It's October 2015

It's October 2015
Have You Scheduled Your Mammogram??!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pennies From Heaven

For those of you who haven't heard about or seen it, there is a sea of pennies the size of a city block near the tree at Rockefeller Center. $1 million in pennies (sprinkled with some silver) are guarded by volunteers 24-7. The concept, Penny Harvest Field, was designed and executed by Elliot Spitzer's wife, Silda Wall Spitzer. Children from 800 public school's collected the pennies between late October and Thanksgiving. When the display is removed the first week of January, each school will decide to which charity it would like its portion to be alloted. The kids are learning about what it means to give back to society.  

I love this concept. 

My mom and I have this thing about finding change in the street (like George Kastanza can spot dimes). Some days I collect a small handful. No amount is too small to pass up (although I ignore the pennies on tails... I always wonder if it still counts as bad luck if you see it put don't pick it up). We actually get excited about finding the change, "Oooohh, look what I found here!" And then we give each other the change in order to spread the wealth. 

I've known people who actually give away their change because they don't want to be bothered carrying it. I had a boss who would always give me the pennies in his pocket as he thought them to be useless. 

Yet all this small change can add up to a huge amount. 

I think it's a great thing to remember this time of year. If you have ten minutes, c'mon, you can find it, take the jar of pennies you've been collecting, roll them up, deposit them in your account and write a check for a few dollars to your favorite charity. Or walk to the nearest homeless shelter and bring in the money with a can of soup and that old coat you've been meaning to get rid of. Even if it's five bux you're donating, that's five more dollars that someone didn't have before. You'll feel good once you do it; it's very cathartic.

I recently joined a foundation called Step Up For Women (www.suwn.org). Its purpose is to provide underprivileged girls and women with the proper tools they need to create a better future for themselves. There are wonderful mentor programs, health education and advocacy and much more. I was particularly interested in the healthcare aspect. Girls and women are taught the importance of and given the tools for maintaining good healthy eating habits, exercise, disease prevention, funding for research initiatives and "wellness bags" for women undergoing cancer treatment. 

No, I'm not going to hit you up for any money. I already did that this year. I'm just putting out the reminder that a little goes a very long way. And if you don't have money to give, your time is just as important.

My treatments are going very well. I'm experiencing zero side effects thus far. I've got my routine down and take advantage of having to head downtown every day (Trader Joe's being a huge plus). The thing though that really makes this so easy, is the way I am treated from the moment I walk in to the waiting area. The therapists have a very hard job to do. Although it may appear rote, there is no room for error. But every single person there says hello, asks how I'm doing, smiles, and treats me with respect. I remember thinking I was going to miss out on the terrific (cushy) care I might've received at MSK. I thought I'd be really miserable going to BI but how can I not pass up the chance to have insurance cover everything? Well, I'm glad I stuck with my decision. I never leave that place feeling down. I actually leave feeling somewhat empowered, optimistic and protected. Again, thanks to the kind treatment I receive. 

As the year comes to a close, I just wanted to thank everyone again for your outreach and support. Believe me when I say, just knowing you read this blog goes a very long way. (You don't know how much until you learn of those who will/don't not read it). Your cards, emails, phone calls, speak volumes. Taking five minutes out of your busy day to do this, is worth just as much if not more than a sea full of pennies to me. 

To quote a Christmas card I received yesterday, "Give generously, receive abundantly."

Wishing you all a year full of health, peace and love. 

Best in 2008, 

Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

RT Treatment Day 1

Started radiation yesterday. The long wait in the depressing waiting room is the most annoying part. Of course this was day 1 so that may change. But really, you do not feel a thing. Just the numbness in your arm while you're lying in one position (note to self, stretch more). Supposedly by week three, one's skin gets irritated--like a sunburn. During the next six weeks, I've been advised to:
  • Use non-scented soap
  • Don't shave (la pit)
  • Only use non-aluminum deo (like Tom's which does dinky)
  • Only use Aquaphor or pure Aloe Vera gel on the area
  • Take no antioxidants (since the treatment is actually oxidizing) so no Vitamin C IVs for six weeks. (The jury is still out whether or not the anti-oxidants would help during treatment. I find it strange since you're advised to eat lots of green, leafy veggies, but I'm taking and doing enough to keep myself in good shape.)
  • No perfume (it might cause an irritation as well as make any chemo pt's in the waiting room nauseous)
Of course this will all double up my morning routine as I put the real deo on one side and the Tom's on the other. Then again, I'll cut my shaving time in half. See, you must look at the positives!! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Anyway, according to everyone I've spoken to, it's the nuisance of going every day that is the worst part. Some experience fatigue but again, that's probably by week three and my friend has volunteered to do acupuncture on me to help avoid this and any other side effects (BC patients feel these a lot less frequently than say, head/neck cancer pts). Beth Israel actually has someone on staff who will do this for you as well as teach you some guided imagery exercises. The staff is very nice and they do their best to keep you in a calm, happy, stress free place. 

My schedule is now M-T @ 4:15 and F @ 9:30, for six weeks. I should be done just after my b'day which is great timing. Start the year off with a clean slate!

Happy Holidays, everyone,

Liz