Shop and Support Breast Cancer Awareness

By: Staci Rutherford

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, there are many designers and retailers that are helping to educate the masses while giving back to causes devoted to awareness, education and research in the fight against breast cancer.  Show your support during the month of October by shopping pink!  Check out some of my fabulous finds that also make great gifts:

Essie Breast Cancer Color Collection

A portion of the proceeds from the essie breast cancer awareness collection will be donated to “Living Beyond Breast Cancer,” to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life.  Price: $8.00 at Macy’s.

Giuliana Rancic for LOFT Statement Necklace

Fashionista and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic designed this gorgeous rhinestone-studded necklace that represents women coming together.  Twenty-five percent of full-price purchases of the necklace will go directly to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.  Price: $69.50 at LOFT.

Coach BCA Multi Mix Key Ring

Coach’s limited edition jeweled key ring, a collection of luxuriously enameled signature charms suspended from a delicate silver-plated chain. During the month of October, Coach will donate 20% of this purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Price: $58.00 at Coach.

Tory Burch Limited-Edition Pink Hardshell Phone Case

Tory Burch partnered with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® to create this exclusive hardshell iPhone 4/4S case, in a graphic pink needlepoint print. Price: $48.00 at ToryBurch.com.

BCRF iPad Sleeve – Canvas Pop-Up Pink

Designed to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts to find a cure, this cute, canvas iPad sleeve is inscribed with an inspiring message.  It’s made of cotton canvas/leather and fits iPad 2 models. $15 from sale of each iPad cover benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Price: $35.00 at Bloomingdales.com.

Awake “Live Love Hope” Tee

From October 1st through October 31st, 10% of the net sales from the Awake tee will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Price: $24.00 at Macy’s.

Belk Breast Cancer Awareness collection

Belk has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and has pledged a $3 million donation minimum over 3 years for the fight against breast cancer.  Visit your local Belk to shop the collection of apparel, accessories, home and beauty items.

For the second year in a row, Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer. To view and vote for Lexington Medical Center’s video, go to pinkglovedance.com.

Bald And Beautiful

October is here and it seems everywhere we look, there is something to remind us that it is breast cancer awareness month.   There are events, fundraisers, commercials and articles to get people thinking about their breast health.   I am a 2-year breast cancer survivor and I want to do all that I can to spread the word as knowledge is power!

One recent message really hit home with me and I wanted to share it with my Every Woman family.  If you haven’t heard already, country music star, Kellie Pickler, recently caused quite a buzz (literally). She shaved off all of her hair in support of her childhood friend, Summer Miller, who is currently battling breast cancer.  Summer received the devastating news in June 2012 and Kellie wanted to show her support.  Take a minute to watch the video and make sure you have a few tissues.

Wasn’t that amazing?! Watching them shave their heads reminded me of the time when I shaved my hair off.  I felt the same way and while watching their moment, I remembered mine like it was just yesterday.   When I first touched my head, I could feel that it was gone and then looked into the trash can to see my hair.  At first, I wanted to cry out and ask God to give me my hair back.   But instead, he gave me strength, which I really needed over those next few months I would need it!   Watching their story reminded me of my breast friend, Brandy, and how her friendship helped to lift my spirit on many days that I just didn’t want to fight anymore.

Katie with her best friend, Brandy

Life is a series of hurdles and as we get over each one, we become stronger, more ready to face the next challenge.    Our hair would just get in the way of our cancer battle so by shaving it off, we stand tall, ready to fight.

To all my pink sisters – I wish you good health, happiness and many, many birthdays!!

Do you know someone fighting breast cancer right now?  Post their story here so that we can lift them up, pray for them,and post a message to let them know that they are not alone. 🙂

For the second year in a row, Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer. To view and vote for Lexington Medical Center’s video, go to pinkglovedance.com. 

Miscarriage

By: Crissie Miller Kirby

I will never, ever forget that day – Friday, March 16, 2007.  I was 11 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and scheduled for a routine ultrasound.  My nerves were a wreck.  My husband had been away for 3 weeks working a shift of border patrol for the SC National Guard, and I had experienced some spotting during that time.  It was nothing major and the midwife had assured me that if it stopped on its own that everything was most likely fine, but we would make sure when I came in for my appointment on the 16th.

The nurse came to the door and said that my doctor was running late after his shift at the hospital; I could either reschedule my appointment or wait.  I immediately said that I wanted to wait because I’d been having some issues and wanted to make sure that everything was okay.

When he arrived, we went back in the exam room and my OB started the ultrasound.  At 11 weeks, we should have been able to see some sign of the baby, but couldn’t.  He switched from the external ultrasound to the vaginal ultrasound, thinking maybe my dates were wrong and I wasn’t as far along as we had originally suspected.  However, our fears were realized when he said that while the gestational sac was present, there was no baby; it had not developed.  Tears flooded my eyes.  I was heartbroken.  I was devastated.

My OB-GYN and his staff were absolutely wonderful.  They hugged me and offered their condolences and words of consolation and prayers.  The decision about how to proceed was left to us; we could wait for my body to realize that there was no baby to support and it would begin the miscarriage process on its own or I could schedule a D&C.  The uncertainty of when that might happen, combined with the fact that Pierce was only 15 months old caused us to schedule a D&C for the following Monday.

We left the doctor’s office in tears and headed back to my office.  I couldn’t face anyone right then, so my husband went in to tell my co-workers what had taken place and that I would not be back that day.  We went home and made the phone calls to our immediate families and our closest friends.

I just didn’t understand why or how this had happened.  I had had such an easy pregnancy with Pierce; I was, literally, the woman other women loved to hate.  I never had morning sickness, no spotting, no swelling, and minimal weight gain.  Pregnancy had been so easy for me – how could I now be on the cusp of miscarrying?  I blamed myself.  Surely I had done something that had caused this situation.  I thought that maybe even God was punishing me for things I had done in my past.

That weekend I experienced the worst physical and emotional pain of my life.  Emotionally, I was drained, devastated, and just wanted to get everything over with and get back to “normal.”  Physically, my body began to miscarry and I wound up in the Emergency Room.  Monday morning came and I underwent the D&C.  God bless my doctor, the nurses, the anesthesiologist and the nurse anesthetist; they did everything to make me comfortable, put my mind at ease, and to keep me from getting sick after surgery.

The partial ending of this story is that about 5-6 months after my miscarriage, I became pregnant with my precious Smith and my pregnancy with him was, like my pregnancy with Pierce, pretty easy and enjoyable.  Other than the initial concerns, until we heard his heart beat, and saw him growing well in utero, it was a great pregnancy.  Unfortunately, my miscarriage also had a profound negative effect on my marriage and less than 4 years later, I would be divorced.

I share my story with you because as women we all know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but did you also know that October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day?  Too often, we neglect pregnancy and infant loss, because we are uncomfortable with it – we don’t know what to say.  The truth of the matter is, pregnancy and infant loss is just like the death of someone else that you dearly loved.  The biggest difference is that in most instances, you never knew the person that died; you may not have even known that the little person existed.  But, to the parents, that little person had a name, hopes and dreams attached to him or her.  That loss is just as important to the parents as the loss of a spouse or a parent or sibling; it can be devastating.

Even more so as, in most circumstances, there is no funeral or memorial service during which to say final goodbyes; no real opportunity for “closure.”  Well meaning individuals try to console us by proclaiming that there can be other babies; they insist that something must have been wrong with the baby; or, that it was just simply God’s will.  Their words, while well intentioned, often serve to lessen or negate the loss.  Many feel that we should just be able to move on and live life as if the loss had never happened.  Unfortunately, those losses have the power to transform families; some positively, others negatively.

For those of us who have loved and lost children we did not have the chance to ever know, we take a moment today to reflect and remember those tiny lives that touched us so immensely.

Lights, Camera, Dance! Pink Glove Dance Voting Begins!

Today is an important day!  Voting in the 2012 Pink Glove Dance competition begins today at 1:00 p.m. EST.  The hospital is asking everyone in our community to vote for our Pink Glove Dance by going to www.pinkglovedance.com and “Liking” our dance with a Facebook account.  A vote for our video is a show of support for cancer survivors everywhere.

For the second year in a row, Lexington Medical Center is entering the international Pink Glove Dance video contest sponsored by Medline Industries, Inc.  The project honors cancer survivors and raises awareness about breast cancer.

Our hospital’s 2012 Pink Glove Dance features the compelling story of Lexington Medical Center nurse Amy Kinard of Lexington, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 34.  The video is shot in our hospital and around our community – including at a highly-energized Williams-Brice Stadium, on a special pink glove skydiving adventure and inside a rock star celebration of cancer survivors.

In total, approximately 1,000 Lexington Medical Center employees dancing to the Katy Perry song “Part of Me” in the video.  In addition to high energy and Broadway style choreography, there are special effects, smoke, strobe lights and more.  Importantly, the dance features several LMC employees who are breast cancer survivors; they’re wearing t-shirts that say “Survivor from Day 1,” noting the strength and courage of breast cancer patients right from the time of their diagnosis.  “Survivor From Day 1” is the theme of this year’s video.

Pictured above are the breast cancer survivors who appear in this year’s video.

In 2011, with more than 60,000 votes and 110,000 You Tube views, Lexington Medical Center clinched the first-ever Pink Glove Dance contest.  The hospital beat more than 130 other health care organizations from around the United States and Canada with a dance featuring hundreds of Lexington Medical Center employees dancing with pink gloves.  The dance became so popular, it was featured on national television including ABC World News Tonight and Fox & Friends on the FOX News Network.

You can vote for Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance by going to www.pinkglovedance.com and clicking “Like” with your Facebook account.  You must have a Facebook account to vote.   This year, voting for the Pink Glove Dance 2012 is from October 12th to October 26th.   Please encourage your family and friends to vote for Lexington Medical Center’s Pink Glove Dance video!

National Weight Control Registry Studies Successful Losers

 By: Mary Pat Baldauf

While doing some research for the blog and the Doctors Wellness Center (DWC), I was referred to the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), the largest prospective investigation of long-term successful weight loss maintenance.

Given the prevailing belief that few individuals succeed at long-term weight loss, the NWCR was developed to identify and investigate the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight loss. The NWCR is tracking more than 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. The organization uses detailed questionnaires and annual follow-up surveys to examine the behavioral and psychological characteristics of weight maintainers, as well as the strategies they use to maintaining their weight losses.

You may find it interesting to know about the people who have enrolled in the registry thus far:

  1. 80% of persons in the registry are women and 20% are men.
  2. The “average” woman is 45 years of age and currently weighs 145 lbs, while the “average” man is 49 years of age and currently weighs 190 lbs.
  3. Registry members have lost an average of 66 lbs. and kept it off for 5.5 years. These averages, however, hide a lot of diversity:
    1. Weight losses have ranged from 30 to 300 lbs.
    2. Duration of successful weight loss has ranged from 1 year to 66 years.
    3. Some have lost the weight rapidly, while others have lost weight very slowly–over as many as 14 years.
    4. 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program.
    5. 98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake to lose weight.
    6. 94% increased their physical activity. Walking was the most frequently reported form of activity.
    7. NWCR members keep the weight off through a variety of methods. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.
    • 78% eat breakfast every day.
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
    • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

National Weight Control Registry’s research has been featured in many national newspapers, magazines, and television broadcasts, including USA Today, Oprah magazine, The Washington Post, and Good Morning America.

Recruitment for the Registry is ongoing. The Registry seeks individuals 18 years of age or older who have maintained at least a 30 pound weight loss for one year or longer. Happily, I qualified, recently received the application, and just completed and returned it. As I start participating, I’ll let you know more about it! For now, look for information from their studies in coming weeks.

Pink Glove Dance

By: Crissie Miller Kirby

Over the last year I have been so blessed in having been chosen as one of the Every Woman bloggers. I have had the chance to pursue my lifelong dream of writing and have met some wonderful people and gained much self-confidence through this endeavor.  However, few things can match being asked to participate in the Lexington Medical Center’s video for the 2nd annual Pink Glove Dance competition.

As soon as the email came inviting the bloggers, I knew I wanted to participate.  For those of you who may not know, the Pink Glove Dance is a competition sponsored by the medical supply company, Medline. The winners of this competition receive $10,000 to donate to a breast cancer research foundation of their choice.  And, if you missed last year’s big news, our own Lexington Medical Center was the inaugural competition’s winner, securing $10,000 for the Vera Bradley Foundation!

Breast cancer is a devastating and debilitating disease.  It knows no boundaries, striking young and old, black and white, men and women.  My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before my oldest son was born in 2005 and almost seven years later, she is cancer free.  One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 at the relatively young age of 40 and almost three years later, she too, is cancer free.  In 2011, this same friend asked me to join her in participating in a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer walk in Florida.  What an honor and awesome experience it was for me to walk beside her and watch her cross the finish line after all she had been through.  Being able to participate in the Pink Glove Dance was another way for me to honor these two ladies in my life, and all those who have battled breast cancer.

Fast forward to the day of the taping of the finale sequence of the video. When I arrived at the hospital locale for the shoot, I stood back in awe of the number of people in attendance.  Young, old, male, female; just as breast cancer knows no boundaries, those wanting to stand up in the fight against it knew no boundaries either.  There were doctors and nurses, hospital staff, and even a hospital chaplain who had to have been approaching 70 (he impressed me the most as he stayed and danced the entire 4 hours- in a clergy collar, no less).

As rehearsals began, I was reminded of just how terribly uncoordinated I was. But in the end, it made no difference because we were all learning the moves together, for a common cause.  As daylight turned into dusk and then darkness, the site was illuminated with energy (and some really big flood lights).  We pressed on, encouraged continually by the choreographer and director.  The atmosphere was absolutely phenomenal and unmatched by just about anything I have witnessed in my 34 years.

During one of the breaks, I remember telling Jennifer Wilson how neat it was to see the breast cancer survivors themselves, many of whom had been highlighted by name in last year’s video.  They truly were the stars of the night, and rightfully so.  Their untiring and unwavering spirit was evidence of what had helped them make it through their battles with this dreaded disease.  I think it helped to motivate all of us; I know it did me.

As the filming drew to a close, I looked around at all of the people present for this undertaking and reflected on what a wonderful and moving experience it had been for me, personally.  To be surrounded by so many people, all fighting for a common cause without regard to race, gender, or religion was truly inspiring.

Years ago, breast cancer was hard to detect and treat. But today (depending on stage of detection) some breast cancer survival rates near 100%.  Obviously, early detection and treatment are key in continuing to increase the survival rates. However, new and more effective treatments are continually needed and this is what the Pink Glove Dance represents; a chance to utilize funding to assist in research, development, and testing so that one day, breast cancer will be nothing more than a memory of days gone by.

In closing, obviously, we would LOVE to see a repeat win for Lexington Medical Center in the Pink Glove Dance Competition.  This year’s video is set to Katy Perry’s encouraging song “Part of Me,” and chronicles the breast cancer battle of one of Lexington Medical Center’s own nurses.  Voting will begin on Friday, October 12th.  Be on the lookout on Facebook for the video’s debut.  Make sure to “Like” it, share it, and help Lexington Medical Center secure another $10,000 donation to the Vera Bradley Foundation!

Good Luck LMC!  Job well done!

Fighting Back Against Bullies!

By: Roshanda Pratt

October is anti-bullying month. When I discovered the following video on a friend’s Facebook page, I knew I had to write about bullying.  Please take a moment and watch the video before reading the rest of my post.

I am a former television news producer.  I can tell you story after story of hurtful phone calls and emails from viewers.  I never understood why people would take the time out of their schedule to call a news station to complain about someone’s hair, makeup, wardrobe or personality. I once took a call from a viewer who wanted to express to me her rather hateful and racist views, in hopes that I would agree.  Needless to say, that conversation ended abruptly.  You see, I do not, and I mean, DO NOT like bullies – especially those of the adult kind.

I have been on both ends of bullying. When I was in elementary and middle school, I was an ugly duckling.  I had really bad acne, bad hair, low self esteem, and I developed faster than all my other friends. I was picked on constantly, even by those who said they were my friend. I am so grateful for a girl named Erica who still, to this day, is a dear friend. Even when she was with the “cool” crowd, she still was kind to me and never talked about me behind my back.  I am not sure if she will ever understand how much her friendship meant to me during such a transformational time in my life.

Eventually, I learned I had to stand up to my bullies.  That’s a good thing, right? Yes, but I also learned how to take the focus off me and in turn, point the bullies to someone else.  So I then became a bully.  I realize now that when you hurt, all you know how to do is hurt others.  I relentlessly taunted another girl until one day, when I saw her crying. In that moment, I thought about how she must feel, and I stopped.  I never wanted anyone to feel as dejected as I had for so long.  Years later, I saw her. We were much older and much more mature, and I apologized to her.  I knew it was the right thing to do. I made no excuses. I was honest and I apologized for my lack of kindness.

We hear a ton of stories about children bullying other children. I do not advocate that, and I constantly talk to my children about how to handle a bully.  However, I think the adult bullying is even worse. Why? Because at some point, you should mature. You should understand that you don’t need to point out what people already know. For example, in the above video, the news anchor pointed out she is well aware of her weight and the health challenges it causes.  There was NO need for this viewer (who by the way, does not watch the show on a frequent basis) to belittle her and point out the obvious. In my former profession I had to deal with my share of “bullies”.  People who feel they are better than you and make it their mission to tell you so through their words and actions.  I, however, do not subscribe to that thought. I have discovered that if you have to put others down to feel better about yourself, you really must have low self worth.

Sometimes it seems like our society has little to no regard for human life.  We have more respect for animals (I’m not an animal basher) than we do for our neighbor.  Our moms always told us, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”  Did we forget that? What happened to having a filter? I am wondering if that viewer who sent Jennifer Livingston that email, thought for just one second about his words before hitting the send button?  Words are powerful.  The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” is a lie. Words do hurt and many people are carrying around wounds from words that cut like a knife.

I applaud Mrs. Livingston for fighting back against her bully by calling him out on the air. I love the power of the media when it is used well.  The best way to deal with a bully is to stand up and speak out. One of the greatest commandments given is to “Love our neighbor as we love ourselves” (Mark 12:31). Maybe if we spend a little more time loving ourselves in a healthy way, we will not have to spend time tearing someone else down.

Have you ever experienced bullying? How did you handle it? I would love to hear your story.

Ro