Monday, August 31, 2009

Spokes of Hope/ Cyclists Combating Cancer - NJ Spoke Information

I received this note from LiveSTRONG Army Northern NJ leader, friend and survivor, Ken Youner about the upcoming Spokes for Hope ride. The purpose of the ride is to make a difference in how cancer is perceived and to inform people about the need to vote, support and discover ways to cure cancer and promote quality survivorship. Check out the website for more information about this awesome activity.

"On Sept. 14,2009 the NJ/NY "spoke" of the national SOH/CCC bike ride promoting cancer support and advocacy will take place. Opening ceremonies are at 8AM at Englewood Hospital in Englewood, NJ 07631. There is no registration fee but a contribution to the Cecile and Ken Youner Fund for Cancer Research (it's mission is to continue the fight for Cecile-100% of funds go directly to support cancer research) is requested. I and others in the Livestrong Army Northern NJ (and anyone else would would like to join us) will then proceed to Baltimore MD, to join all of the riders in the other spokes. We then go to Washington DC. to the NCI and the Capitol.
You are invited to participate in any way you can."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cancer Transitions Moving Beyond Treatment - A program of The Wellness Community and the Lance Armstrong Foundation

Take part in this free six week series for people with ALL types of cancer diagnoses who have completed active treatment one month to two years ago and currently have no evidence of disease. The program addresses exercise, nutrition, emotional health and medical management after cancer treatment ends.

Guest speakers will include a nurse, nutritionist and fitness expert. Information provided will include exercise tailored to each participant’s abilities, training in relaxation and stress management as well as tips for nutritious eating.

Cancer transitions will answer many of your questions about cancer survivorship after treatment ends. The course covers the following topics:

• Get Back to Wellness: Take Control of Your Survivorship
• Exercise for Wellness: Customized Exercise
• Emotional Health and Well-Being: From Patient to Survivor
• Nutrition Beyond Cancer
• Medical Management Beyond Cancer: What You Need to Know
• Life Beyond Cancer
This program is open to any cancer survivor who has completed their active
treatment between one month and two years ago and has no evidence of disease.

Monday evenings, October 5-November 9, 2009
5:30-8:30 PM
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

Limited space available
Please register by September 15th by calling 908-658-5400


Every Day is a Blessing

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Free Workshop for OC Survivors

The Wellness Community of Central NJ(TWC-CNJ) will host a free workshop for Ovarian Cancer survivors entitled: The Patient Active Guide to Living with Ovarian Cancer. The program will explore means to improve the quality of life during and after treatment by discussing ways to empower women to take a proactive approach to fighting the disease. The free workshop will take place on Wednesday September 23,2009 from 11am to 12:30 pm at the Wellness Community of Central NJ , 3 Crossroads Drive in Bedminster.

The workshop will feature Darlene Gibbon, MD Director of Gynecological Oncology , CINJ; Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences , UMDNJ-RWJUH. Advanced registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. To register, please call 908-658-5400.

"This in depth view of ovarian cancer and its treatments will help women (and their families) be an active partner with their health care team"states Ellen Levine, MSW,LCSW,OSW-C, and Program Director of TWC-CNJ.

The Patient Active Guide to Living with Ovarian Cancer
is part of a series of national cancer-related programs created by the Wellness Community . The Patient Active Guide to Living with Ovarian Cancer was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline Oncology.

I attend the gynecological networking group regularly and have participated in a number of Wellness Community programs. This program should be very informative and helpful.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Awareness Event at Ship Inn

Turn your Toes Teal

On September 10th from 5pm-8pm, Nails 4 U Salon at 433 State Rt. 31S, in the Ernie and Dom Pizza Plaza will offer clients a TEAL Toes Pedicure at the price range of $23-$35, with a total of 25% of pedicures received to go to the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation in NJ for their Turn the Towns Teal Campaign.

Learn some more about the event by reading this article.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Awesome LiveSTRONG Challenge

  • Over $3 million donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation by the walkers, runners, riders and their supporters at the Philly LiveSTRONG Challenge.
  • Team 1 REASON raised $2667 for the Challenge.
  • My family and friends helped me raise $1000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation by supporting my 5K walk at the LiveSTRONG Challenge Philly.

Pretty incredible numbers. Pretty incredible weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, Nick and I drove down to Blue Bell, PA site of the LiveSTRONG Challenge 2009. We checked into our hotel and headed over to the very soggy LiveSTRONG Village. It rained 3 inches the night before. As team captain I could pick up Team 1 REASON'S registration packets . While there I got to leave some dedications on the memorial wall and met up with a former St Joe's student and Scott, a survivor I met at a previous LiveStrong Summit.

We stopped back in our room to wash our shoes ( Yes, they were that muddy!) and headed out to St. Genevieve's in Flourtown, PA. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for a delicious meal at Scoogi's also in Flourtown . The fried calamari had an interesting balsamic dressing and the ravioli's and meatballs were scrumptious. By the time we got back to the hotel it started to rain again. Torrential downpour is a better description. I was a bit worried about the weather conditions for Sunday's 7:30 am Challenge start.

We were up early (5:30 am) on Sunday ready to meet up with the rest of Team 1 REASON. It was overcast but the rain had stopped. We were relieved about that. Team 1 REASON was a mix of walkers and riders. Mike, Linda and I were there to walk the 5K while Maureen , Dawn and Paul rode the 20 mile and Chuck the 100 mile. We were missing Kevin and Alycia who are now living in Kentucky and unable to join us for our 3rd Challenge.

The 100 mile riders departed first then the 70,45 ,20,& 10 milers. The runners took off after that and then we started our walk. It took over 30 minutes for everyone to leave the staging area.There were 1000's of participants.

It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to walk the 5K. I laughed a little when this cute little black and white dog and his young owner passed me, then when the owner stopped to give his dog some water we passed them but before you know it we got passed again. So I was passed twice by the same dog. But you know that was ok. First of all I love dogs. Second I was just so happy to be there for a third year that it didn't matter how fast I walked or who passed me. I was there! It was great to finish another Challenge, to have Nick at the finish line ready to give me a big hug and to receive a yellow rose - a Challenge tradition- yellow roses for survivors.

Our 20 mile bikers came in next. Then we waited for Chuck our 100 mile cyclist to return. We had a little tailgating party going on while we waited. Salsa, nachos, fruit salad, subs, water, iced tea, etc.

Around 1:30 pm we moved our seats closer to the finish line. I was thrilled to be able to cheer on two former St Joe's students Paul and Glen as they returned from their ride. I was so proud to see these young men achieve their goal of finishing the 70 mile ride. Then I ran into two brothers, Tim and Colin, I also taught at St Joe's. Last year it was just Tim and his Dad. This year it was a team of six. It was so heartwarming to see how all of these young men have matured and learned to give so much of themselves.

Around 2pm Chuck returned from his 100 mile ride. That is truely amazing to me. That someone could actually ride 100 miles . Chuck had a special reason to ride this year- to honor his Dad who passed away from cancer earlier this year. That was everyone's story. We were there for one reason to honor someone we loved who had cancer or who we lost to cancer.

Needless to say I am one tired person but also a person who is proud of her wonderful team members and all our supporters. Thanks everyone.



Every Day is a Blessing! Today I was blessed to be able to finish another LiveSTRONG Challenge.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let the Walks Begin - Walk #1 the LiveSTRONG Challenge

This Sunday I will be walking with my team 1 REASON in The Philly LiveSTRONG Challenge. This will be my third year walking in what I think is one of the most well organized cycling/running/walking fundraising events in the country. While I do my 5K ( slowly I might add) other members of my team will be riding 10, 40 or 100 miles. I will be missing my niece Alycia and Kevin, her husband, who were part of our team for the past two years. They live in Kentucky now so are unable to join us. BTW, I'm thrilled that the shirts I ordered for the team came out so well. I can't wait to share them with the other team members.

Another bonus for the day is being able to meet up with friends I made at some of the other LAF events I attended over the past three years. I'm looking forward to seeing Brian and his family, Kelly , Barbara, Eric and Angie. I also get to see some former St. Joe's students Paul and Glen who started their own team for this year's Challenge.

I am walking this year in memory of three friends who I lost in the past 9 months to ovarian and pancreatic cancer - Sharon Morris, Lynn Rossi and Roy Day . And of course I always walk in memory of my sister Bert, my parents, Erin G, and Marie Z. I walk in honor of all the women I know who are ovarian and breast cancer survivors.

I've been picking this fight since 2005 and I hope to keep fighting for many years to come.



Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jury Duty Day and a Walk Home

I was called to be a petit juror today.The last time I served was about 6 years ago. I did get called back in 2005 but I was in treatment at the time and the court postponed my service.

Nick dropped me off at the courthouse in New Brunswick around 7:45am. I was to be in the jury room by 8:00 am. After going through a security screening and having our badges scanned, I and about 300 others watched a film about being a juror and the NJ judicial system. A few minutes after the film was done we were sworn in by Judge Berman. And the wait began. I read my book and worked on some KOH stuff. The wait continued until they told us we could leave to go to lunch. That was from 12:15 - 1:15pm. I hit the local fast food joint, listened to a band at the park (corner of George and Albany) and walked up to get a Dunkin Donuts coffee before I returned around 1pm. We continued to wait for another hour. This time I watched some soap opera on TV. Now I know why I don't watch those shows. Too many people with different people's babies who may have been married to people before. Way too confusing for me to get a hang of in one show. Then the women in charge of the jurors came out and told us the two cases we were called for were settled out of court and we could go home. I was a bit disappointed. I was looking forward to being part of a jury. Oh well, maybe next time.

After sitting for so many hours I decided to walk home. It was hot so it was a slow one but I figured it was good practice for the Philly Challenge which is this weekend. The photos on top are some things I saw on the way home. One is Albany street in front of J&J headquarters and the other is a plaque from 1930 of the history of New Brunswick. It is amazing how you can walk the same path so many times and sometimes new things just jump out at you. It was that way with my walk home today.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thanks Kate - Chatham Courier Newspaper

Kate Brex wrote a wonderful article "Women of Teal"describing ovarian cancer symptoms, the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation's work, Turn the Town Teal Campaign and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

I spoke to Kate earlier this week and she quoted me in the article and included info about this blog site.
Thank you Kate for helping raise awareness among the women of NJ.


Every day is a Blessing!

Monday, August 10, 2009

NED remains

I had been busy all day today , a morning walk in Donaldson Park with Nick ( before the temps hit 90 ) working online on advocacy issues, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom floors, ironing and shopping for clothes for my Aunt to wear to my niece's wedding. I hadn't had much time to think about last week's PET scan.

So this afternoon when I answered the phone and it was Deanna my nurse practitioner my heart skipped a little beat. Uh, oh, I thought. Deanna is on the phone. Maybe she could hear that little hesitation in my voice because before I could ask her how her vacation was - she was telling me- "Your PET results are in and the conclusion is " There is no evidence of disease."" Wow! and a huge sigh of relief. I'm still ok. Incredible.

Good doctors , good medicine and faith.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

So how far is it from NJ to Kentucky?

So what do you think about that billboard? That folks is my niece. I am so proud of her. Last month she, her husband Kev and dog McCoy and cat Cheeta moved from NJ to Kentucky. This is how they welcome new doctors into the area. Nice isn't it? They are so lucky to have her.

I'm a bit sad that they are no longer in the area. Alycia is my niece and godchild. Her husband Kevin, a cancer survivor and I went to the LiveStrong Summit last year in Ohio and we all walked the Philly Challenge 2 years in a row.

I relied on them so much during this last surgery and chemo go-round. Alycia and Kev took turns checking up on me. If it wasn't Alycia calling on her way home from work , Kev was calling on the days he wasn't working as a paramedic flying in the Atlantic Health medivac Helicopter. The day I had my carbo reaction Nick had a cough and fever. They drove to the hospital, brought me a snack and stayed with me until they moved me out of the ER and got me settled in a room. They answered so many questions for me about heart catheterizations and blood counts and taxol side effects.

Don't get me wrong I am very happy that they found a good job and great house in Kentucky. I just wish it wasn't 696 miles from here!

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Busy Week and PET Day

Matt was up this week so I was spending lots of time with him and not on the computer. Sorry for the lack of entries.

Yesterday was PET day. How I wish it meant I was getting a new dog. No it just meant that I would spend hours at RWJUH having a Positron emission tomography test.

I arrived at 8:30 am to register then went downstairs to the radiology department. By 9 am I was with Margaret - a nurse with a special touch. She can find a vein and start an IV with ease. They don't use my port because the radiotracer is sticky and might just hang up in the port. We chatted a bit about her hometown of Athens, Georgia as she checked my blood sugar. I visited Georgia last month so it was nice to tell her about the places I had visited.

Then, on went the I-pod and blanket and in came the technician. He injected the radiotracer( Fluorodeoxyglucose) and I laid still listening to music for an hour. I was told to drink a bottle of water before I arrived and then all that IV fluid meant a full bladder so a trip to the rest room was in order. Then I had the scan done. The entire scan took about 45 minutes. Laying still was ok but having my arms over my head became a bit uncomfortable. Just when my arms started to go numb the tech lowered the table and slid me out of the machine. He asked me to go have something to eat and be back in 45 minutes.

So from G1 I went to the 2nd floor for some lunch. I must admit the food is pretty good there. Plus they now have Dunkin Donuts Coffee.

At 11:30 I went back downstairs for the last group of scans. Since I have Ovarian Cancer they do a second set of scans of the pelvic region after the radiotracer has a chance to decay and not light up my bladder so nothing behind it can be seen. Thirty minutes later I was done and ready to go home.

On the way out I ran into Jay, who is a nurse in special procedures. It is always nice to see a familiar face.

Since I had been flat on my back for most of the past 3 hours I figured I needed to walk home. So that is what I did. Slower than when I walked home last year before my surgery and chemo but it still felt good.

I ran across this article about PET and OC from last month" Society of Nuclear Medicine Meeting and thought I would share it-

SNM 2009: FDG-PET/CT May Be Superior to CA-125 in Detecting Ovarian Cancer Recurrence

Every Day is a Blessing ! Today my blessing was eating lunch outside in Princeton with my friend Flo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

KOH Supported Research

The August 1st issue of Cancer Research includes an article by Dr. Janet Sawicki , a KOH grant awardee. Click on the article name for an abstract.

Nanoparticle-Delivered Suicide Gene Therapy Effectively Reduces Ovarian Tumor Burden in Mice

Click here for a press release from the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research on the article.

This is promising research that brings a number of institutes together to work on finding a cure.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Patriots Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night a Success

An e-mail from Lynn Franklin and Lynn Stahl sums up the wonderful night we had.

"What a resounding success the ovarian cancer awareness baseball game was on Saturday evening!! From the selling of tickets,to the fantastic fireworks, to the beautiful, clear weather, to the comraderie and hard work of our volunteers, to meeting new people at the stadium, to making new friends of the stadium staff, to the laughs and hugs we shared, all melded together for a wonderful event.
Thank you to all of you who helped in any way to make last evening a success for Northern NJ NOCC in implementing our mission to educate people about ovarian cancer."

All the Patriots players and stadium staff wore teal bracelets and fans received a bag containing a teal bracelet , a symptom card and brochure about ovarian cancer. During the pre-game show Carl , spoke about Ovarian Cancer and thanked the Patriots for their support. Ellen and Jean threw out the first ball of the night and a group of 20 or so NOCC volunteers/ supporters sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game " during the 7th inning stretch.

The Patriots won the game beating the York Revolution in extra innings in front of a sold out stadium.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Side - by - side Health Care Plan Comparison

Over the past few weeks I have read portions of the House and Senate Healthcare bills from these links to the pdf documents.

Kennedy Senate Bill Affordable Health Choices Act

House Bill 3200

I learned from the Livestrong blog that the Henry Kaiser Family Foundation has created a web site that allows you to compare different health care bills , including the ones above in areas such as tax changes, expansion of public programs , individual mandate , long term care, changes in private insurance etc.

Click here to access that site and choose the bills you want to compare. This makes it easier to get the correct information. Then you can always go back to the bill itself and read the details.


Every Day is a Blessing!