Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Tell Someone About MyLifeLine.org

Earlier this week we posted an article about social media and how it benefits cancer patients and their caregivers.

We put the article in our latest newsletter so you can forward it to anyone you know who has been affected by cancer. Check out our July Newsletter MyLifeLine.org’s July Newsletter and be sure tell a friend about MyLifeLine.org

 Tell a Friend about MyLifeLine.org

 There are many ways to share our service so that those affected by cancer can create an online support community and begin benefiting from the connections and inspiration.

  • On our homepage click on “Tell a Friend” in the bottom left corner. This will send them an email about MyLifeLine.org.
  • Forward this newsletter to them, so they can read the article mentioned above and learn about the benefits of social media.
  • Like us on facebook and share our page with your friends. On facebook we’ll post tips, event news, resources, and more
  • Follow us on twitter and you’ll find tips to help someone with cancer, event announcements from MyLifeLine.org and other cancer non-profits, resources for cancer patients, and much much more.

Young Adult Cancer Survivor and Exercise Study

The FITNET (Fostering Improvement Through Networking and Exercising Together) program

Purpose of this study: FITNET is a web-based research program designed to teach young adult cancer survivors strategies that can help them increase physical activity. The program is aimed at improving physical activity among young adult cancer survivors.

What will happen during this Study? You will have access to a Facebook group and websites with information and strategies to help cancer survivors become more physically active and improve their health. Information and tips are posted through Facebook each week for 12 weeks. Participants assigned to one Facebook group will be encouraged to participate in 16 Facebook group discussions and use an exercise website over the course of the 12-week study. We will ask all participants to complete two online questionnaires and to record the number of steps taken over two 7-day periods, once at the beginning of the study and once at the end, after 12 weeks. You will also receive a $30 gift card for completing all study-related questionnaires.

What are the risks from participating in FITNET? We do not anticipate any personal risks or discomforts involved from participating in this study. Experts have determined that exercise is safe after cancer treatment, and inactive people who gradually progress over time to relatively moderate-intensity activity have no known risk of sudden cardiac events, and very low risk of bone, muscle, or joint injuries. Some people may feel shy or uncomfortable about revealing personal information about their experience as a cancer survivor.

 If you think you might be willing to help us with this important research:

Please go to: www.fitnet-unc.org  to learn more about the study and see if you qualify.

 If you have any questions about the study, please send an email to fitnet@unc.edu.

 The study was approved by the Public Health-Nursing Institutional Review Board at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Study # 10-2150) on 12/16/10.

How Cancer Patients Engage in Social Media

“To Hear and Be Heard”

Article recap from Cancer Fighters Thrive  “Social media enhances communication among patients, their caregivers, and their health care team.”  Article by Diana Price

 The most recent issue of Cancer Fighters Thrive had an article about social media and how it can help patients cope with their diagnosis, as well as a lot of other benefits too.

Other potential benefits include the following:

  • Create a community around your journey
  • Share information regularly with those you love most
  • Feel uplifted by messages of support
  • Improve communication with your health care team

Marcia Donziger, MyLifeLine.org Founder and Executive Director stated this in the article,  

“The impact of the service is profound; easing the burden of communicating with a patient’s support community can increase quality of life by opening the channel to receive love and encouragement while getting the patient and the caregiver the logistical help necessary to make it from active treatment to survivorship.”

 The article mentions other sites that build community like Carepages and CancerConnect.com.

 Remember: Anything you share online is public, so only share what your comfortable with.

 Read more articles from Cancer Fighters Thrive

Find more articles that mention MyLifeLine.org on our In The News page

Cancer and Exercise

Exercise can potentially lead to better quality of life outcomes in cancer patients according to a few studies. It doesn’t have to be strenuous activity, just something to get you off of the couch, or out of bed. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

Be sure to ask your doctor about exercising. Different treatment paths lead to different side affects. For example, prostate cancer patients that underwent androgen deprivation therapy have an increased risk factor of fractures, so any exercise routine should keep that in mind. (Source: National Cancer Institute)

Many nonprofits and cancer centers have yoga sessions specifically for cancer patients. Find one in your area. Besides the exercise, it’s a great way to find support from other patients as well.

For Survivors:

LIVESTRONG has an exercise for survivors that are post treatment to help them adapt to their “new normal”

The program has the following goals:

  • Help participants build muscle mass and muscle strength
  • Increase flexibility and endurance
  • Improve functional ability
  • Reduce the severity of therapy side effects
  • Preventing unwanted weight changes
  • Improving energy levels and self esteem
  •  Develop their own physical fitness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle, not only as part of their recovery, but as a way of life.

 

Find a program near you LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

Shut In – Poetry by a two time cancer survivior

Shut In

It isn’t the weakness and sickness so much

Nor is it the staring at food that’s untouched

Not even the wondering if we will win

And whether I’ll finish the race that is mine.

Today it’s the knowledge of life going on

Outside the small world of my invalid bed

 I used to be part of in days before this

But now feel shut off from, unable to help

To meet and to work with, to be knitted in

So used to a value that’s based on my deeds

Get out, make a difference, do wonders for God.

Well now it’s not possible, just can’t be done.

Accept and adapt to this other existence

Is all I can do, find my worth in myself

It’s not what I do but it’s who I can be

 

Has your cancer experience inspired you to write about it?

Another poetry piece by Lynette

Breast Cancer: The Wedding Pink submissions are Open

wedding pink for someone touched by breast cancer

Following up on recent post about the Wedding Pink, I wanted to provide a reminder that submissions are being accepted to the Wedding Pink.  

The Wedding Pink is an annual, heartfelt wedding giveaway package presented to a couple whose lives have been recently touched by breast cancer.

Cheryl Ungar, the founder of The Wedding Pink, is a 20-year breast cancer survivor and a wedding photographer. In addition to Cheryl donating her own wedding photography services, she has put together an extraordinary team of some of Colorado’s top wedding vendors — all of whom have generously agreed to donate their services and products to ensure The Wedding Pink is a spectacular event for one very special couple.

Forward this to someone you know that’s been touched by breast cancer and is recently engaged or about to become engaged.

Cancer Q and A: Ask The Experts: Legal and Career Advice Teleconferences

Ask The Experts Logo

A series of teleconferences presented by Cancer and Careers,
your resource for balancing work and cancer.

  • Want to know what your insurance options are if you are unemployed?
  • Confused about how to set up your resume now that you have a gap from work?
  • Not sure if you can use the Family and Medical Leave Act for your weekly chemo appointments?

JOIN US to ask questions and get answers from a career coach and legal expert.

Click below to register for each call individually.

Career Coach: Julie Jansen, Executive and Career Coach and Author

* Wednesday July 20th – 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Register now
* Thursday October 6th – 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT Register now

Legal Expert: Joanna L. Morales, Esq., Director, Cancer Legal Resource Center

* Wednesday July 27th – 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Register now
* Thursday October 13th – 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT Register now

Questions? Email us at cancerandcareers@cew.org or call 646-929-8032.

Ask The Experts is made possible through a grant from:
Genentech logo

What questions do you have when it comes to balancing your career and your health?

Skin Cancer and Sun Safety Tips

Since summer is in full force, this post is all about skin cancer, sun safety and organizations related to skin cancer.

     “Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer. More than 90 per cent of all skin cancers in the United States are basal cell carcinomas. Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma also is the least serious kind of skin cancer. That’s because it grows slowly and rarely spreads. It spreads in less than 1 out of every 1,000 patients. ” Definition from http://ehealthmd.com/content/what-are-different-types-skin-cancer

     “Detect Basal Cell carcinoma- Basal cell carcinomas often appear as flat, firm, pale areas or small, raised, pink or red, translucent, shiny, waxy areas that may bleed after a minor injury. They may have one or more abnormal blood vessels, a lower area in their center, and/or blue, brown, or black areas. Large basal cell carcinomas may have oozing or crusted areas. They usually develop on areas exposed to the sun, especially the head and neck, but they can occur anywhere on the body. ” Detection information from the American Cancer Society

      “Squamous cell carcinoma is more serious because it does spread to vital organs inside the body. Spread occurs in a few cases in every 100. It does so slowly. At first cancer cells tend to spread only as far as the nearest lymph nodes structures, which filter out and trap the cancer cells. If spread has occurred, the affected lymph nodes can be removed before cancer spreads to vital organs.” Definition from http://ehealthmd.com/content/what-are-different-types-skin-cancer

      “Detect Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Squamous cell carcinomas may appear as growing lumps, often with a rough, scaly, or crusted surface. They may also look like flat reddish patches in the skin that grow slowly. They commonly occur on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, ear, neck, lip, and back of the hands. Less often, they form in the skin of the genital area. They can also develop in scars or skin sores elsewhere.” Detection information from the American Cancer Society

      “Melanoma Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Because most of these cells still make melanin, melanoma tumors are often brown or black. But this is not always the case, and melanomas can also appear pink, tan, or even white. Melanoma most often starts on the trunk (chest or back) in men and on the legs of women, but it can start in other places, too. Having dark skin lowers the risk of melanoma, but a person with dark skin can still get melanoma. ” Definition from the American Cancer Society

Remember to do self checks regularly. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if you notice changes in a mole or spot on your skin.

 These are not the end all be all of detection rules, but they are a guide for you to remain self aware about your skin.

“The ABCD rule can help you tell a normal mole from an abnormal mole. Moles that have any of these signs should be checked by a doctor. ABCD stands for the following:

A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or there may be patches of pink, red, white, or blue.

D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than about ¼ inch (the size of a pencil eraser), but melanomas can be smaller than this.” Source the American Cancer Society

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Resource Roundup

 Melanoma

American Cancer Society Guide to Melanoma

Melanoma Research Foundation

Melanoma Research Foundation Clinical Trials

Melanoma Girl

 Sun Safety

Environmental Working Group’s Sun Safety Tips

Sun Safety Alliance Tips

 Organizations

Shade Foundation

Skin Cancer Foundation

Melanoma Education Foundation

American Melanoma Foundation

 Do you practice sun safety every day? Share your tips and favorite products. Did we miss any organizations that are dedicated to skin cancer? If so, let us know.

Sorry – poetry by a two time cancer survivor

Sorry

This chemo effects not just physical cells

It’s not just my body that’s feeling so weak

So floppy and useless, just like a wet rag –

My mind, too, forsakes me at critical times

Or is it just lazy, not wanting to think?

Sloping off for a doze when I’m trying to read,

Refusing to give me the word that I seek

And just can’t be bothered to understand things

But by far the worst is the fog on my heart

Just wanting to hide on my own and retreat

From all socialising, it all feels too hard

Forgive me, and know I’ll be back before long

 

 

For more on chemo brain

Chemo Brain Myth from Fox News

Chemo Brain facts from the American Cancer Society

Chemo Brain May Last 5 Years or More from the NY Times