The Scars Of Breast Cancer Are Not Pretty In Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and everyone will be wearing pink in the form of ribbons, shirts, tee shirts and more.  What we see doing this awareness month is everyone being “pretty in pink”.

We have all known someone who has been affected by this horrific disease, or we may be that person. Most survivors carry scars from their treatments to defeat breast cancer.  Some of the scars are physical, but some are mental and not only affect them, but their loved ones too.  There are those women and men who carry both types of scars. Breast cancer is an equal opportunity disease, it does not discriminate when it comes to who is affected by it.

Sometimes the chemo may cause the hair to fall out, it can even affect the color of ones skin tone.  The scars of mastectomies may be covered, but they are there nonetheless.  Some survivors have lymphedema in their arms after the mastectomies.

Mammograms do not catch every type of breast cancer, but they do aid in the detection of many.  This imaging can be expensive if you do not have health insurance.  There are places in every community that offer free or low cost services.  Below is a list of  some of the ones in Tarrant County and the surrounding counties in Texas.  Please share with us those in your area so that everyone can benefit from these services.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about more than being “pretty in pink”.  It’s about being informed and finding a cure.

breast cancer 3

 

 

 

Walking The Walk

I am sure there are others, but Mrs. Doreetha Daniels at the age of 99 is one of my inspirations.  After taking decades off she decided to give college a try. This lady has had a successful career, successful marriage, raised a family and has great-grandchildren. Getting a degree was something that she always wanted to, but as it is with a lot of us life just got in the way.

Her story is one that many people have endured. Some of things that she endured are listed below.

  • Unable to meet state residency requirements
  • Got married
  • Raised a family
  • Death in the family
  • Illness
  • Too old
  • Transportation problems
  • Unable to use technology
  • And on and on…..

None of these things deterred Doreetha Daniels from doing what she sat out to do.  She received her Associate’s Degree just before her 100th birthday and has not decided what she will do next–maybe a Bachelor’s Degree.  Sounds kind of like the average college graduate.

Take a look at Doreetha.  Let her be an example for all of us. She is a woman of a certain age who sat a goal and accomplished it.

What’s stopping you from accomplishing your goal of a new career, starting a business, traveling, writing, becoming a chef or anything else?

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You can do it. Read more about Doreetha’s journey here.

 

A Love Like No Other–Being Grandparents

Who would have thought that becoming a grandparent could be so enjoyable?  From the time that little bundle of joy is put in your arms you find yourself on cloud nine. The love you feel for this tiny person swells up more each time you see them.

Grandparenting has always been special to those that were fortunate enough to know and love their grandparents.  My paternal grandparents lived less than 15 minutes from our house, and my material grandparents lived about an hour away so grandparents were always present.

The ones that lived closer took us to piano lessons on Saturday, picked us up for Sunday School, and had homemade delicious snacks after school.  You know things like hamburgers, french fries, cake, pie–do I need to go on. Those were special times that even now bring a smile to my heart.  The love I had for my grandparents only came in second to my parents.

So when I heard that we would become grandparents 9 years ago I was excited.  I could just image combing the little girls hair, putting in pretty bows, buying cute little dresses, dolls and more.  Then they told us they were going to give us a grandson.  I told them to give him back because we didn’t do boys–just girls. We now do boys.

Who would know that Joseph Foster II better known as Joey to us, and JoJo to his parents and aunt would steal our hearts. I can remember when he was not even walking, and the Dallas Cowboys had an open practice at the stadium–my sister and I picked him up from the sitter and took him to the practice.  We were so excited telling his parents about our outing. Even to this day I know that he enjoyed looking at the big screen.

His aunt and I taught him how to fly a kite when he was about three. Somehow he seemed to always find the one power line, but it was fun.  We decided to make a cake and decorate for his moms birthday.  He used this mixer, decorated the cake and the table.

Even when he was younger and just starting to walk we took him home to Longview to visit our neighbors.  We stopped to have our favorite burger, and he threw so many fries on the floor that we asked the manager for the broom to clean up.  He got a way with things that his mom and aunt could never have done.

No I don’t see him every day, but when I see him, I try to always make it special for both of us. This summer I ask him to write me a letter each week telling me about his week. I love my updates.

Does he like seeing his grandparents all of the time–of course not, but hopefully the memories that we make will mean just as much to him as they do to me.  He knows that his Paw Paw and Honey love him unconditionally.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You can love your grandchildren, give them love and send them home to be with their parents.  Grandparents need rest after visits. Enjoy your day.

HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!

Go to our facebook page and post a picture of your grandchildren. Share the joy and love!

If It Works For You

Most people have read or heard all of the information on what makes a successful marriage. How to keep a husband/wife happy, the 5 or 10 or 15 steps to a happy marriage. How to fight fair. Men are from wherever and women are from some other place.

On August 4 I celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary. People asked if it felt like 40 years, did the time just fly by and other such nonsense. They also wanted to know how we made it work, was the relationship 50/50, how did having children change the dynamics of the marriage, who was the one with the last word?

There is no magic in having a successful, most of the time happy marriage. I love those people who say that every day it was almost perfect because they married their perfect mate. I personally don’t know who they married because I don’t know two perfect people.

First of all we were parented by different people. That plays a big part in the marriage. Whether we want to admit it or not, we learned from our parents–good or bad, and our parents learned from their parents and so on.

So I thought I would give you some of the myth busters that I have encountered.

  1. Never go to bed mad. Stop it! You still have to go to work because there are bills that must be paid. So go to sleep, sleep on the problem, and for the most part it may solve itself with a nights sleep. In all honesty sometimes when you sleep on something you see the other persons position.
  2. Hide some of “your” money, you never know when you might need it, and make sure you don’t let the spouse know. They know. Put it in an account with your name on it and move on.
  3. Always put your money in a joint account. You can if you want to. You know what has to be paid, and when it should be paid. Some people are not good with money. I have found that a lot of couples have separate accounts and everything works out for them.
  4. Marriage is 50/50–of what? I will leave this one alone.
  5. Marry your best friend. If I married my best friend then who am I going to have to vent my frustrations about him with? My best friend has known me since second grade.
  6. Happy couples never disagree. Who wants to be with someone who thinks exactly like they do?
  7. You should share the same interest and do everything together. We don’t even like the same movies. I’m a happy movie fan, and he’s a kill 15 people in the first five minutes fan. We compromise, well at least I compromise and go with him. He suggest that I go with my best friend to see my type of movies.
  8. You complete each other. If it takes another person to complete you, then you will never be complete. You are your own person. That’s what drew them to you in the first place.
  9. Never sleep in separate beds/bedrooms. My paternal grandparents never slept in the same room, and they were married over 60 years–they seemed very happy. They could see each other from their rooms.  I know some people who sleep in separate rooms because one snores and keeps the other one up. One suggestion is to purchase an adjustable bed–it helps if snoring is a concern.

What makes a successful marriage? I wish I knew. I can tell you that it is always a work in progress. The one thing that is a constant with us is that no matter what, prayers are said before we close our eyes and when we open them in the morning. We truly believe that prayer helps everything. He will never be a cat person, and dogs are growing on me.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. If it works for you…….

It Gets Easier With Age

Remember when you tried to please everyone? Remember how hard it was to say no to people especially those that you really cared about or a group you wanted to be a part of? Remember how you didn’t want to hurt their feelings when they asked a question they probably already knew the answer to?

Well guess what? As we age, it gets easier to say what is on your mind, but most importantly we now have permission to say no and not give a reason why. We can tell the reason for the no answer, but it is not a requirement, it is an option.

This goes for everyone in the family. I know what most of you are thinking–you’re thinking about the grandchildren and babysitting. Although sometimes you do have plans or you just don’t feel like it–it happens no matter how sweet and cute they are. You just want to put your feet up, watch a movie, take a nap in other words you don’t feel like it. So the answer is no.

It could be with your hubby or significant other when they say let’s go to dinner. Do they want to go to (name their favorite place), and you don’t want to eat there, just say no. When he asks where you want to go, give him suggestions that you like.

Since we are of a certain age, most of us learned to type. So at committee meetings especially if we are one of the few females in attendance they always  ask if we can take the notes for this meeting. We grudgingly do, and then we have to type them up, and now we have become the recording secretary. Next time they ask you, tell them no you can’t unless of course you like that position. I seem to remember guys in my typing class so why not let them take and type the minutes?

The first few times you say the word no to something you’ve always wanted to say no to will feel a little weird, and it will shock those that you say it to.

Sometimes the word yes can be used to your benefit. How many of us have had this question--“do you mind if I switch the channel”, and we say no. Next time say yes if you are watching something that you like.

When we finally figure out that it’s okay to say no I don’t, or yes I do mind because that’s how we feel then we must do one other thing. We must stop apologizing. It’s just how we feel, no I don’t want to do something and/or yes I do mind.

Think of yourself as a toddler. When you ask them a question, and they say no there is no explanation, no apology just on to the next question. Don’t feel bad, you will again keep the grandchildren, eat at his favorite place and probably take notes at a committee meeting, but you now know that you can stop trying to please everyone.

Start pleasing yourself and learning the art of saying “no” and “yes I do mind”–remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Be Selfish–Take Care Of Yourself

As women of a certain age, we were always taught to not be selfish.  We were told “don’t be selfish” when it came to our toys, but now I am telling you that it is okay to be selfish.  Women of a certain age have earned the right to want and do something just for themselves–we’re not going to hurt anyone.

Some things that you can do that will make only you happy or at least the happiest in your family.

  • Cook a meal that only you like–sit down and enjoy it.  How many times have you eaten what everyone else likes?  I can almost guarantee that someone will eat with you.
  • Hire someone to help with the housework–schedule the way it fits your budget and needs.
  • Get regular manicures and pedicures–again your schedule, your finances.
  • Take your time when placing your order at a restaurant–ask questions if you so desire.  You want what you want.
  • Say no to babysitting the grandkids every time they ask–you love them, but you have a life.
  • Watch a movie that you like while sitting in the comfy chair.
  • When they ask you to watch the television in the back so they can all watch something on the bigger tv tell them no and keep watching.
  • Go shopping and only buy for yourself.
  • While shopping don’t call and tell them about a sale because you know you will buy the item(s) and never get paid for it.
  • Sleep late or take a nap for no reason except you can.
  • Take a vacation day from work and don’t tell anyone–do what you want to do on that day.
  • Play the music in your car and in theirs that you like–they do this all the time.
  • Hide your good candy.  They don’t know the difference between Belgian Chocolate and milk chocolate.

These seem like simple things, but we as women of a certain age were taught to put others before us, and stop being selfish.  If taking care of yourself is being selfish, then I am all for it.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You’re not being selfish by making yourself happy.   Take into consideration that they would want you to be happy.

Share with us any other ways that we can be “selfish” and not hurt anyone.  We are looking forward to reading them.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I have finally decided to stop worrying about most things.  You know I will continue to worry about my children and family.  That’s a no brainer, but everything else, I will not worry about and that includes my job.

I will let go, and let God.  I will do as the song says, “Don’t worry be happy”. I will do what needs to be done, and let it go at that. I will be like the millennials, and the whatever else the younger generation is called.  I will stop worrying.

It started a couple of years ago–I can remember it well.  Up until that time I would be a nervous wreck when something went wrong in my house.  I would talk out loud wondering how did this happen, why poor me, every time I got a nickel I had to spend a dime.  You get the picture.

Well about 7 years ago our youngest fresh out of the Coast Guard was on her way to work when she informed me there was water in the kitchen on the floor. I immediately thought my loving husband had spilled a little something.  Before I made it into the kitchen I walked in a river of water that had engulfed part of the den and office.  The river was running wild in the sunroom, dining room, kitchen and laundry area–probably in the garage (but I didn’t care about the garage).  I finally woke my husband out of a deep sleep, started to push water out, called the insurance company and waited on those that could help us dry out. Our house had taken on flood water, but being the worrier that I was, yes I had taken out flood insurance a couple of years before. While my husband continued to push out water, I got dressed and went to work.  Now back in my younger days I would have had a crying, pity party, but I had matured–nature had run its course, and I had tried to be prepared for it. I did worry that the insurance would not pay off, but it did.

When they started to repair our house they told us we had a leaking pipe behind the washer because the paint would not dry.  So me being the worrier had purchased a home warranty plan from a well-known company that I will not name (horrible company).  Inbox me and I will give you their name.  They sent plumbers who came out 3 times, and each time they informed me they had fixed the problem–paint still wouldn’t dry. So I decided to call a plumber I had used before the home warranty plan.  The man came out looked at the wall, then at my newly laid kitchen floor and informed me I had a slab leak, and he would be back the next morning to let me know where it was located.  Yes, it was under my newly laid floor, but again the contractor and I had planned, we had purchased more flooring than we needed.  As the plumber jackhammered my floor on a Saturday which meant that we would have this gigantic hole in the floor over the weekend–I didn’t worry. If you came to my house doing that time, you would just have to walk around the hole in the floor.

Big White my 2003 Dodge Durango and I had a loving relationship.  She had not been much trouble, a little bit here and there, but for the most part she ran good.  Then one day in 2016 all kind of lights came on in her and would not go away.  The mechanic informed me of the problem, and the cost–I cried when I had to let her go, but it was time.  So instead of worrying about what kind of car I was gonna get, I just knew it had to fit in my garage.  I didn’t worry about should I or shouldn’t I–it was time. I didn’t worry about it.  Car note here I come.

Both my girls have left their jobs because they were not happy, and all I could think of was you have a car note, house note and other bills.  They replied, don’t worry–be happy.  Well they didn’t really say that, but that was their attitude.  I was running around getting all worked up, and they were out having a good time.  Yes, they were seeking employment, and yes they found what they were looking for. So why was I worrying?  Because I am a woman of a certain age, but their father is a man of a certain age, and he doesn’t worry.  Go figure.

And now my refrigerator all of 7 years old is on the blink. I can remember the one my grandmother had.  I don’t ever remember it getting repaired, and I don’t remember her buying a new one. I could worry about the food that will spoil in the hot refrigerator and freezer, but I will do the best I can to save what I can. Then I will fill out the lost food form and hope for the best.

I say all of this to say I don’t have high blood pressure, and I will not get high blood pressure behind things that I cannot control. My husband gets upset at sporting events, I theorize that no one wants to lose, but somebody will. He theorizes that they can’t play, bad coaching, etc.

I will not worry, I will be happy–I will fix, replace or resolve what I can, and let go of the rest because some things are just out of my control.  It’s call life.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Don’t worry, be happy.

 

 

Alzheimer’s Caregivers–“Til Death Do Us Part”

It attacks the brain and is the most common type of dementia–this is Alzheimer’s. There is no age requirement when it comes to the early onset of Alzheimer’s. We tend to think of our parents and grandparents when we think of Alzheimer’s, but the youngest person diagnosed with it was only 27.

The stories below are some of the examples of what it means when one states in their wedding vow: “til death do us part”. Each one of these has taken a different approach.

Mike and Carol’s journey was one that Mike was determined to make with her at home. Over the course of 10 years, and his health failing both mentally and physically he had to make a decision. A decision that was the best for both of them. Mike made the decision that even with 24 hour a day caregivers Carol needed more. He made the decision to put her into a facility.

As some caregivers think back over time, they realize there may have been signs they may have missed. As Barry Petersen talks about his wife, he tells how she changed years earlier before she was diagnosed.

All of the caregivers vowed to always take care of their spouse. They came to the realization that taking care of them meant they must face the difficult decision to put their love one into a care facility, not only for their care but the care of themselves.

Take a look at Barry and Jan and their journey with Alzheimer’s. Jan has since passed away.

Dan and B were the “it” couple that I watched on her weekly lifestyle show. From their beautifully decorated home in Sag Harbor to her wonderful restaurant that I visited in Washington, DC. They seemed to be living the dream until….. As of the writing of this article, B. Smith still remains at her home in Sag Harbor with Dan.

One important take away from all three of these cases is that couples should talk about their wishes if they become afflicted by this disease. The caregiver should have instructions that will make his/her decision on care much easier, and with less guilt.

As we mature, we do seem to forget more which does not mean that we have Alzheimer’s. The chart below is a simple way to explains the difference.

alzheimer anddementia

Alzheimer’s came to my family with my paternal grandmother. It was something that seemed to strike out of nowhere, and life-altering decisions had to be made immediately. My grandfather had died years earlier, but I know that he would have been like the spouses above, he would take care of his wife as she had always taken care of him. Even though in the later years of his life he was in failing health, he would be determined–“til death do us part”. Some conversations are hard to have, but a necessity as life continues.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Taking care of someone does not mean doing it all alone there are resources.

Try these sites and others for information on being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Support Programs and Information

National Institute on Aging

AARP Help and Support for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

You’re Aging Yourself–Watch Your Posture

Marsha, the trainer that I work out with told me something that put me into action quick fast and in a hurry.  As she was putting us through hell, yes hell, she told me that my posture was getting bad.  She informed me that for all of the hard work, posture would show age just as fast as a body that was not in shape.

My mother was the first one that told me about my posture, and it had gotten better over the years.  While trying to figure out why it was now starting again I did some research.  Here  are some of the reasons why we begin to have bad posture:

posture

  • We sit at work all day looking down at our keyboards and monitors.  If we have the adjustable table for our computer, we still find ourselves looking down because we find it more comfortable.

smartphone posture 5

  • Our smartphones have become part of us.  We look down at them all of the time.  Even if we are really doing something productive, we are looking down.
  • Being overweight or obese affects posture.
  • Habit is another reason.

I am proud to say that last week at workout I was told my posture was looking good. Talking with several people about what could be done to halt this has helped.  Here are some the things they said.

  • The trainer–line your ears up with your shoulders–look at yourself in the mirror when exercising
  • The masseuse–start a yoga class or find one online.  Even our resident yogi at work said this was a good idea.  She even informed me that she had to get back in the habit of good posture.  Reminding herself especially while driving that she needed to sit up straight.
  • Me–stand the computer desk high and then sit while at work–this will cause me to sit up straight since I will then have to look up at the screen.
  • Yogi–be conscious of your posture.  Believe it or not you will catch yourself slumping and immediately straighten up.

I found an extremely good video *(SarahBethYoga) that I do after my devotional and stretching.  It takes only 10 minutes.  I can honestly say that it works.  Take a look.

Remember that posture affects your entire body.  Bad posture causes pain and your entire body has to compensate for it.  So stand/sit straight and remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Your body will thank you.
*Take a look at other videos by SarahBethYoga on her YouTube channel.

 

 

 

Bringing Healthcare to Thousands

Each year women of a certain age dread the slightly uncomfortable mammogram.  For that small amount of discomfort, we all breathe a sign of relief when the results come back negative, and if they come back questionable, we are grateful that we know that something needs to be done.

In all parts of Tarrant County (the United States) there are thousands of women who do not have insurance that will assist them with payment for this and other annual exams.  Many of these women do not have any symptoms, but when they are seen by a doctor it is often for something that could have been eradicated with early detection.

The Kupferie Health Board of the Texas Health Resources Foundation is sponsoring their annual Puttin’ on the Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon (March 27, 2018).  Proceeds from this fabulous event will benefit mobile health outreach to underserved women in Fort Worth and surrounding communities. Some of the screenings and procedures are:

  • Breast diagnostic procedures
  • Digital diagnostic procedures
  • Cardiovascular risk assessments
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Well-woman exams and cervical cancer screenings

The fashion show is like no other, the beautiful clothes are modeled by professional models and survivors with their stories being told.  Some of the survivors were diagnosed through the screenings and procedures they received from the mobile health outreach.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available.  Just click Puttin’ on the Pink. Through very generous donations, they will raffle off 11 fabulous prices.  To see the items that can be yours click raffle.  You do not need to be present to win, and you are helping a great cause.

This is our third year covering this event.  Last year it was our honor to interview Irene, the beautiful survivor featured in the video below, and to learn more about the mobile health outreach from someone who has used it.  To learn more about the mobile health and the event, take a look at the video.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. It’s about more than breast cancer, it’s about life–Puttin’ on the Pink.

Puttin’ on the Pink

March 27, 2018

10 am Reception/ 11 am Fashion Luncheon

Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom