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Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer support’

You can read this post at my new and improved blog at http://www.letlifehappen.com/2009/07/25/so-you-think-you-can-dance-and-the-breast-cancer-connection.

Best,
Barbara

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I have a theory. If each one of us took the time to consider the consequences of our actions before we said or did something, we could create a really happy life for ourselves. I came to this conclusion recently as I contemplated how to best handle a rather sticky situation with which I am currently dealing. Quickly stated, I recently had a consultation with a doctor to whom I had been referred by the medical group in which I am enrolled. At the end of the consultation, I was a bit uncomfortable with the way he had chosen to address the matter under discussion and as a result of his subsequent actions I had decided that I did not have the trust in him to perform a surgery that I would need. But then I started to second guess myself. After all, I am not a doctor. What do I know about this procedure? But, I just could not shake the feeling that there was something wrong and that perhaps part of the hesitancy on my part was that I didn’t want to confront the matter.

Then I became extremely uncomfortable about having to confront this situation but I knew in my gut that I could not just let the matter go. I knew that I did not want to create any type of a bad situation for this doctor. After all, he just wasn’t the right one for me but I am sure that there are plenty of other individuals who have been very pleased with him. I needed to find another doctor but I wasn’t sure how I should do that. I considered asking my primary care physician but I had called her and asked for a recommendation before I made the appointment for the consultation and she indicated that any one of three within the group was fine. So, now I have eliminated my PCP. In addition, I don’t think that I would have been comfortable walking into the same office to see either of the other two doctors that were in the same practice after “firing” their partner.

The situation was growing. This surgery was to be one of a two part surgery being done by two different surgeons. I had discussed the matter with the other surgeon before my consultation and he indicated that he knew the other surgeon and he even addressed the matter with him directly before my consultation. After the consultation the two doctors spoke again and the consulting doctor indicated to the second doctor that he did not want to do the combo surgery and after hearing his explanation, the second doctor called me and indicated that he was fine with doing them separately.

I called my second doctor back and am waiting to hear from him. As I wait for a call back, I keep running over and over in my mind how I want to explain the situation without coming off “wrong”. I wake up during the night trying to figure out exactly what I want to say and then I can’t go back to sleep. I am getting nervous with the anticipation. But finally this afternoon, I decided that enough is enough. I have taken into consideration all of the information with which I have to work. I have researched the names of some other doctors who meet the criteria that I need and plan to ask for a recommendation from my doctor when he calls. And if he doesn’t have a recommendation, I will just have a consultation with one of the other choices and make a decision when I have met with a doctor with whom I am comfortable. After all, this is my surgery and I must first consider what is best for me and take responsibility for my choices. It doesn’t really matter what another doctor may think about those choices. This is my life and I need to be comfortable and in a positive frame of mind in order to expect the best outcome. And that applies to every aspect of my life. Now I have a smile back on my face!

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Walk Like A man

Walk Like A man

Last week I wrote an open letter to the Crespi Carmelite High School lacrosse team members. I asked the girl who had involved me in this project whether she would provide a copy of the letter for each of the team members and have the team coaches hand them out to the guys. She agreed to do so and I was so happy that they would know how much all of their hard work and efforts meant to me and to the women who would benefit from all of their hard work.

I received an e-mail from my friend to whom I had made the initial request. She informed me that the coach read my letter to his players at practice. They were so moved by what I had to say that they upped the ante and although they have already raised $35,000.00 in less than two months, they challenged themselves to reach $50,000.00 by the time the event takes place next Saturday on February 14th.

Can you believe that? Most high school guys would have responded by resting on their laurels and thinking about how great they were. These men understood the message and stepped up to the plate to push themselves that much harder to set a tough goal for themselves.

Okay, that is why I am begging all of you to please help out in any way that you can. Please make a contribution to the cause if you can. Purchase some merchandise if you are able to do so. But if you are unable to do anything financially, I would really appreciate it if you would log on to the coach’s e-mail at joswaks@crespi.org and let them know how awesome they are for taking on this challenge and giving back to their community in such a big way.

This coach and his coaching staff and every member of the committee that put together this event and every member of the team that is raising money for the cause are our special angels. They have all literally been giving themselves to this cause to make it an unbridled success and are truly the angels in our community.

I have been checking the weather reports and there is nothing but rain in the forecast for next weekend. I know that everyone will still show up and do their part regardless but please, please help them and support them. I will be there myself come rain or shine so please feel free to send a message to me for them if you wish and I will be sure to pass it to them.

I can be reached at letlifehappen@gmail.com and would appreciate it if you would help all of us. And if you can make a contribution to the cause, please log on to the website at http://www.crespi.dojiggy.com and help in any way that you can. Your contributions will be appreciated more than you will ever know. I will update you on the results from this event in my blog next Sunday. Please, we need your support.

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“Walk Like A Man” Walk-a-thon for Breast Cancer Testing and Research

Part 2

After I finished last week’s blog, I realized that it was number 52. What better way to complete a year of weekly postings than to launch such a wonderful project on this site.

I have decided that the best way to provide more information about this special walk is to provide the press release that I have been given. I really would appreciate it if you would read it and please help in any way that you can (see suggestions in last week’s blog). I would love for everyone to support these kids in this huge undertaking. It would be greatly appreciated.

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Lacrosse team at CRESPI Carmelite High School announces 1st Annual Breast Cancer Gene Test Fundraising Walk-A-Thon. Crespi raises $20,000 in one month.

January 16, 2009

Los Angeles, CA: CRESPI Carmelite All Boys High School Boys Lacrosse Team has launched a nationwide fundraiser for breast cancer gene testing (BRCA1 and BRCA2) entitled “Walk Like A Man”. Over the last month, the lacrosse team has raised $20,000 and brought an army of supporters.

This Valentine’s Day, the lacrosse team at CRESPI Carmelite High School will walk the round-trip distance from Los Angeles to New York to raise money for breast cancer gene testing. Crespi Lacrosse will complete the final leg of the Los Angeles-to-New York 5,500 mile distance on foot from the Brooklyn Bridge to Times Square in New York City. It is the hope of the team to present a check live on Good Morning America along with local schools Sewanhaka High School, Hewlett High School, and H. Frank Carey High School.

This nationwide campaign has attracted attention and support from National Football League teams including the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, and Atlanta Falcons. As well, artist Peter Max, best known for his iconic 60s cosmic art, donated a piece of his original art for the silent auction and may design a one-of-a-kind art design for the cause, used on t-shirts to be sold online nationwide.

Supporting breast cancer gene testing, the walk-a-thon is the only fundraising event of its kind in the Los Angeles area.

Walk-a-thon “Walk Like A Man”—as well as a silent auction and sock-hop—will bring funding to breast cancer research and testing. Los Angeles’s Cedar Sinai Hospital will be on site at “Walk Like a Man” on February 14th including a booth from their Genetic Risk department. There will be on-site mobile scanning units for early detection as well as a blood mobile and various vendors in the vendor village.

The event, part of a larger “Walk Like A Man” fundraising campaign launched last month by head Crespi Lacrosse Coach Jon Oswaks, aims to raise $140,000 by years end. The CRESPI Lacrosse Team is collecting funds for “Walk Like A Man” through http://crespi.dojiggy.com, spotlight auctions, door-to-door campaigns, apparel sales, corporate donations, and more.

Each player on the CRESPI Lacrosse team is required to walk at least 27.5 miles, raise a minimum of $500.00, and bring 2 friends to each raise $500.00 as well. The total mileage goal for the Walk-A-Thon will be 6.87 miles short of the round-trip distance from Long Island to Los Angeles [5500 miles], leading up to their lacrosse tournament in New York in the spring of 2009. The team will complete the final 6.87 miles on foot from the Brooklyn Bridge, with the hopes of a stop to ABC’s Good Morning America studio in Times Square to present the check live. CRESPI Lacrosse is thrilled that their three competing teams will join them in the walk to present the check.

“Walk Like A Man” will be held on the Crespi Carmelite High School track at 5031 Alonzo Ave Encino, CA 91316 on February 14, 2009. Pre/late registration ($7) and check-in will be from 6:45am – 7:45am on February 14. The walk begins at 8am, with barbeques, entertainment, silent auction, and vendor village to roll out through the day. The online early registration rate of $5 will end on February 11, 2009.

For more information or to register visit http://crespi.dojiggy.com “Walk Like A Man” Walk-A-Thon. Receive a personal webpage and help fundraise.

CONTACT INFO:
Jonathan Oswaks
Head Coach CRESPI Carmelite Lacrosse
805-444-1937
jonathan@gruppee.com

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I stopped by the office of one of my colleagues last week to see how she was doing. Monica is a wonderful person who is married, has 3 young children and she is also taking care of her parents who live in her home. Her father is a diabetic who is receiving dialysis several times a week and whose health has deteriorated to the point where he now needs around the clock care so she has been looking for a facility for him. She is doing all of this and working a full-time job as well.

As we chatted, I mentioned that I just don’t understand how she does it all. She responded that what she has had to deal with this year is nothing compared to what I had to handle with cancer and that I have served as an inspiration to her. Very frankly, I couldn’t understand how this could be so.

I thought about what she had said and tried to give it some perspective. I finally realized that the reason that I felt that what I had experienced was not that big of a deal was because of love and support that I had received and continue to receive from my husband, Kirk. Whenever I had anything with which to deal, he was there. When surgery was scheduled, all I had to do was show up and he took care of everything from there.

It is difficult to explain how the constant support of my husband made all the difference in the world. He has always been so supportive with everything that needed to be done around the house as we both work. But now he was doing everything that you can imagine and more. Not only did I not have to lift a finger to do anything but he also went above and beyond to help me have something else on which I could focus by doing special things like getting me a gift card for shopping online. He was also the inspiration for this blog and set it up for me and still handles the site and the postings each week. I can’t even begin to list everything that he has done for me. I was always physically and mentally as comfortable as anyone could possibly be under such circumstances and could not have wanted for anything more.

My husband was and continues to be my inspiration and there will never be any words or deeds or gifts or anything that I could do or give to him that would ever express my true gratitude. To have someone in my life who is so loving and caring and giving is everything to me. He is a shining example about how we should love and cherish one another and as a result of what he has shown me, I want to find a way in which I can help and support others in their personal struggles with cancer. If I can give to others at least a portion of what he has given to me, I know that I can make a real difference in those people’s lives. There is nothing more important to any of us than the support of others and knowing that someone cares.

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Last weekend, the three major television networks staged a major fundraiser for cancer research and raised more than $100 million.  What an awesome outcome!  That got me thinking about what I might be able to do to help others since I don’t have great financial resources and decided that my role would be a little different.  I want to be a resource for breast cancer survivors who can share their experiences with someone else who has gone through the same thing or is about to do so.

 

Now I know that there are lots of organizations out there that are wonderful support groups for cancer survivors.  But I also know that there are lots of people out there who are like me who do not wish to join groups, who do not wish to go to meetings and face others in the midst of their own very personal battles and need a different type of resource available to them.  I believe that there are those who would like to have a venue available to them where they can express their feelings or address questions from their own emails or through a shared website and I would like to provide such an outlet.

 

So I thought that I would begin by providing the following email address for anyone who may want to use this type of forum. It is www.barbarajacoby@gmail.com.  I welcome your expressions of experiences, feelings, questions, etc. and would like to share them with others who may be helped in their own battles or who would like to have feedback from others who have shared their particular experiences.  The purpose is to provide a positive outlet for everyone.  Should the response be of significant interest, I would like to expand this forum to our own support website.

 

I know that when I received my first diagnosis of breast cancer I would have loved to have had such a resource available to me.  I felt very alone and did not want to discuss my feelings with anyone else, in person.  When I looked for online resources, I found medical sites with outdated information and nothing else that didn’t feel rather impersonal.  By the time that I was diagnosed the second time, it was a different story and that difference came from the information that I had learned the first time around that took away the fear that had been that first experience.  If I can help even one person to not have to experience that fear, then I will have succeeded in this project.  And if I can establish a network for others to help by sharing their experiences and information then many others just might be spared the fear that many of their predecessors have experienced.

 

So if you would like to be a part of this experiment or have any input that you would like to provide, please feel free to contact me at www.barbarajacoby@gmail.com and see what we can do to make a difference.

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