked the newspaper to tell the rest of the story.

I found out about the story through a random Google e-mail alert.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I called Dean and Brenda and told them I had read about them online in the Morris newspaper. They had not seen the article. Then Dean shared with me another story from the same remarkable journey.

The day before their breakdown they were whizzing through Iowa on I-80. Surprisingly, the low fuel light went on. Dean knew he shouldn’t be low on fuel, but he also knew he couldn’t ignore it. There weren’t many places to get fuel so he got off at the nearest exit and found a gas station.

When he “filled up” he found out the tank would only take about three gallons. It confirmed what he thought and the gas level was not low.

A shove on his shoulder made him turn around. It was a woman who seemed to have come out of nowhere.

“There’s a storm coming. Power lines will come down. High winds,” she said. “Get off the road.”

Dean and Brenda were startled. The sky at the gas station was clear. There was no storm in sight. They did not understand the woman’s concern and they decided to continue on I-80 to their destination 100 miles away.

The woman’s tone was urgent.

“Folks, get off the road,” she repeated. “Get off the road! There’s a bad storm coming!”

The woman’s persistence and her urgent tone made Dean change his mind and head for Iowa City, 12 miles away.

As they sped toward Iowa City, storm clouds suddenly popped up. They increased their speed, racing toward Iowa City. With every passing moment the sky became more threatening. They found a hotel and quickly checked in.

The minute they shut the door behind them, the storm struck with fury. Raging winds threw tree limbs across the road. The storm was so strong that the electricity went out for 2-1/2 hours.

Escaping the storm’s fury seemed like a miracle.

Looking back, Dean believes the woman who warned them and then disappeared must have been an angel.

~ Grace Housholder ~


Inspirational Quotes for Difficult times

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Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert Schuller

Arise awake and stop not till the goal is reached.” – Swami Vivekananda

I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.” – Abraham Lincoln

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” – Joseph Kennedy

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
- Movie Quote from ‘Rocky Balboa’



Breast Cancer Awareness Is More Than Wearing Pink

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Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.

There are only a few things in this world that turn your blood cold and cause your heart to fall into your stomach.

One of these things is finding out you or a loved one has a life-threatening disease. This happened to me about a year and a half ago when I was told my 77-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is one of those things that changes you forever and you never quite look at the world in the same way.

Fortunately, it was caught early enough that she made a full recovery, but only after watching her suffer through radical surgery and months of debilitating treatment. It is something I wish no one would ever have to witness or go through themselves. My mother is one of the strongest people I know who refused to let this evil control her life. Even through the nausea and weakness, she would always put on a smile and pull herself together to spoil her grandkids and try to ease the worry that the family lived with constantly.

Though she lost her hair and suffered other physical torments, she soldiered on and beat the odds that were stacked against her. She is an inspiration and a true representation of how determination and faith can overcome anything put before you. It is also a testament on how getting regular checkups can prevent getting into a situation that unfortunately cannot be fixed.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is a wonderful opportunity to inform and educate all people about the issues surrounding this horrible illness. You will see everyone from professional football players to musicians showing their support for research and education for breast cancer by wearing pink. On Oct. 2, 3,000 women participated in the 18th annual Women’s Only 5K Walk/Run for Breast Cancer in Greensboro to raise money for a mammography scholarship fund that will benefit low-income women and those who are uninsured.

Although struggling with being treated for breast cancer, Susan G. Komen was more concerned about how other people were dealing with breast cancer in there own lives and what could be done to ease their suffering. At her death, Susan’s sister, Nancy Brinker, started the Susan G. Komen Foundation in 1982 as a promise to her sister to end breast cancer forever. It is now the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested nearly $1.5 billion since inception.

But wearing pink and raising money for research will not be enough to eradicate this disease. Each person must do their individual part by talking about the issue, explaining what to look for and having regular preventative examinations. If you find a lump or feel something just isn’t right, don’t dismiss it. Take action on the side of being cautious.

If there is nothing wrong then you are out nothing, but catching it early can make the difference between life and death. Do it for your loved ones, if nothing else. And don’t think of it as just a women’s disease. Although it makes up less than 1 percent of all cases, men have also died from breast cancer. To me, that is 1 percent too many.

I am one of the fortunate people who succeeded in the fight with cancer in my family, but just the thought of losing my mother still shakes me to my soul. It is a thought no one should ever have to have. I hope everyone will take action by making a donation, participating in a fundraising event, giving items to the cancer center or simply just volunteering your time.

My mother wears a pink bracelet on her wrist with the message: Hope, Strength, Faith and Courage. She says it has helped her many times while dealing with all the treatments and the horrible side effects. I will follow her lead and keep that message close to my heart. I hope for the best, I will be strong when dealing with the unpleasant reality, I have faith that God will protect those who are fighting for their lives and I will have the courage to speak out about the need to find a cure for this disease.

No one should ever have this horrible, disfiguring monster disrupt his or her lives ever again. And although I don’t say it enough, I love you Mom and I am inspired by you.

Sharon Myers is a married mother of two. She is a graduate of Lexington Senior High and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from East Carolina University.



Quotes on Bravery

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Japanese proverb: Bravery Quotes
Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.

Bertrand Russell: Bravery Quotes
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Unknown Author: Bravery Quotes
Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Emily Dickinson: Bravery Quotes
Finite to fail, but infinite to venture.

Corita Kent: Bravery Quotes
Flowers grow out of darker moments.

Anthony Robbins: Bravery Quotes
Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.

John Greenleaf Whittier: Bravery Quotes
For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, “It might have been”.

Victor Hugo: Bravery Quotes
For man’s greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes – obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes.

William Durant: Bravery Quotes
Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget about everything except what you’re going to do now – and do it.

John Dryden: Bravery Quotes
Fortune befriends the bold.

The above list of quotations is page 1 of a collection of motivational and inspirational quotes on Courage.



Young Survival Stories

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You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Survivor Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela ‘s Story, diagnosed at 19

 

 

By: Angela Springstead

 


I was 19 and attending college when I noticed a lump in my left breast. It was extremely painful and there was dimpling next to the lump. I went to the college’s health care center to see the nurse. She of course told me that the lump was nothing to worry about. When I had asked her about the dimpling, she said that she did not have an answer for that. She then gave me some Advil for the pain and sent me on my way. About a week after that, it was Christmas break. I had mentioned to my mom that I had a lump in my breast and she and my boyfriend encouraged me to go and get it checked out. I called and scheduled a surgery for Jan. 20, 1999. Of course now I was really terrified. What was I going to do if it was cancer? The day of the surgery finally came. I went in and about 45 minutes later I was waking up on the operating table being told that I had cancer. The tumor was 1.8 cm. I am sure you can imagine the shock I was in. I mean I was only 19!!! This is not supposed to happen to someone my age.

I was told a few days later that I was going to need another surgery to remove my lymph nodes. I proceeded to call Roswell Park Cancer Institute and have them do my next surgery. I went in for my second surgery on Feb.5. They proceeded to go back in where I had my lumpectomy done and clean up the margins and remove some chest muscle. They also removed most of my lymph nodes under my arm. My doctor told me that I had a microscopic spot in one of my nodes so my cancer was considered Stage II. I also found out that my cancer was estrogen positive. We then started to talk about chemotherapy treatments, radiation, and Tamoxifen. The chemotherapy would only help me by 5%, but the radiation and the Tamoxifen were the things that I would benefit most from. Of course, I decided to take the chemotherapy, even though I knew the chances of it helping me were small. I started my chemotherapy in March. I was going to be receiving the type of chemotherapy called Adriamycin and Cytoxan (also known as AC). I had to go every 3 weeks for 3 months. This was the worst experience of my life. During treatment, I lost a lot of weight and my hair. I ended up not taking the last of my 4 treatments. My body just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like it was slowly killing me. That is when I realized that it was not worth it for 5%. In June, I started my radiation. I had to go for 5 days a week for 6 ½ weeks. That was a breeze compared to the chemo!! Besides having a little redness I didn’t have any discomfort at all. I had started to take my Tamoxifen near the end of my radiation treatments. I take a 20 mg pill once a day. The hot flashes were really bad at first but they have gotten a lot better even though I still get them every once in awhile. I also have the muscular and skeletal pain, fatigue and no sex drive (that is also due to the chemo and) from the Tamoxifen, but I can’t complain too much because the Tamoxifen is helping save my life. I also had my reconstructive surgery done in March of 2000.Survivor Stories

Erica’s Story, diagnosed at 28By: Erica McArdleFirst of all I am 28 years old, and I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. Yeaaah! I can say I am a Survivor now. This is how it all started: I was taking my morning shower and noticed a small lump in my breast. I didn’t want to make too much of it, but I mentioned it to my boyfriend Paul. Of course, he was concerned and told me I needed to make an appointment. But instead of listening to both his and my concern, I tried to put it at the back of my mind; I figured I had to be overreacting.

It wasn’t until a few weeks after my discovery, while attending a Relay For Life event, that I decided I should take it more seriously. I heard Jamie Ledezma (now a dear friend of mine) speaking about the moment she discovered her lump, which seemed so similar to mine, only she was 27 and pregnant. “Wow” I thought, “if she can do it, so can I.”

I made an appointment immediately and first saw a Nurse Practitioner who gave me a standard breast exam. She felt the lump, but told me that I was too young and couldn’t possibly have cancer. Once again I felt like I was just being paranoid. I remember trying to make myself believe that it was probably just a simple cyst.

So, I got “the call” while driving to pick up Paul from work. The Nurse Practitioner was the one telling me the news, that: the biopsy was positive. Hmmm, funny that this is the same lady who said “You’re too young,” I AM NOT TOO YOUNG. It hit hard, but I held it together the best that I could. I went to pick Paul up and had him drive. I waited what seemed to be forever until we got home and inside. I told him I had cancer, and then I broke down and cried.

One of the hardest parts of this for me was remaining mentally strong. My emotions were my biggest battle; I knew I needed to stay positive, I knew if I stayed positive I would get through it. But there were days it just wasn’t that easy. I was deeply hurt when I realized that the people in my life I stood by through good times and bad, seemed to stay focused on themselves when I needed their support. But it’s funny how it plays out. Over time, I made amazing discoveries in other friends and was able to fully recognize and appreciate what a truly wonderful man I had.

A day that sticks out in my mind is the day my hair first started thinning out, my scalp ached so badly that I had to ask Paul to shave my head. I was mortified at the idea that he would see me bald. I couldn’t even imagine looking at myself this way let alone anyone else. But Paul assured me that anything that would make me feel better would make him feel better too. With that being said I was eager to get it off, what a relief … my head no longer ached. And what a wonderful gift it is too have a man who loves you unconditionally.

During the first few weeks of my treatment I was asked to write a story for Valley Health Magazine for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they asked me if I would be willing to do the cover without my wig. WOW, another big step for me, but I remembered a story I had seen of Stefanie LaRue. She was 30 and diagnosed with Stage IV Advanced/Metastatic Breast Cancer. She did an interview and didn’t wear a wig, and she was such an inspiration to me. I knew after seeing her story that I too wanted to make a difference. So I didn’t hesitate more than a few seconds and agreed. I did it and I am proud.

Shortly after the publication of the magazine, a local news station asked me to do an interview, mind you I am usually very private about things. I agreed once again, here I was, with chemo brain (very forgetful and cloudy) doing my best to maintain confidence.

My chemo treatments went very well; my last treatment was October 16, 2007. My tumor was aggressive (when cancer strikes the young, it tends to strike more aggressively and requires more aggressive treatment), so Dr. Perkins treated it aggressively with four rounds of A/C and four rounds of Taxol. The tumor shrank from 4 cm down to 1 cm. Shortly after chemo was over, Paul planned a trip to the coast to celebrate. It wasn’t just to celebrate the end of chemo; he took me to a really nice Wellness Resort, and later that evening at dinner he got down on one knee and purposed. Of course I said yes. We have already been through “good times and bad” and “sickness and health”. Getting engaged was truly my dream come true.

The following Monday after our weekend away, we received the genetic testing results for the BRCA 1 & 2 gene and there was no mutation detected. That was great news … at least I knew that a double mastectomy wouldn’t be necessary. The surgery decision came as such a relief, my doctor said I would be having a lumpectomy. And to think this whole time I was mentally preparing myself for a double mastectomy. I know I was completely blessed! Now all that’s left is radiation to be sure there are no more remaining cancer cells in the area. I should be done with it all on February 14th, Valentines Day!

This experience has helped me to realize what is most important in my life, it helped me see life in a different perspective. I couldn’t imagine doing this without the love of my life, my fiancé Paul. Without him this would have been much more of a struggle, I would have been alone. NEVER did he leave my side. He went to EVERY single appointment and made sure I was taken care of EVERY single moment, even the bitchiest ones. That’s why this was never just my battle … it was OUR battle and WE kicked cancer’s ass!

I honestly believe that because I am young and because of the progress research has made over the last 10 years, we were able to fight this and did not have to share the fate of my parents. I see my age as a blessing because being so young when diagnosed allowed my body to endure a more aggressive chemotherapy regimen than if I were older. However, if there is one thing I could tell other young women is that there is no longer an age for breast cancer.

Early detection and early treatment are crucial for ALL women, at every age. I believe others can increase their chances of early detection if mammograms were not made out to be only important to women over 40. Get involved … let’s fight for a cure.

Stories courtesy of www.youngsurvival.org



Quote of the Day

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View ImageWomen agonize… over cancer; we take as a personal threat the lump in every friend’s breast.  ~Martha Weinman Lear, Heartsounds