So last Summer when I was in Haiti a customer turned friend messaged me saying how she thought I would make a good wedding official and suggested I find out how to get ordained. I focus on
unconditional love , happiness and positive communication. I am out going and choose to inspire others to new heights. She didn’t quite say all of those
things, but she made me feel pretty good about myself.
One Bright Sunny Sunday Morning
Fast forward about six months, I look at my Facebook feed and see that she is getting married that very day. I had pushed aside the ordained officiate concept and
have been focusing on ways to better communicate my existing services. In a moment of curiosity I said “Okay Google. How do I legally perform marriages in
New Jersey?” A plethora of websites were at my fingertips and I chose the AMM. Become an ordained minister in minutes. I found it ironic that I had just
been watching the movie Joyful Noise with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah just a couple of weeks before and this same process revealed itself in the movie.
Come to find out it wasn’t a bit of Hollywood fiction. It really only took a matter of a couple of minutes and I was an ordained minister. Capable of joining
two souls in holy matrimony in addition to baptisms and other related services. Dependent upon the state of course.
Funny What Happens
So becoming ordained unlike many other diplomas and certifications came quite easily for the low cost of about $48. Compared to the value of my degree from
USC (Fight On!) , my masters form Widener or various other trainings both on and offline it was a veritable deal. Just another lesson to be learned that
sometimes things that are meant to be can just come to us easily and without stress. This ease of access brought a flood gate of ideas about ways I could
help couples that are in the process of planning their eternal bliss. Areas like communication, family planning, finances, and decision making. As a
studier of people it amazes me how for some a marriage license just finalizes a growing commitment whole for others it is a complete change.
From Theory to Practice
Of course just like when I was testing essential oils for their ability to improve libido, or the attraction journal program for its ability to help
transition mindset from lack to abundance; I would definitely want to test this program. So if anyone is engaged and would like a chance to work with me now
is a great time to be part of the process to help others. Drop me an email and let me know. Or feel free to share with a friend.
My Mother is a breast cancer survivor. I try not to dwell on that time. It was scary for her, and scary for the rest of the family as well. My Mother is a very modest woman and we don’t talk about a lot of personal things. She was very blessed in the size department and being busty really does define a certain physical appearance and perception you have of yourself. I don’t think I realized it until after her surgery when she opted for a breast reduction as part of the reconstruction. There are things that I learned as the daughter of a breast cancer survivor that I wanted to share. Hopefully this helps someone else weather this time in their lives.
Medical Terminology & Other Doctor Stuff
I am a firm believer in second opinions. I remember asking my mom to get a second opinion before surgery. She opted to go with the opinion of her doctor. As more and more information comes out about breast cancer, genetic markers, and indicators versus actual masses I would recommend this even more. I would go even further to say make sure they are doctors from different hospital organizations.
In a world where insurance company limitations cause people to think their options are limited because that dictates so much of what care is offered to them by their doctors; this is a great time to invest the extra money in yourself and pay for a doctor visit even if it isn’t covered by your insurance.
We tried to make sure someone was always with my mom when she went to the doctor. Two sets of ears hear better than one. Four sets of ears don’t miss much. It is easy to miss things when new terminology like interductal and insitu are being thrown your way. One of the best things to do is allow yourself a support system. When people offer to help let them. We are so afraid sometimes of judgment that we take these offers lightly. The person diagnosed with cancer feels helpless but so do those around them. So when people offer to help whether it is a ride to the doctor, a moment of prayer or making you dinner let them. Helping each other makes us all feel like less of a victim and can aid in the healing process.
My father was very assertive about taking care of my mom after she came home from the hospital. I think the thought that she might not make it was very scary for him. We stepped back and thought it was great that he cared so much. It was not until later that my mom let me know she felt like we all abandoned her. Her hospital recovery was horrible. She was in a room with someone that had so many visitors that she couldn’t get any rest and no matter how many times we said something the overworked nurses couldn’t seem to do anything about it. We were worried not just about the noise but the exposure to germs. My mother was relieved when they sent her home, but the idea of a visiting nurse and drainage was a little scary for her and my dad.
What the heck does In Situ mean anyway?
In situ means the cancer is not spreading but is in the place where it originated. There was a large concern with my mom with spreading to the lymph nodes. DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) is the most common breast cancer diagnosis. While not life threatening there is always the concern about the spread. We are learning new things about cancer all of the time and recent reports are saying that a wait and see approach may be better for some women than the rigorous treatment.
Post Surgery Options
Of course different people face different choices in regards to radiation and chemotherapy. Prior to surgery there are a lot of decisions that women must make about reconstruction of the breast as well as treatment post surgery.
Reconstruction does not equal restoration. The wonders of plastic surgery can restore some shape to the breast depending on the extent of the cancer. There are implants available with their own set of health risks and the scarring can be extensive. Every woman must decide for herself how she wants to face this part of the disease and treatment. The woman’s nipple is lost as part of the process which I am not sure I still understand at this point if the cancer is being removed from the ducts in the breast. I have asked my mom a couple of times if she would like to see someone again about implants but she said she doesn’t want that. I can’t say I blame her based on the information I have seen about them. I don’t bring it up anymore because I don’t want her to feel self conscious but I do sometimes wonder if perhaps it is a badge of honor for what she went through. I know from things that I have read that many women embrace their scars as a tribute to themselves for surviving the disease. A daily reminder of what they have overcome, I wonder if that is my mom’s reason.
One of the coolest things I learned about during this time was tattooing to restore color to the nipple area for women. Amy Druding in Mays Landing, NJ does this and runs specials for breast cancer survivors during the month of October. Her compassion for women is amazing and hearing her passion to help others was something I will never forget. I first heard about it from my friend Ashley whose mom had a family history of breast cancer and had proactively had her breasts removed. If I remember correctly her mother had hearts tattooed where her nipples had been. There are lots of options but my mother was not interested in this option.
In the midst of writing this I came upon a series of videos about the Cancer Industry. Yes, I said industry. If they cured cancer tomorrow what would the economic impact to loss of jobs and revenue be to many companies and individuals. I didn’t watch the series yet because I want to have time to really watch it and I am not good at sitting for that long, but I am planning on watching it soon. If you would like to check it out go here.
If you have a comment, resource or story to share that you think may help someone else please comment below.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love pink. If you check out my website there is pink everywhere. So finding pink to wear to raise breast cancer awareness is not even a challenge. While we all strive to support awareness, research and victims of the disease, not all breast cancer charities have the same mission. When I originally had the idea about sharing information about breast cancer charities I had more of an expose agenda in mind. However the more research that more I recognized an opportunity to share some useful information with others to help them make decisions about the best way for them to support the cause.
All Breast Cancer Charities Are Not Created Equal
Just as with many nonprofit organization there is public information available about breast cancer charities that tell how much actually goes to what they are supporting and how much of their actual donation dollar makes it to the cause. I originally was going to spell that out for everyone but instead came across a great piece from Money.com . You can check out your ownfavorite breast cancer charity to see how they measure up. What I learned from my research and what I want to share is a little information around the different ways breast cancer charities use your money.
Where Does Your Donation Go?
There are three basic forms of breast cancer charity donation uses:
Research – This includes treatment and prevention
Raising Awareness – This one I find to be the most slippery slope and can be a catch all for being pink washed
Support– This includes financial support for those going through treatment as well as counseling services for survivors.
When learning about breast cancer charities I found I was drawn most to the support category. Change and impact at the individual and personal level resonates strongly with me.
So you may wonder where do all the pink ribbon items and walks for the cure fit into this whole matrix of giving. I have many friends who I love dearly who were inspired to walk for either a survivor or victim of breast cancer. If you research further into the charity organizations themselves you will find not a great deal of money goes to finding a cure but the awareness level has risen greatly due to these events. I happily support participants because I recognize it makes them feel empowered. I want to point out when I contribute I am supporting them not necessarily the organizations. The same goes for the pink washed items. Yes they raise awareness, but the tax benefits and recognition for the contribution go to the company promoting the item and that is in the case where they make a contribution at all. Some items that are pink ribbon are just for awareness. If you really want to donate choose a charity and donate directly. This allows you to reap the tax benefit yourself.
My New Favorite Charity
In the course of studying the various breast cancer charity organizations there was one that particularly resonated with me. The Pink Fundoffers financial help to those diagnosed to help them get through the treatment period when they may be out of work. I like it because it helps at the individual level and the stress of financial worries while you are fighting for your health can impede healing. They are not yet ranked on Charity Navigator (I suggest you check out all of your giving on this site) but I will check back. I liked their mission.
Whatever your passion is there is a charity that can use your support. Support doesn’t mean just dollars. Your time is one of the most valuable things that you can give.
Feel free to share this message with someone you love!
Boobies, Titties, Hooters, Knockers – all words used for the breast. In social media news these days we have social battles around norms such as nursing in public and celebrating shirts off day. So obviously we are talking about a revered part of the female anatomy. Early detection is so important that every MD has tips and tricks for getting it done when it comes to self examination posted throughout their offices. So why are women not protecting themselves if early detection is the key. Do any of these sound familiar to you:
I barely get time to wash my hair in the shower.
What if my kids/spouse/bf/dog walked in?
I am not really sure what I am feeling around for.
It feels dirty to me.
Why Women Don’t Do Self-Examination
When we look at the reasons why women don’t do a monthly breast self exam for themselves versus the benefit of early detection; the cost benefit is astounding. Come on ladies let’s call these reasons what they really are – excuses. When we look at the drivers of these excuses they come down to early in grained notions about feeling that touching ourselves is dirty, not setting up boundaries about our right to time for self-care and of course these both are linked to the overall reason which is fear. Fear that we are not doing it right; what someone might think; we might have to have an uncomfortable conversation with our spouse, child, doctor; or the very worst fear that you may find something and have to take action for your health.
About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
20% of all breast cancers are not found mammographically
In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 60,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer
The most effective means of reducing fatalities is early detection. End of story. Since most women only see their OB/GYN once a year and many don’t see their General Practitioner unless they are deathly ill. Self examination is imperative. So in order to be there for your spouse/child/dog and for yourself, if you need to install a new lock on the bathroom door, ask your doctor for a lesson, or just get past the negative feelings you have attached to self-exploration. Whatever is keeping you from this important part of self-care do it for yourself. Because you are worth it.
For more information about breast cancer, self examination and treatment visit www.breastcancer.org.
My special gift to you is a link to a free shower card that you can print and keep in your bathroom.
For more information about sexual health subscribe to my mailing list by using the form to the right. Of course caring is sharing so feel free to share this with someone you love!
I like to remind people all of the time I am not a physician or a therapist. However as a lover of knowledge and helping people I have acquired a great deal of information about health and medications. In the course of my studies I have encountered the amazing natural gifts of essential oils. One of the most well known and popular of essential oils is Lavender. Best known for its ability to soothe Lavender not only calms the skin but also can be calming emotionally. Don’t be fooled however, to get the best effects of this amazing plant you want to make sure that you are using a product or oil that is genuine lavender and not just something that is simply lavender scented. Lavender has so many uses it is considered a “power oil” . Pure Lavender is so gentle it is even safe for infants and animals and may not even require dilution. Many people have used it to get a good night’s sleep. The best lavender is farmed in Provance, France; but where an oil is harvested is just one piece in determining the quality of an oil. When you are choosing an oil you should do a little research and find out where the oil is harvested from and how it is distilled to produce an oil.
The Many uses of Lavender
Lavender can be used topically, aromatically, and is safe for ingestion as long as you lavender is a pure grade. It should be marked with food supplement information if it is truly safe for ingestion. I have even seen recipes for Lavender Lemonade. Here are some of my favorite ways to use Lavender:
Bug bites. When I was in Haiti last summer if I forgot to use a bug repellant, the itching was like torture. Lavender to the rescue and slept like a baby those nights too.
Burns. Whether it is a sun burn or touching a hot pan in the kitchen lavender soothes the burning sensation. So create a cool spritz for yourself by adding a few drops to some water and sooth your skin.
Sleep. Enhance your rest with his amazing oil. Just a few drops on the bottom of your feet can improve your sleeping. The combination of the botanicals of the lavender oil combined with the stimulation to the nerve endings in your feet can take you zzz’s to a new level. Massage feeds our skin hunger as well and using the lavender promotes relaxation. Lavender can also be diffused to create an aromatic experience conducive to relaxation.
Pets. I have used lavender multiple times for small skin irritations or injuries that my pets have had through the years. If its an injury I may combine it with melaleuca and dilute with coconut oil. (My pups LOVE coconut oil) but the lavender soothes and promotes healing. There are some great sites out thereon using essential oils with your pets. Purity is crucial. Animal nervous systems are much different than ours. Do your homework before you use and if it seems like your pet really doesn’t like it then try a different oil or approach.
Some General Information About Essential Oils*
Things like pesticides, soil and distilling processes can all impact the efficacy or effectiveness of an essential oil. I prefer oils that are farmed indigenously which also helps to support local economies in places like Haiti and Washington State. You also want to find out about things like pesticide use which can affect the oil. A poor quality oil will have disappointing results. High quality essential oils are very potent. In other words, a couple of drops will go a long way. More is not necessarily better. If an oil is really pure and even ingestible, it may have a food supplement label on it. For example you wouldn’t want to make lavender lemonade with an oil that was not labeled as pure enough to ingest. *Disclaimer Essential Oils are not regulated by the FDA. The information that is provided here is not a replacement for medical advice and is meant for informational purposes only. I am not a physician and cannot make any type of medical diagnosis. It is up to the user to educate themselves regarding the appropriate use, source and effects of an oil.
If you would like to know more about essential oils you can check out my doTerra site by clicking here.