Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reflections of 2009!

2009 is rapidly coming to an end and I am reviewing the year for all that I have encountered. What a year this was for me! There were exciting moments and of course the ever consistent challenging moments. My year began with the completion of my first audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey which was completed in January and by April it was available worldwide on line. In June, the audio book was translated in French and German and was also being picked up by other on line audio book stores. I traveled quite a bit for professional and personal reasons. I spoke at symposiums and conferences. I became a mentor and I am actively engaged in mentoring which by the way is quite rewarding.

By August, the second audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey (Parents Edition) was released. It was also translated in French and German and available world wide all on the same day. While celebrating the accomplishments of the audio books, I began working on the book that will feature many more stories submitted by survivors. As I have worked on my assignments, more ideas were added and now I have three big projects that are currently in progress.

With all of the exciting achievements, there were also those family moments of celebration, health related concerns, graduations, deaths and births. My nephew who is more like a son, joined the army and left for Korea. I became a guardian of a wonderful 2 year old boy. My mother and I shared some great conversations that gave a deeper insight to her life as a little girl all the way to her present day. My husbands' grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday! My daughter gave birth to her daughter and I became a grandmother!!

And for all the years that have passed, I have noticed that they have all had the same things in common - unfinished goals. I will continue to set my goals but I am so pleased that there are things that are not even thought of but will somehow become a part of a great achievement as I am open and I look forward to it!

2010 I say -- Bring It On!!!!!!!

Refelctions of 2008

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breast Cancer - New Guidelines - Black Women

I'll never forget the day I felt the lump in my left breast. It was a Sunday morning, I was still in bed and I decided to check my breasts. After a moment of wonderment, I knew I had to get it checked out. Not to alarm everyone, I confided only in my husband. My appointment with the doctor who felt nothing during the examination was a bit tense as I insisted that I felt something unusual and at my persistence, he sent me off to have a mammogram.

A few days later, I received a yellow envelope with the words URGENT TELEGRAM. I almost tossed the envelope as I thought it must be junk mail. However, following my inner guide, I opened the letter only to find that it was about my mammogram results. It said that it was an urgent matter and I had to come in right away.

Two days later, I went in for the results and I was told that the mammogram showed that there was indeed something - albeit small, they found something and would like me to have an ultrasound which confirmed that there was indeed something. In fact, it showed that there were two suspicious forms in the breast. Needless to say, I scheduled an operation to have them removed. The greatest relief was having them removed and knowing that I did not allow the doctors to send me home when their examination did not find any lumps. Thankfully, I had a successful outcome. However, there are others who may take the doctors word and left the office, after all they are the experts.

My concerns are also for women who are relieved to hear the new guidelines only to find out later that they have cancer and could have had a successful outcome if it was detected sooner. I often say that your health cannot be defined in a One Size Fits All manner. We are all unique with certain factors that may affect us if not through genetics, it can be environmental or some other unknown factor. There are enough barriers to keep us from taking care of our health.

Wearing a ribbon to bring awareness to a disease that can be treated successfully if found early is a great gesture but it's no longer good enough. Some say there is an over reaction to the new suggested guidelines, I disagree. We need to speak up - our lives depends on it.

The following link discusses further - be informed and share with everyone:
For Black Women, Breast Cancer Strikes Younger

Friday, December 4, 2009

Surviving the Holdiay Feasting Season

It's a sad, sad reality but the fall/winter season is my least favorite time to work out - out doors. It's cold and I would much prefer the warm weather. My most favorite and most effective workout is jogging/running. I work out at my own pace. When I am on the track and I have not jogged in a while, I walk a lap or two then I run for four laps, walk a lap and run four more laps, walk another and run four more laps - ending the workout with walking a lap. As my jogging becomes consistent, I walk a lap or two then run the full 12 laps then I walk a lap to cool the body.

Thanksgiving Day has come and is now gone. We are full speed ahead to the feasting season. Holiday Parties are on a roll whether it is the much anticipated office party, get together with friends, networking events and mixers or just dining out after the constant shopping excursions - it's a good reason to eat.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed out to the track to continue on our wellness workout. We have decided to work out more consistently rather than wait for the spring. It was a beautiful yet slightly windy day.

The foot ball teams were out, scattered pockets of people playing their own sports on the outskirts of the track - volley ball, tennis, touch foot ball, etc.

It was such a good sight to see the various people enjoying their work out choice. The cheers and vibrant encouragment for the organized foot ball game, the laughter from the touch football group, the wild chatter of the volley ball players - made each lap entertaining.

However, the track was quite clear only a few people were out. Perhaps many of the regulars decided to relax or maybe they were still taking advantages of the sales. Whatever the reason, it sure felt great to burn those calories.

Update - H1N1 Important PHISHING SCAM - CDC Sponsored State Vaccination Program for H1N1‏

This is an important message from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Fraudulent emails referencing CDC-sponsored State Vaccination Program
(December 1, 2009)
CDC has received reports of fraudulent emails (phishing) referencing a CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program.

The messages request that users must create a personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website. The message then states that anyone that has reached the age of 18 has to have his/her personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site.

The CDC has NOT implemented a state vaccination program requiring registration on www.cdc.gov. Users that click on the email are at risk of having malicious code installed on their system. CDC reminds users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of a phishing attack:

Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to unsolicited email messages.
Use caution when visiting un-trusted websites.
Use caution when entering personal information online.

An example of the Phishing email --scroll to the bottom of the page following the link:
Scam email sample

Share this information with everyone you know.