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Pink Think

Updated on May 10, 2014

Is There Life After Cancer?

As strange as it may sound, my life has been enriched by cancer in so many ways. Things that used to be important are not, and in the same vein, things that once were not, now are. My Christian self has changed for the better. I can be grateful that God has brought me through this and asked me to experience it (not that I want to do it again, mind you). Sadly, I've discovered that I am a much better Christian when I am suffering in abject misery; this is not a very flattering thing to realize about yourself but whether I like to admit it or not it's true.

I have met some truly amazing people on this journey, and it is my biggest hope that reading this will help another patient somewhere. Anywhere. Even if it's only one person, I want you to know that there really is life after cancer; and sometimes it's even better than the one you had before.


Cancer Radically Alters People's Perspective

It doesn't take too many days sporting an "Uncle Fester" before you develop a whole new attitude about your hair. You will learn to appreciate those "bad hair days" (or ANY hair days, for that matter).

My biggest change since my own folicular based attitude adjustment? Biblically speaking I've opted to let my "splendor" show; I'm not coloring my hair anymore. Hey I'm so tickled my hair didn't come out of a box this morning, WHO CARES what color it is??? ;o)

A Note to The Newly Diagnosed - The 1-2-3's of managing that mania of medical information

The absolute best analogy I've ever heard used to describe the initial phase of a cancer diagnosis was, "It's like drinking water from a fire hose". The diagnosis alone is staggering, but the deluge of information that follows said diagnosis can be completely overwhelming (I know I certainly learned far more medical terminology than I EVER wanted to know, and that was only the first five minutes after I got my diagnosis :o) Here are a couple of suggestions to help you keep it straight...

ONE - Get a notebook to keep all of your information in one place (I entertained myself by decorating mine with some bling in a pink ribbon design on the spine).

TWO - A simple business card holder made for notebooks is perfect for keeping track of the plethora of business cards you will wind up with (oncologist, surgeon, treatment center, etc.)

THREE - Make some tabs to keep your information separate and make it easy to find.

All of these items were found in the school supply section of a local store (well, except the bling - I took a detour down the craft aisle :o)

Take someone with you to your appointments if you can to take notes - OR - keep notebook paper handy to take your own notes (you may think you'll remember it all, but chances are you won't). I also keep a small binder clip attached to the front of my notebook to hold my next appointment reminder and keep a list of my meds tucked behind my driver's license in my wallet (just in case :o)

The best way to combat chemo-brain? Write it ALL down so you can read it all back (for yourself or to your doctor)

The best way to combat chemo-brain? Write it ALL down so you can read it all back (for yourself or to your doctor)
The best way to combat chemo-brain? Write it ALL down so you can read it all back (for yourself or to your doctor)

Do I have to have a mammogram right at 40? Does it matter?

YES! Earlier, than that if you have a strong family history. Consider this: I had a less than 1% chance of having cancer (healthy, exercised daily, not overweight, yadda-yadda-yadda) and guess what? I was diagnosed with cancer my FIRST mammogram (at age 40).

So get 'em squashed ladies!

At times the cure can seem worse than the disease...

At times the cure can seem worse than the disease...
At times the cure can seem worse than the disease...

WooHoo! An awesome new organization...

Giving patients "One less thing to worry about"

Fighting cancer is difficult enough, but living with it is even tougher - and that's where the Cleaning for A Reason Foundation steps in. This newly formed nonprofit offers free professional housecleaning, and maid services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer - any type of cancer.

Visit Cleaning for a Reason

A superbig thank you to Ann, for positing this marvelous information on her blog: Snap Edit Scrap

A Note to Family and Friends

Being Supportive: What can you do?

It is hard sometimes to know exactly what to do when someone close to you has been diagnosed with a devastating illness, particularly cancer. Treatments are tailored to each patient and everyone responds differently. While it's almost impossible to fully understand the physical, mental, and emotional impact of cancer and treatment (unless you've been there yourself), you CAN be empathetic.

Remember that it can be hard for people to ask for help; particularly when they are used to being able to do for themselves (I had a terrible time with that one!) Below are some ideas on how to help someone going through treatment, (be sure to factor in age, lifestyle, and personality :o)

♥ MEALS ♥ - Fix some "heat and eat" food for the patient and their family; ask them what they feel like eating (and they may not be sure - chemo can alter your taste buds drastically!) I couldn't eat chocolate during treatment; it tasted terrible (and how awful is that?) Suggest some comfort foods like mashed potatoes or macaroni & cheese. Don't use a lot of salt or spices when you prepare it; some of the medications can cause bloating and mouth sores which salt and spices will only make worse. Be sure to put it in something disposable so they won't have to worry about washing the dishes afterward; you could even fix up a little tote and include plastic flatware, fun paper plates, napkins and even a pretty little plant or some flowers in a vase (but please note that anything scented can be dicey if they are even a little nauseous).

♥ ERRANDS ♥ - Offer to do some shopping for them or give them a ride to the store (sometimes just a little extra help can go a long way :o) Drop them off and pick them up at the door and offer to help unpack any groceries.

♥ CLEANING ♥ - Pitch in with a group (unless you're independently wealthy) and hire someone to come and clean during treatment. Unfortunately, housework is usually the first casualty in the "new war", and it can add to a patient's depression and frustration to watch things rapidly pile up when they simply don't have the energy to deal with it.

♥ KIDS ♥ - Offer to help with the kids. Take them to a movie or out for an activity and give the patient time to rest (and some peace and quiet). Kids (of all ages) seem to have a built in sensor; I noticed that on the days I felt my absolute worst were the same days my teenager's attitude was at its obnoxious best. Keep in mind that this is very hard for the children too; Mom's world isn't the only one cancer turned upside down.

♥ DISTRACT ♥ - Arrange some girl time; get a selection of movies you know she'd like to watch and just hang out. Find someone to take the kids; or, if there are two TVs in the house (and they can behave) bring them a movie of their own to watch in another room. Offer to do some laundry while you're sitting there (even if you only fold one load, it's one less that she has to do later :o)

Cancer and treatment is a grueling experience; sometimes it's hard enough to just "exist". Tremulous emotions, forgetfulness and jumbled thoughts are very common with cancer and treatment - it pretty much messes up EVERYTHING - so just remember to be patient with your patient...(after all, it could have been you).

A few of my favorite distractions - Captivating comedies for chemo patients

After prayerful consideration, this was my daughter's response to my cancer diagnosis: - She decided to donate a full foot of her hair to Locks of Love (Isn't t


Has cancer touched your life? - or the life of someone you know?

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    • EmmaGraceEllis LM profile image

      EmmaGraceEllis LM 

      4 years ago

      5 Reasons why this lens is awesometastic!

      #1. so well written- I was completly engaged reading ever word of ths lens

      #2. C.R.A.P.P - such a beautiful perspective. Bless

      #3. LOVE LOVE LOVE your cancer organiser, super cool. Had i seen this 3 years ago when my Aunty was first diagnosed (she just lost her battle 27-4-2014 sadly) I would have made this for her. - Pink Bling was 'our thing' for events and new fashion direction ;-)

      #4. your jokes are all brilliant

      #5 your daughters tribute is nothing less than admiring!

      As I read through, I was touched all the way. I felt as though I could talk to you as a stranger and know you are 'the lady who wrote Pink Think".

      I laugh and want to cry at the same time, so many things you've written are reminders of my journey supporting my Aunty in her battle.

      Thank you for a 360 degrees spin of emotions!

      Take care of yourself

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I know that Synchrotron X-rays are now used to detect breast cancer instead of the traditional mammogram. This method also uses 25% less radiation. I don't know if this is a choice in your area, but patients prefer this test.

    • blue22d profile image


      6 years ago

      I do appreciate your joke "If women controlled medicine". So many times I have mentioned that to the lady attendant when I have my mammograms. Great lens.

    • justmelucy profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful Lens! Being October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I share this lens on FB and I am sending links to some special ladies in my life. Thank you for sharing your insight and experience.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      Well, I'm very touched by the photos of your daughter cutting her beautiful hair. What a generous thing to do. You must be very proud of her.

    • tlc1210 lm profile image

      tlc1210 lm 

      6 years ago

      Awesome lens. My mom is a breast cancer survivor. Love the Manogram!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      My mom's a BC survivor. I always love to see people raising awareness about the pink.

    • LotusLandry profile image


      6 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you for the lens..... I had a cancer that needs a Purple Think page as it has the most rapidly growing incidence.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! two thumbs up with you guys and great lens. This is the most informative article I have read about breast cancer.Keep it up! You can also visit our website and see some informative articles about breast cancer and win free breast cancer bracelets.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The actual lace front wigs ought to be saved on the hairpiece remain or perhaps a mannequin when it's not really utilized so the form is actually correctly maintained.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      7 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      You've been through a lot, I am in awe. I love this lens so much that I have nominated it for a Purple Star. Good luck, I know it won't be pink, but I hope you get one.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. Yes, every cancer patient must not give up until the last minute of their lives.

    • MissMinny profile image


      7 years ago

      Very helpful and informative lens. I appreciate the tips you've included as well as the links to more information. Wishing you the best!

      Miss Minny

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 

      7 years ago

      What a fantastic lens, my friend. I'm lensrolling it to my "pink" lenses. Cheers!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks so much for visiting my breast cancer story...cause it lead me to this many things about it made me smile...the firehose analogy, our calendars look almost identical (such a useful tool when nurses are constantly asking you info from prior weeks...the pic of your daughter's hair cut...the manogram LOL...and the thrive to survive slogan! It's all so true! I am pleased to say that on the 1 yr anniversary of my 1st chemo (yuck!) I will be run/walking in the Oct 3rd breast cancer 5k walk/run! (yippie!)...what a difference a year makes! I sincerely hope to get to your 4 year and forgetful stage :o) Hugs!

    • BrandyT LM profile image

      BrandyT LM 

      8 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for all the information. My mom and her sister both had breast cancer in their early 40's. They went through their radiation treatments and have been cancer free for a year now.

    • Pmona LM profile image

      Pmona LM 

      8 years ago

      A very thought provoking lens. I love the Manogram!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      9 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Superior lens.

      I hear congratulations are in order. Enjoy life as a Giant Squid!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      5 pink ribbons for this wonderful and light hearted touch to a deep subject. I'm due for my mammogram in 2 weeks. Diagnosed in 2001 and only had lumpectomy and radiation. My mother had a full mastectomy.

      A word to all women - go get squished! I'm waiting for the day they have drive-through in....well you get the picture, lol.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      9 years ago from USA

      This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story and your wonderful ideas, too! Blessed by a Joyful SquidAngel!

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 

      9 years ago

      great job. My ex husband's mom had breast cancer, my step dad has rectal caner, and my papa died over two years ago of cancer. I've seen what it can do on so many fronts. This was very well done with so much information. I am glad you are feeling better and doing well. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A touching story and you did such a great job giving facts but adding a touch of humor. I'm sorry you had to go through this at all but so happy that you would share your story to help others. I need to make an appointment I've been putting off for 2 years - I'm 42. The lab order has been in my purse for months. I need to just get it done.

      Truly a meaningful and important lens you've crafted. Thank you :)

    • marlene3 profile image


      9 years ago

      I really like your lens, easy navigation and good information. God Bless you, keep up the good work & much success. If you have time, please visit my site: Words of Encouragement- my 1st site, poem & testimony.

    • NanLT profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      Back when I had my plethra of mammograms and the needle localization biopsy, I found myself wishing outloud that men could be checked for testicular cancer in the same manner. Have lenrolled you back to my "Be a Part of Something Big" lens.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 

      9 years ago

      Thank You for Your story!

      I have lensrolled you to my "Brenda Ladun" lens.

    • MsSnow4 profile image

      Carol Goss 

      9 years ago

      Very nice lens. My cousin had breast cancer. So I do know a bit about thank you. I will lens roll this one to my Farrah fawcett lens

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      An incredible lens! I am touched. Yes, cancer has touched our lives in so many ways. We lost my grandmother to sarcoma of the uterus. We have a number of female friends who have survived breast cancer.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      9 years ago from Western Mass

      wonderful info - thanks! love the cartoon.. :)

    • hlkljgk profile image


      9 years ago from Western Mass

      wonderful info - thanks! love the cartoon.. :)

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 

      9 years ago

      I am so glad you overcame and thanks for your story 5*.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 

      9 years ago

      Brave, beautiful lens. Thank you for sharing your experiences here. 5*****

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This pink awareness page is a great lens. It's really beautiful. Thanks for visiting my lens Four Prophesies Unfolding Right Now.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      A beautiful lens. Thanks for sharing!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      9 years ago

      I'll be honest. The older I get, the more the thought of cancer scares me. I trust God and I know life here on Earth doesn't go on forever, but.... I live each day to its fullest. That's the best I can do.

      Beautiful lens


    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      9 years ago

      This is really wonderful. All the best to you. ***** and lensrolled to 7 cancer fighting foods as well as all my other health lenses.

    • Meloramus profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Cancer is such a complex subject and we can learn so much from those who have been there. 5*

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      This quote resonates with me, "I've discovered that I am a much better Christian when I am suffering in abject misery; this is not a very flattering thing to realize but whether I like to admit it or not it's true." Thanks for being honest about your life's experiences.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great information!! I'm sure you will help many with this!


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