Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reflections of 2008

2008 was quite a year - a year that has had it shares of joy and pain. What makes this year any different than the other years?

Well, I began the New Year in church with my family and made a list of things that I needed to accomplish in 2008. Each day had its own unique feature whether it was a moment of triumph to be followed shortly by a challenge that seemed determined to cause some distress. It was on – never a dull moment.

Family moments were rather emotional from celebrating birthdays, anxiously awaiting medical test results, graduation, traveling, attending various seminars, symposiums, signed on to participate in Cancer Prevention Study/CPS-3 (20years)and many other activities.

Determined to expand on making a difference in the lives of others, I began hosting the Health & Wellness Show which airs each Saturday morning on Blog Talk Radio. The show has featured many wonderful guests from Health Care Professionals, Authors, Presidents of Health Care Organizations, Media Personalities - all sharing great information with the listeners.

In addition to hosting the Health & Wellness Show, I signed on to myspace ( a place I viewed as a ridiculous site where my children would log on and stare at the screen for hours, posting their pictures, finding friends they have not seen in years and meeting new people (yikes!). I hesitated to join the site as I just could not see it being beneficial for my line of work. After all, who wants to talk about health on a social site? I was encouraged to sign on as a method of reaching more potential listeners.

Well, not long after I signed on to myspace, I was all involved with posting photos, catching up with friends (who knew?), posting blog and just when I finally had the hang of it, I was told to join Facebook. Needless to say, I joined Facebook. Next up - twitter. I signed on to twitter and sat there for a while unsure of what I was doing there. As a matter of fact, I noticed the messages in my email that people were following me so I decided to follow them and that's when I saw what it was all about. So I began to Twit along - giving updates on my daily activities.

By the latter part of 2008, I began to work on a CD 'The Day that Changed My Life' a CD that is made for newly diagnosed cancer patients. It is an amazing CD that will serve as a guide - taking the patient and their support system through the various stages - the highs and the lows - the treatment phases and many other great features.

So many great ideas came to my mind and I had to jot them down to add to my list of things to do. My list grows daily and is revised often. What makes this year different from any other year is the productive year that is still a work in progress. The year will end in a few days and my list of things that needed to be accomplished in 2008 is incomplete. I take joy in many of the accomplishments that I have achieved as I never imagined that I would have hosted a weekly Health & Wellness Show;create and actively post on the Health & Wellness Blog;work on CD; network with effective results; develop and designed a logo for the business and have a line of apparel and accessories; increased requests to speak at health related events,etc. I could go on and on with the accomplishments that were made - yet they were not on the to do list of 2008.

I say goodbye almost reluctantly to 2008 as I wish I could go back and make some changes. We lost my father in-law, my buddy to Multiple Myeloma a form of cancer that did not give us much time to share with each other. It was an outstanding blow that knocked the wind out of us.

I look forward to 2009 as I prepare to make my list again - with every intention of working actively on the items. The best part is knowing that I can still work on the things that I have on the 2008 list. I can only imagine what awaits me in 2009.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Special Message for Parents

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Time! Party Time! How's your Liver?

It's that time of the year where the festivities are at the peak of peaks. The office parties, the celebration of Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa along with the New Years Eve celebration - this is a season that host a streak of partying and drinking. Well, not to be the party pooper - and since this is a Health & Wellness Blog -I must - I have to pull this one out just for you. Your liver.......

Did you know that your liver is the largest internal organ and it is located in the upper right hand part of the abdomen, just behind the lower ribs and weighs about a whopping three pounds in an adult? Yes, that's right - large isn't it? However, do not let that deceive you. It has an important function more than 200 to be specific.

Here are a few functions of your liver:

1. Detoxifying poisonous chemicals which includes alcohol and drugs
2. It removes poisonous gases and chemicals that we are exposed to by inhaling from the air
3. It is responsible for making bile to help digest food
4. Your liver makes clotting factors to help blood clot
5. It is a manufacturer of new proteins
6. It serves as a storage spot for iron reserves, as well as vitamins and minerals
7. Although this does not apply to adults, the liver makes blood
8. Additionally, it stores energy by stockpiling sugar until needed
9. It processes all the food and the majority of drugs we consume

So you heard that you can get a transplant? Well, yes that is possible. However, it is also possible that you may be the jack pot winner of your state's largest lottery. The truth is although having a transplant as an option for those whose liver cannot be saved - it is also difficult finding a donor. In fact, there are many people who have succumbed to liver disease because not even their family members were willing to take the chance of going through the donor process. It is a known fact that the operation for a donor is more severe for the donor as oppose to the recipient. Unfortunately, some donors have died as a result of the procedure and these issues are discussed in advance of the surgery. Of course your family loves you, in fact they are praying for you and hoping that a miracle will come through for you to receive a new liver. Fortunately, most liver donations are from deceased donors.

Based on current research, the waiting list each year is about 17,000. Of the 17,000 on the list, 4,500 are performed each year which means that the waiting list for those who did not receive the transplantation extends for 1 - 2 years. Needless to say, there are deaths (1 of 4) who were waiting for the transplant. Even after having a transplant, the waiting period to see how well the liver functions is also a sensitive period.

Here's the deal, you cannot survive without your liver. So as you go out to celebrate or have a good time ordering your drinks - keep the health of your liver in mind.