Can you BELIEVE it’s October? I mean where does the time go? Speaking of time…October means it’s breast cancer awareness month, again. As a breast cancer survivor I know two things for sure 👉🏼breast cancer awareness is about more than buying pretty in pink packages. And 👉🏼early detection is the key to survival.
In order to catch cancer early you have to get to know your breasts.
I get it. The idea of poking around in your breast tissue is undesirable and uncomfortable. It feels weird. But, it can be the thing that helps you identify unusual lumps and bumps in the very early stages. Not all lumps are cancerous. In fact, experts say most aren’t. But you don’t want to take that chance. Trust me!So be sure to check your breasts EVERY month.
I don’t know how.
Before I was diagnosed I really didn’t know how to do my breast self-exams. I tried. I think I did okay. But I wish I’d known the correct way to do them. You can learn how to properly do your breast self-exams HERE
Get your mammogram.
Even if you do regular breast self-exams you should get your mammograms. Again, I know mammograms aren’t comfortable. Sometimes they even hurt. But combined with your personal exams, mammograms can help detect cancer in the very early stages. The sooner the better!
I’ve been so behind in posting, lately. It’s been a crazy-busy time here. One thing after another. And then there’s the days I just need to take a pause. A MENO-pause. The lack of hormones I produce in menopause seem to worsen certain days of the month. I call it “a dip.” And it’s a dip I feel as soon as it happens.
It’s very reminiscent of the PMS I used to get during my menstrual cycle. There’s about 7 to 10 days, every month, where I feel PMS-like for days at a time.
During this time I cope with a variety of symptoms from hating my clothes and everything about myself to feeling extremely sluggish. My memory fails the most in the dip. I can’t remember ANYTHING. People. Places. Things. And as for writing…well…I lose my ability to convey my thoughts, express my feelings or even form full sentences.
I’m in “the dip” now. It drives me mad.
That’s partly why there’s a lag between my posts.’ Just when I thought I’d overcome inconsistency, I realize that a major reason why I’m so inconsistent and behind is because menopause symptoms interfere with how my brain works. I’m in the midst of writing about this topic, now. I plan to have an interview with a brain doc, soon. Maybe we can learn more.
With all that said, I think we have two choices when we find ourselves in uncomfortable spots: learn to navigate life with them, or give up altogether. I’m not going to lie to you. I was close to giving up on blogging. I found myself thinking that maybe, after all I’ve been through, I’ve lost my ability to write, tell a story or pretty much do anything else since menopause descended upon me.
That’s a hard pill to swallow. I mean, I used to work for a Pulitzer-Prize winning publication. How can this happen? Did I forget who I was? After awhile it occurred to me, I started the blog for a number of reasons. One of them was to help me work through these challenges. Challenges I now have after fighting cancer, going through chemo and NOW coping with menopause. I think even the best in the world would have challenges after surviving something that big. So, I’ll be back. I have to stick with this. The end benefit is for me.
Do you have something that challenges you? Will you share it in the comments section? How do you cope with your setbacks?
Wherever you are, I hope you can find time to relax over the weekend and take a break from the bad news.
Relax. Breathe. Shelve the heavy topics if you can.
There’s no doubt summer is here. Yesterday, it was brutally hot in many parts of the country including, here.
The only thing that made the heat harder to deal with besides rolling blackouts is the California wildfires. As I write this, the California governor has declared California a state of emergency. So before I move on to the point of this article I just want to say “Thank you” to all the men and women who put their lives on the line to fight fires, save lives, homes and animals. And thank you to the families who must be in a constant state of worry during fire season.
With that said, today, I’m talking about heat stroke prevention. I’ve said it before, I know, but I truly believe prevention is the key to healthy and safe living.
But in order to prevent anything, we have to be aware. Aware of our body, gut and surroundings. When we get a symptom or a signal, we have to act swiftly.
With prevention in mind the following tips are brought to you by the CDC and the Mayo Clinic.
Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
Protect Against Sunburn.
Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself. So consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.
Drink Fluids. 💦
Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
Take Extra Precautions With CertainMedications.
I didn’t know this but apparently there are medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat. (Keep reading)
Medications that affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and respond appropriately to heat include some used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems (beta blockers, diuretics), reduce allergy symptoms (antihistamines), calm you (tranquilizers), or reduce psychiatric symptoms such as delusions (antipsychotics). Additionally, some illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can increase your core temperature.
Take it Easy During the Hottest Part of the Day.
If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
Never leave anyone in a parked car. Please.
This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes.
It’s not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
If you’d like to learn more about heat stroke prevention and causes please go to the Mayo Clinic or the CDC.
Last week, I was feeling a little sad. A little nostalgic. I miss going out to eat occasionally. I miss the freedom to travel and to visit with friends and family. I miss the random date nights outside of the house.
One of my favorite things to eat is hotpot cooking. The place we loved to go to was truly a gathering place for the community. There were neighbors we knew and neighbors we didn’t. But we all sat around the big table and ate and drank and laughed.
The last time we were there we met a younger couple who was newly dating. The guy started talking with us and sharing his trials. His challenges. His hopes and dreams. After all was said and done, we hugged and wished each other well.
I’ve always known that food had the power to bring people together—and as my husband would say “So does a good beer!” But that night in particular I truly saw the power of food. That night seemed a little more picturesque.
We had no idea it would be the last night we would eat out before the pandemic took over.
Until we can safely step out an gather, again, I hold onto the memories we made, and work towards making new ones…at home.
And, of course, when I think of that night, I think of the wonderful people who cooked for us and served us.