Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fight Like A Girl - Pink Power

 My blog candy giveaway is under post Challenge #35 

Hello dear sweet friends - 

I am taking a little detour today from my usual type of post to share something that is near and dear to my heart.  As you are already aware October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Well I want to do something to help spread the word about the importance of mammograms.  Believe it or not there are still a lot of women (and men) that we can reach together.  

I am a breast cancer survivor and today September 18th 
is my six year anniversary.  

Six years ago I was driving to work listening to my favorite Christian radio station when there was an advertisement for the "Susan G. Komen 3 day/60 mile breast cancer awareness walk.  At that moment in my heart I knew without a doubt I needed to walk those 60 miles.  Now in all honesty - at the same time I was asking myself questions like - Why on earth do I feel so compelled to walk those 60 miles for breast cancer when there is no history in my family.  Why not walk for the "Go Red" team instead of the pink team?  After all there was a history of heart disease in my family.  It made absolutely no sense to me also because I knew I would have a lot of training to do as well as fundraising (which I had never done before to reach the $2200.00 I needed in order to walk).  I learned a long time ago to trust that small still voice and I jumped in.  It was quite the challenge but little did I know walking those 60 miles was going to save my life.

As I began the fundraising process I realized I couldn't encourage women to get mammograms unless I got one myself.  I hadn't had one in 7 years (gulp) and so I went.  Just before the 60 mile walk (the day before) I got a phone call from the doctor telling me they found something suspicious and I needed to come in for an ultra sound.  They couldn't get me in until Monday (which was the day after the walk).  I had to wait to see the doctor but ironically I was waiting while I was walking with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of men and women whose lives had been touched by breast cancer in some form.  I was so busy walking up and down steep hills I didn't have time to worry.  Boy did I feel blessed in many ways.  I also knew deep down what the result of the ultra sound was going to be.  I just knew it in my gut.

At the time I didn't know all the training and walking was ultimately preparing me physically, emotionally and in gaining knowledge about breast cancer for my own personal battle.  When I had to face the giants I was prepared in a way I never would have been had I not walked those 60 miles.  

The rest is history but here is the rest of the story - my cancer was the size of a pencil eraser.  The surgeon said it was a miracle it was even found.  However when I first talked to him he said my cancer was so small I didn't really have to rush surgery - I could wait up to 10 years if I wanted.  Thankfully due to the research I had done I knew there were many forms and stages of breast cancer.  I had surgery, went through treatment and it was the battle of my life.  

Word spread through the hospital about my journey and so many women went in for mammograms themselves.  It turns out my type of cancer was an aggressive form and so many other attributes that mades it a deadly combination.  Had I not listened to that small still voice in my heart (God) and walked those 60 miles I would not be alive today.  No one will ever be able to convince me it wasn't a miracle.

Why do I share my story?  It is because I want to encourage all of you to get a mammogram (if you haven't already) and encourage your family and friends to do the same thing.  It just might save your life or someone you love.  

What I want to do from now through October is offer you a breast cancer awareness  magnet free to pass on to a friend, family member, a co-worker or as a reminder for yourself.  Please send me an email with your name and address and I will send it to you.  If you would like more than one - I am going to sell them for $1.00 each (instead of $2.50) and that is only to help cover the shipping costs.  That's it.  If you want to purchase one please let me know and I will let you know what the coupon code is for the magnets.  If you have any other questions or concerns please let me know.

I also want to give credit to a  dear friend of mine (you may know her as NanaConnie) gave me this sharing the breast cancer magnet idea.  She won one of the Tuesday Alchemy challenges I was sponsoring and it was her desire to get some magnets from my Etsy Shop to pass out to remind women to get mammograms.  It was a brilliant idea and it fit in perfectly with what I was wanting to do.  I know we were destined to meet and Connie - I am so thankful our paths have crossed.  You are a special lady!!
And last but not least I somehow found a blog by a woman named Susan who has just started going through Chemo for her breast cancer.  Her dearest friend Patricia is the one who started the "Cards for Susan" campaign and I want to help with this too. If you are interested in making a card for Susan please send me an email or mention it in your comment and I will give you her address.  I hope you will consider sending some love to a woman who is going through a huge challenge in her life right now.  I know when I was going through treatment I loved getting cards and want to give the same gift to Susan.

Hugs, smiles, lots of love and many many thanks to everyone 


PS - I lost my job 1.5 years ago for blowing the whistle and prior to that always made things such as altered clipboards and notebooks for children in the hospital or donating as much time as I could in other ways to charities.  This is my way to begin that same journey again - just from a different direction.  I am rebuilding my life and you have no idea how much getting to know so many of you blesses me every day.

If you have read to the end of this - words can't even thank you enough for spending your time with me in this way.  You have blessed me with your time, your comments and your desire to touch others.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Challenge 37 - Random Word -Bath, Duct Tape, Sparrow

Happy Tuesday my dear sweet friends

Sure hope you are doing wonderfully.  Boy, I can't believe how much the temperature has dropped here in Bakersfield.  Cool enough to wear a sweatshirt .  Wow - guess autumn is finally here!!

It's time for another challenge and this week it's all about a bath, duct tape or sparrow.  Please keep in mind you do not have to use all three on your card or other creations.  You can use one, two or all three - it's totally up to you.  We have two sponsors this week and they are:

Scrapper's Delights - 6 Single Digital Stamps

Stitchy Bear Stamps - $10 Store Voucher

One of my favorites things to do is to relax and oak in the bath tub.  Sometimes with a glass of wine and a magazines!!  So choosing which word to use was easy for me.  I also decided to make a card because I just love this image and thought she would be fun to play with.  I did some paper piecing on this card because the copics I needed for the baby were dried out.  Talk about a bummer!!  Anyway - I hope you will join in this weeks challenge and you can check out the wonderful creations made by the design team on the Tuesday Alchemy blog.  You can also find the links for each DT's blog where you can visit for added inspiration.  

I also made this altered recipe box from an old one that needed a new look.  I love love love birds and thought this would make a quick and easy project to add on to this weeks challenge.

Thanks for joining in with us and I can't wait to see what you create.  

With hugs and smiles