Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Four-Year Survivor Finds Blessings in Cancer Battle

"I trust the lord and his plan for me is perfect, so whatever that will be, will be."
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago, Debbie Simpson, 51, says it seemed like “the worst thing, the big ‘C’.” But since then, she says, she’s had many amazing experiences and received many blessings. One of those has been the opportunity to help other women with breast cancer.
Simpson is a team captain for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Jackson, Mississippi. The 40 members of her team are associated with the Cancer Care Breast Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). She recruits and motivates volunteers, organizes the team and develops creative fundraising ideas like raffles and bake sales.
Team member Roy DuhĂ©, a cancer researcher at UMMC, calls Simpson a hero because of her enthusiasm and commitment. He says, “It’s an honor to work with Debbie on a cause that’s so important to both of us.”

‘In Control’ During Treatment

Simpson has always been good about getting her annual mammogram. In 2006, she noticed changes in her breast and became concerned, but her checkup detected no cancer. Then, a year later, she learned she had been misdiagnosed. She had a stage 3 triple negative carcinoma, a kind of breast cancer that spreads and grows quickly.
Her treatment included chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Toward the end of her first round of chemo, she felt very tired. Another chemo drug made her feel like she had a bad case of flu. But Simpson says the most traumatic side effect was losing her hair. So, when it began to fall out, she decided to become proactive. She thought, “I’m going to be in control of this.” She and her husband went into the bathroom and shaved it completely. They had a good cry afterward, and then she says, “I discovered I have a real pretty head!”
Simpson also discovered the TLC catalog, which offers wigs, other hair-loss products, and mastectomy products to women dealing with cancer. Simpson says her favorite wig came from TLC and cost only $42, a lot less than another wig she bought.

Realizing What’s Important

But the biggest support she received, says Simpson, was from her sister, who is a 19-year breast cancer survivor, her entire family, community and church. Friends cooked meals for her family, a husband and teenage son and daughter who were still living at home. They asked her out to lunch and celebrated milestones, like the end of her treatment, with parties. Women from her church prayed for her and sent encouraging letters.
She says the experience has helped her realize what’s important, like slowing down and taking stock of things. “I didn’t get as bent out of shape when I came home and the laundry wasn’t done. I realized it was more important to sit outside on the swing and talk to my little girl than to clean the house.”
Simpson wanted to help other women with breast cancer and approached the UMMC about meeting with newly diagnosed patients. This eventually led to her current job as administrative assistant for University Cancer Care Breast Services at UMMC. And she plans to train for the American Cancer Society Reach To Recovery mentoring program, which pairs breast cancer survivors with patients who are newly diagnosed or in treatment.
August 2012 will be Simpson’s 5-year anniversary. She’s had no recurrence of the cancer. She says her experience has taught her to live for today. “I trust the lord and his plan for me is perfect,” she says. “So whatever that will be, will be.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cancer Cannot Take Away HOPE

A couple continues inspite of cancer. see their inspiring
story here. www.mesothelioma.com/heather


When one faces cancer, Its like facing the end of life. But there is always one that will be with you.
Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”
There is absolutely nothing to fear about tomorrow; for God is already there.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adversity Will change You In 1 of these 3 Ways

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things
were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted
to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one
problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and
placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground
coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out
and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a
bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that
they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling
off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip
the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in
strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling
water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer
shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling
water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however.
After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter. "When adversity knocks on your
door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and
adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did
I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or
some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same,
but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very
circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the
fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at
their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours
are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you
bring life, flavor, to them?


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Be Positive And Smile For Health Reasons.

Smokers have worse colon cancer prognosis: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smokers are less likely to be alive and cancer-free three years after having surgery for colon cancer than people who have never smoked, according to a new study.

Out of about 2,000 people who had part of their colon surgically removed, researchers found 74 percent of those who had never smoked were cancer-free three years later, compared to 70 percent of smokers.
Amanda Phipps, the study's lead author from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said the results provide another reason why people should quit smoking.
"It's nice when you have findings that portray a consistent public health message," said Phipps.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), certain ingredients in cigarettes can dissolve into a person's saliva and cause colon and other cancers.
The ACS estimates about 102,500 Americans will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancers in 2013, and over 40,000 will die from those diseases.
Phipps and her colleagues previously found smokers with colon cancer were more likely to die than non-smokers from any cause and specifically from their cancers. But the researchers wanted to take a closer look at what smoking meant for colon cancer recurrence.
For the new study, they analyzed surveys that were given to about 2,000 people between 2004 and 2005 after they had colon cancer surgery but before they received additional treatment.
Overall, 931 people said they had never smoked and 1,028 said they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime.
Phipps and her colleagues found people who reported smoking were 23 percent more likely to die or have their cancer return within three years, based on ongoing surveillance of those patients.
The difference was even more pronounced for the 140 people who said they were smoking at the time they were diagnosed with colon cancer. They were 47 percent more likely to have a cancer recurrence or to die than people who had never smoked.
"There is a difference. Certainly we see those current smokers have a poorer prognosis," Phipps told Reuters Health.
The researchers found smoking was tied to worse outcomes in people with tumors with certain genetic patterns but not others. Tumors that were positive for so-called KRAS mutations, for example, came with a significantly worse prognosis among smokers than non-smokers.
Overall, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that their findings show "the effects of smoking may extend beyond an adverse impact on colon cancer risk to also adversely impact outcomes after diagnosis."
The results only looked at outcomes over a short period of time, Phipps noted.
She added that for people who continue to smoke, the health risks - such as for heart disease and other cancers - will continue to accrue as times goes on.
"I would say as we get further and further away from a colon cancer diagnosis, the impact from smoking is going to get greater," she said.
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/11n7yOq Journal of Clinical Oncology, online April 1, 2013.
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