Even as a little girl I was never a big fan of pink. I tend to wear mostly blues, greens, and probably way too much black and gray. But on October 1, before leaving for work, I pulled out a pretty beaded pink bracelet and put it on my wrist. I also put on a new pair of pink earrings. And I’ve done the same thing each morning since then. Because once again, it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m not wearing pink just to support the cause and heighten general awareness, because really, I doubt if anyone has even noticed my pink jewelry. I’m doing it to remind myself of just how far I’ve come over the last 12 years, and how very lucky I am to be a 12-year breast cancer survivor.
Here are two facts about me: I like modern art, and I suffer from migraines. The day before yesterday, I visited the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, where there’s a huge new wing for modern art built underneath the garden, two stories below. The ceiling is huge, and there are glassy domes in it which you can see from the outside, too. At first you think that they are used to let in some daylight, but once inside, you realise that they are some sort of neon lamps. And the light they emit is utterly weird. Continue reading
Will you wear something blue tomorrow? If not a whole outfit, perhaps a blue blouse, a pair of blue earrings or a blue bracelet? Why, you ask? Because Friday, March 2 is the Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Dress in Blue Day, designed to raise awareness for colon cancer. It’s also a major kickoff for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month during March.
For years the health benefits of salmon have been touted in the media. As a source of Omega-3 fatty acids – one of the good fats – salmon’s health benefits also have been widely researched. Chief among the advantages is lowering one’s risk of heart disease. Although some other fish are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids (including mackerel, herring, and sardines), salmon seems to be most frequently mentioned. The American Heart Association currently recommends that adults try to incorporate two or more servings a week of one of these fish into their diet. Continue reading
Today marks the start of breast cancer awareness month. Over the next month we’ll see a flood of media information reminding women to have mammograms. We will also be asked to participate in a variety of events, donate money for breast cancer research, and spread the word about the disease. As a now 12-year survivor of breast cancer, I can only say that this is a very good thing.
I was “lucky” enough to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a time when early diagnosis was possible, when there were many treatment options available, and when women and men were willing to talk openly about the disease and offer help and support to breast cancer survivors. This is a good thing. It wasn’t always the case. Continue reading
I’ve got this nasty cold – started with a headache last Thursday, turned into a cough on Sunday, and has saddled me with an extremely runny nose today. While the cold’s disadvantages are obvious (feel bad, get no housework done, husband has escaped to the guest bedroom, can’t go to the gym), right now I am trying to be upbeat and see its advantages. Continue reading
Each year, as November rolls around, I enter my danger period for colds, and respiratory infections. I suspect it’s a mix of things that makes me vulnerable. In addition to having lots of extra things to do with the holidays, it’s always a busy time for me at work, meaning I sleep less than usual, and get pretty run-down. Add into the mix the sudden cold temperatures, being exposed to lots of other people who seem to be sick, and before you know it, I’m sniffling.
Over the years, I’ve adopted a number of preventive behaviors in an attempt to ward off illness. Some have passed by the wayside, but others have been added to my daily routine. After years of doctors’ encouragements, I now get a flu shot every year (which absolutely will not prevent colds or sinus infections, but hopefully will fight off the flu). Continue reading
Regular readers at AAR AfterHours have probably seen my yearly health nags about mammograms, and may now know that I’m a breast cancer survivor. It’s something I’ve been very open about, and something my friends — both online and in real life — have openly talked about with me.
But with the exception of my fellow AAR staff members, most people here don’t know that one year ago, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. My experience with colon cancer has been completely different from breast cancer. While friends and colleagues talked frequently about my breast cancer,offered support and encouragement, I’ve found in the past year that most people just don’t want to talk about colon cancer, really don’t want to think about it. Well shoot, I never wanted to talk about it before I got it either. Continue reading
Long-time visitors to AAR After Hours may know what’s coming. Yes, it’s time for my yearly health nag about mammograms.
This past week, I went in for my yearly diagnostic mammogram, which marked my hitting the 10-year mark as a breast cancer survivor, which is a pretty big deal as far as I’m concerned.
Once again, I went through the usual worries and stress as the day for my mammogram got closer. And once again, I felt unbelievable relief and joy when the radiologist called me in after she examined the pictures to tell me that everything was fine, and I didn’t need to come back for another year. Continue reading