Monday, October 22, 2012


The elephant in the pink room, as most of you know but some of you don’t, is Stage IV Metastic Breast Cancer. This is not caused by a late diagnosis of breast cancer, or a certain type of breast cancer, or by lack of medical treatment. The truth is that 30% of all breast cancer patients will end up with metastatic disease where the breast cancer has spread from the original location (the breast) to remote organs. These organs most commonly are the liver, lungs, brain and bones. Cancer can spread anywhere it pleases, but these are the most common locations for breast cancer to spread. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have or are receiving treatment, metastatic disease is random.


The cancer cells that have spread to remote organs in the body do not become that type of cancer. For instance, if your breast cancer has spread to the liver, you do not have liver cancer, or bone cancer if cells have spread to the bone. You still have breast cancer, but it has gone beyond the breast.


During this time of Pinktober, where retailers everywhere are offering something pink and contributing a very small percentage to breast cancer awareness, there is absolutely nothing being done to make people aware of metastatic disease. By now I think that most of us are aware of breast cancer. Spending more money on awareness just does not seem like the best allocation of funds. It’s time to start concentrating on research, cures, and of course the elephant in the pink room, metastic breast cancer.


If you want to make a difference and help find a cure, be sure that the money that you are donating or the organization that you are buying from, donates to research and to finding cures for cancer. The two best organizations that I am aware of are the American Cancer Society and Stand Up To Cancer. These two organizations raise funds for groundbreaking research that will eventually find a cure and end cancer. No awareness money wasted here. 


Breast cancer in reality is not pink and pretty. It is a disease that strikes men and women without family histories and for no rhyme or reason. There are many different types of breast cancer including HER2Positive, HER Negative, Inflammatory and more. It strikes mostly our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts and grandmothers. Early detection is not the answer. There are many women surviving Stage IV Metastic Breast Cancer whose first breast tumor was found in its very early stages – myself included. Early detection increases your options for treatment, but it does not prevent your breast cancer from progressing to Stage IV.


Stage IV Metastic Breast Cancer is incurable. There are treatments available that prolong life, but treatment is forever. This is why they call it treatable, but not curable. With treatment you can go into what is called NED (No Evidence of Disease). This can last a year, 2 years, 5 years or 10 years.  No one knows and it cannot be predicted. Each treatment available has a limit as to how long it will continue to keep you in the NED condition. When one treatment fails or stops working, you go on to the next available treatment. These treatments include hormone therapy if have hormone receptive breast cancer, or it can be chemotherapy. There are also clinical trials available. There are some women who report that they have been NED with Stage IV Metastic Breast Cancer for 15 years which is rare, but we all hope for this.


So the next time that you buy a pink anything in the month of Pinktober, or lick the lid of a yogurt cover and send it in in the name of awareness – STOP and consider where your dollars may be more useful and may actually make the difference between finding a cure and not finding a cure.


Save a life today or sometime in the future by donating to the American Cancer Society or Stand Up To Cancer and help them eliminate the Elephant in the pink room.

Monday, April 2, 2012


fruits and vegEliminating pesticides in your diet is important to living healthy. Organic fruits and vegetables can be expensive and often limited. The list  below was compiled from various sources on the internet. It contains the fruits and vegetables grown with the most pesticides, ranked from worst to bad. The clean fifteen fruits and vegetables are grown with the least amount of pesticides, ranked from best to not so good.  It's a guide. Remember, organic is best, but take this list with you to the grocery store to help you to make better choices about the foods you eat. No need to get obsessive over it. If you can't find something organic that's on the bottom of the dirty dozen list, buy it anyway. Your body will forgive  you some transgressions. Just keep it as clean as possible.

THE DIRTY DOZEN: Ranked from worst to bad. Taken from various internet sources

1.  Peach
2.  Apple
3.  Bell pepper
4.  Celery
5.  Nectarine
6.  Strawberries
7.  Cherries
8.  Kale
9.  Lettuce
10. Grapes
11. Pear

THE CLEAN FIFTEEN: Ranked from best to not so good. Taken from various internet sources.

1.  Onion
2.  Avocado
3.  Sweet corn
4.  Pineapple
5.  Mango
6.  Asparagus
7.  Sweet peas
8.  Kisi
9.  Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet potato



H-KUVINGS-NS-850.jpg Kuvings Silent JuicerThe health benefits of juicing are endless. This is the one thing that you definitely need to add to your daily routine to help fight off disease, including cancer. Juicing fruits and vegetables makes nutrients immediately available in your system. No matter how big of an appetite you have, you could never eat as many vegetables whole as you could by juicing.

A 3 to 1 ratio / vegetables to fruit, is recommended. Green vegetables like kale, spinach, celery, romaine, zucchini, etc. on their own can be unpalatable especially for the newbie juicer. Adding fruit like apples and pears to the vegetables drastically improves the taste. Improving the taste will ensure that you actually juice daily and then actually drink it. Start with just one juice a day and increase as you develop a knack for the art of juicing. I started out juicing carrots and apples. I would add six whole carrots to two apples. The result was delicious. I later graduated to the more advanced green juices.

There are many types of juicers on the market. They are all good and they each have their own benefits and drawbacks. The least expensive of the juicer options operate by centrifugal force. A lot of juicing snobs will tell you that these products are inferior as they don’t extract enough juice. Some say that the heat generated by the fast movement of the spinning device actually kills the nutrients. I’m not convinced of the accuracy of these statements. I use a centrifugal force juicer and find that the pulp left behind is very dry. Also, I’ve felt the juicer immediately after juicing (after the machine stops whirring) and have not felt any significant heat and my extracted juice is always cold.

Do your research on the different types of juicers and let your budget be your guide. Juicers can run anywhere from $150 to $900. Whichever way you go, a juicer is a good investment in your health.

Below are just a few juicing recipes that I’ve found. Try them, but remember to adjust to your own tastes. Add fruit if more sweetness is desired trying not to make every juice 90% fruit. You do need your green vegetables, but if you won’t drink it, it’s not helping. Don’t be afraid – it’s only kale.

If there are any avid juicers out there, please add your recipes in the comment section and I'll make sure they get posted. Let me know if you'd like to be recognized for your recipe and I'll add your name and your link if you have one. We can’t have too many juice recipes here.

My First Juice
Easing my way into the world of juicing
By Salli

6 whole carrots (organic recommended)
2 apples (red or green), stem removed

Juice above ingredients. Enjoy

Fresh Cucumber & Carrot Juice
By Salli

2 large whole carrots (washed, topped)
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)

Juice and Enjoy

Power Punch
By Salli

2 cups kale (washed)
2 cups parsley (washed)
1 cup spinach leaves (washed)
1 apple (stem removed)
3 stalks celery (washed)
1/2 green bell pepper (washed, stem removed)

Juice and Enjoy.

Sweet Dreams
Recipe taken from Jack LaLanne's Secrets of Power Juicing

1" piece of ginger root
3 stalks celery
1/2 small head cabbage
1 green pepper
1 apple (stem removed)
Juice all of the above ingredients. Then add the juice to a blender with 1 banana and 1/2 cup of milk (substitute milk of your choise, use soy milk or nut milks for added health benefits).


Beach Body
Recipe taken from Jack LaLanne's Secrets of Power Juicing

3 carrots (washed and topped)
2 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1/2 cup parsley (washed)
1 small beet
1 apple (stem removed)

Juice and Enjoy

Power Up
Recipe taken from Jack LaLanne's Secrets of Power Juicing

4 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1 apple (stem removed)
1/2 green bell pepper

Juice and Enjoy

Salad in a Glass
Recipe taken from Jack LaLanne's Secrets of Power Juicing

1 tomato
1/2 head romaine lettuce
2 stalks celery
1 carrot
1/2 red bell pepper

Juice and Enjoy.

Rainbow Surprise
Recipe taken from Jack LaLanne's Secrets of Power Juicing

1 stalk celery
4 carrots
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1 yellow squash
1 zuccini
1 apple (stem removed)

Juice and Enjoy. Serve over ice.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Physical fitness is increasingly being viewed as a highly effective way to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Regardless of whether you have just been diagnosed, are undergoing treatment, or are in remission, increasing your level of physical fitness will bring multiple positive benefits into your life. Exercise improves brain function, mood, energy levels and even sleep quality.

If you are not currently in good physical shape in terms of your fitness, it is one of the best things you can do for your body, especially now that you have been diagnosed with cancer. Even tough cancers like mesothelioma are easier to fight when you have more energy, sleep better, and have an immune system that works properly.

People who exercise tend to have more energy throughout the day. When you are undergoing treatment, you may often have feelings of extreme fatigue that prevent you from getting things done, spending time with family and friends, and just enjoying life. Physical exercise will boost your energy levels. It does this by raising your metabolic level- the rate at which you burn energy. This leads to fat loss, a trimmer figure, and more energy to fight the cancer.

Physical exercise such as resistance training has another benefit: it increases muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass allows you to burn more energy, even at rest. Fat just sits there on your body. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be, even when you aren't working out.

Increasing your fitness level through exercise will also improve your quality of sleep. When you work your body, it requires rest to repair itself. Although you may feel fatigued from your cancer treatments that is not the same as fatigue from work. You may sleep fitfully, and you may not reach the deeper levels of REM sleep necessary for deep, repairing sleep.

A recent survey in the Mental Health and Physical Activity journal found that men and women who got 150 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly saw a 65 percent improvement in their quality of sleep. Similar results were discovered for leg cramps during sleep and difficulty concentrating while fatigued.  

Yet another positive benefit you will experience from starting an exercise routine is a mood boost. That's because exercise increases levels of chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals are the natural "feel good" drugs of the body. Vigorous exercise releases them into your body, dampening feelings of pain and soreness and leaving you with a calm feeling.

If you decide to take up exercise, be sure to consult with your doctor to find a type of exercise you can perform at an intensity that is appropriate for your current condition.

Written by Guest Author, David Haas

exerciseExercising and Pain

We all know how important regular exercise is to staying healthy and fit. We especially need to stay fit when we’re fighting cancer. Regular exercise will keep our immune system functioning and will give us the edge we need in our fight against cancer. If your cancer has spread to your bones, regular exercise may be challenging, if not impossible due to pain. You may think that exercising cannot be part of your routine anymore. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You may actually hinder your healing by not exercising on a regular basis.

Before starting any type of exercise program, it is important to consult with your doctor to make sure that these suggested exercises are right for you and that no damage will result by performing these simple exercise routines. Every diagnosis, situation and pain level is different and may affect everyone differently. So ask your doctor first to keep yourself safe.

For me, my breast cancer has spread to my spine causing me severe pain. It hinders my ability to run and even to walk any distance. Daily chores are just that – a chore and sometimes impossible to do. There are days where I can’t even get up off the couch, but this doesn’t stop me from getting my 15 minutes of exercise daily.

First, buy yourself a set of 5 lb. weights (or heavier if you can handle it). Sit on the couch and do simple weight lifting with your arms.

Exercise 1:  Put a 5 lb weight in each hand and extend over your head in a series of 5, then rest. Continue with another set of 5, then rest. Continue doing this for as long as you can. Don’t overdo it your first time. Remember, a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

Exercise 2: Put a 5 lb weight in each hand and extend outward in front of you. This may be a little more difficult so pace yourself. Do a group of 5 followed by a short resting period. Do as many groups of 5 as you can handle remembering not to overdo your first time. You can gradually increase the number of repetitions as you become stronger.

Exercise 3: Put a 5 lb weight in each hand and bend your arms upward keeping your elbows at your side. As in the above exercises, do as many groups of 5 as you can and remember to rest in between each set.

Exercise 4: Leg lifts: Lie on your back or in your favorite recliner and lift your legs upward as high as you can in repetitions of 5 on one leg, then 5 on the other leg. Rest, then repeat as many times as you comfortably can. Increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger.

Exercise 5: Leg Bends: Lie on your back or in your favorite recliner with legs outstretched. Bend your legs towards you at the knees in repetitions of 5 resting in between each repetition. To make it a little easier at first, do one leg at a time. Make sure that your spine is strong enough to handle this type of exercise as this exercise will put pressure on your lower back. Always check with your doctor first before beginning any kind of an exercise routine with bone metastasis.

A good cardio exercise that also strengthens the legs is bike riding. Riding a bike does not put as much pressure on the spine as running or even walking and will definitely get the heart pumping. Investing in a good stationery bike is an ideal way to accomplish this.

Look for a low impact Yoga class. Yoga is an exceptional way to stay fit and flexible. Remember to inform the instructor of your condition and to do the routine at your own pace and level. Never overdo. You will end up doing more damage to yourself than good. Pace yourself and be patient. Work up to a more advanced workout.

Here is a link to a Yoga DVD that is cancer patient oriented. This may be more suited to someone who does not want to attend a Yoga class outside the home.

 In time you’ll see that you are feeling better and that you have more energy. The more you sit around and do nothing, the more fatigue and depression set in.  Force yourself to do at least one of these exercises daily. Even on the days where you don’t feel like getting out of bed, do your leg lifts.  Without realizing it, you’ll get a burst of energy that will get you out of bed ready to take on the day.