Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gratitude Wednesdays - Safe Travel

Today my son and his fiancé left to start a new life in Boulder CO. They are extremely excited about the adventure and the anticipation of living in a different environment from the one they grew up in VA. They hopped into the car and moving truck and off they went for their 28 hour drive to Boulder.

How many times do we get into the car, plane or train and take it for granted that we will arrive safely at the other end? If you stop and think about how many things have to go right for that to happen and the number of times it always does (thank God) it’s a miracle when we do arrive safely.

Today, I would like us to think about just that…how often we don’t even notice that we did arrive safely. As you get into your car to go to work or school or to the store, just notice that you arrived safely and be thankful for that miracle. These are the things that when we start to notice them, leads us to a path of gratitude.

How many other things do you take for granted in your everyday life? Start to look for the obvious miracles, be thankful for them and over time see how they have pleasantly changed your life.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Time to Put Your Walking Shoes On!

Get your walking shoes and friends ready for another great walk season. If you’ve never participated in a breast cancer walk, now is the time to do it. It is one of the most inspiring, encouraging and energetic events that you will ever be blessed to be a part of. The vibe in the crowd is awesome and you will meet amazing survivors who have been through hell and back. They are our real inspiration and make every step easier to take.

Breast cancer walks occur in every major city in this country from April to November. You can choose a 5K walk or 2-3 day walks to show your support. The walks take place in many small communities throughout this wonderful country too. Many women form teams to competitively raise money while others walk to honor loved ones and to show solidarity. As many of you know, I participated in my first Komen Walk for the Cure in Washington DC in 2007. It was this very walk that inspired me to design our beautiful line of partyware. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t pink ribbon partyware for our post walk luncheon and thought women deserved it, so I created it! The partyware makes great fundraising items and are perfect for walk day celebrations and all occasions where friends and family gather.

I really encourage you to participate in a walk near you to experience one of the most awesome feelings you’ll ever have and to support a great cause. I’m including a link to all of the major walks for 2010, but be sure to look for ones in your community too. I would love to see pictures and hear stories about your walk experience so please share! Let me know if you need any fundraising items or ideas…happy walking!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gratitude Wednesdays - Making Connections

Today we’re going to give thanks for the many special people we all have in our lives. Oftentimes we take them for granted and assume they will always be there for us. How many times have we put off calling a friend because we didn’t have time? How often do we say to ourselves that we need to get in touch with “Annie” and catch up? Where does the time go? Before we know it, several months have passed us by and we haven’t made the connection.

The ironic thing is this…most of the things that keep us from connecting with our loved ones will always be there. Whether it’s the yard work, a project, the housework, you get the idea, it’s not going anywhere…unfortunately our friends and family won’t always be there. Too often we hear stories about finding the time to call “Annie” and all of a sudden one day we no longer have to fret about it as “Annie” is no longer with us.

Don’t wait for your “Annie” to check out without talking to you first. You have the power to place that call and make that connection. Studies show that people who maintain connections with others are happier. Add friends to your gratitude circle each day and take the time to keep in touch, it’s good for health and friendship.

How’s your gratitude attitude today?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Do Your Homework First

Many women let the words “you have breast cancer” mean they have to hurry up and get rid of it. I am not suggesting that you don’t, but what I am suggesting is before jumping into a treatment plan blindly, take some time and become knowledgeable about the disease that will now consume all of your time.

For example, when I received my diagnosis, I was given a list of surgeons to call. Just so happens that the surgeon who removed my gallbladder was top on the list. I thought it was odd that a surgeon who removed gallbladders also removes cancer. My husband thought we should call this surgeon and get the process going as soon as possible. I on the other hand, wanted to learn as much about this disease as I could and make decisions based on what I learned.

I read an excellent book “The Breast Cancer Survival Manual” by John Link, M.D. It is a great resource for newly diagnosed women with breast cancer written as a step by step guide and easy to understand. In reading this book and talking with my doctor I realized that I had some time (4-6 weeks) to research and arrive at what I thought was best for me.
One of the first things I decided was that I wanted a surgeon who specialized in removing cancer from breasts not a general surgeon to remove my cancerous tumor. So that is who is sought. I also realized that a second opinion on the biopsy is important since this is what the treatment is based on. I am glad I did this too, as there was a minor difference that was found with my biopsy.

My point in all of this is…be your own advocate. Make sure you learn everything you can so that when you are presented with options you are better equipped to choose the one that is best for you. I took about 3 weeks to research and learn as much as I could. I am so glad I did as I believe it made a huge difference for me in making the decisions that I did. Give yourself the gift of time and do your homework first…

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gratitude Wednesdays Kick Off Today

Today kicks off a new feature every Wednesday, called Gratitude Wednesdays. Giving gratitude each and every day should become one of our practices. If you aren’t there yet, hopefully this weekly post will remind you to do so on Wednesday’s and that will be a great start!

As we go through our day, most of us get caught up in the day’s agenda whether it’s prepping for that big meeting at work, doing well in school, getting the kids where they need to be, you know the drill. Some of us say, yea, yea, I am grateful for my health, my family, my job, my pets… you know, the BIG obvious things that we all fall back on when queried. Gratitude Wednesday’s should make you stop for a moment and be grateful for the LITTLE things in life that for the most part go unrecognized in your day.

A wonderful way to start your practice is when you awaken each day, be thankful that you indeed woke up and when those feet hit the floor and you are breathing and walking, the day can only go uphill from there. Many of us take this for granted and over look this gift of life that we are given each and every day. Do you know that according to the US 2000 Census data there were 49.7 million disabled Americans? How many of them do you think would like to change places with you every day?
As your day unfolds, look for more things to be grateful for, such as your safe travels, the beautiful birds and flowers in your yard, the many friends you have in your life, the yummy muffin you had for breakfast or the time you had to read your favorite book. Just look around and you will find an abundance of gratitude if you just look for it.

As we practice our Gratitude Wednesdays and recognize the small things in our lives that we are thankful for, we’ll start to recognize the abundance we already have and stop looking for the things we don’t have. Over time you will be amazed at the power of gratitude.

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pardon My Diversion

As you may have noticed, when I started my blog, I started sharing my personal journey with breast cancer and then veered off that path. I didn’t think anyone would find it particularly interesting, so I took a break to sort things out. Turns out, some of you are interested in hearing about my journey and I am now a bit savvier about blogging, so I am re-launching my blog today. There are lots of things I would like to share with all of you as we go down this path together, but for now I would like you to know why I am the person I am today and why Celebrate In Pink was born. Let’s start over and hit the road together….

I am a loving wife to Greg, mother to Robbie, Shawn and Zeppelin (our four legged son), entrepreneur, nature loving, dog enthusiast, perennial self help seeker who drew the breast cancer card in May 2005. I don’t believe in coincidences, rather that happenings are orchestrated for a reason. For example, feeling at a disadvantage in dealing with my thyroid issues, January 2005 I decided to sign up for a semester long course ‘Anatomy and Medical Terminology’ so that I could participate in a meaningful conversation with my doctors. I highly recommend a course like this for everyone as we need to be our own health advocates. Little did I know that I was taking this class whic was preparing me for the four words no woman wants to hear “you have breast cancer”. With the information I learned in class, I was able to understand much more of the ‘sounds like greek to me speak’ I was in for, which made a big difference in how I approached things.

So, unbeknownst to me, this was the ground work that was being laid for me to start the journey I had no idea I was about to take…stay tuned for how I approached my treatment plan.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hangin' in the Big Easy

Arrived in New Orleans on Sunday after spending a wonderful wedding weekend in Jackson, AL. It's my first time in NOLA, as the locals call it, and the day couldn't have been grander. The 70 degrees and sunny weather was awesome and much needed. We immediatley headed to the French Quarter to check it out. Boy, what a happening place! It was a lot of fun just people watching and listening to the music!

We took a city tour today which included the many districts that make up the city and the infamous Ward 9 where Katrina left her biggest mark. While it was depressing seeing the homes either abandoned or still unrepaired, it was encouraging to see the many homes that have been rebuilt. I can't imagine what it was like for this city and these neighborhoods to endure what they have, to get to this point. What a display of courage and determination, you can feel it all around here...kudos to NOLA!

I'm glad we decided to visit New Orleans, it gave me a renewed appreciation and reminded me once again that it is life that counts, not houses or cars or stuff...we all need a gentle reminder every now and then.