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A Happy Belated Halloween!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hello My Beauties~

To begin, I must strongly and sincerely apologize for my absence these past few weeks. October is a rather hectic month for me and my family. It is, as we all know, Breast Cancer Awareness month. Part of my mother’s career is to travel and tell her story of her breast cancer survival. October is when she is requested the most to speak in certain areas of the U.S. She is gone practically all month travelling, and when she is home, she works her behind off (is it isn’t bad form to admit publically) and whatever energy she has left, she uses to take care of her family. She is truly a very strong woman. However, her absence in our household effects many aspects of our daily lives. I wake up early to prepare myself and my siblings for the school day ahead. I do my little sisters’ hair; help them and my little brother dress, then scramble to fix myself up before I head out the door. Whether my father takes me to school, or I have no alternative but to walk, it’s always a difficulty to maintain a positive attitude when facing the long day ahead. With my day being filled with AP classes, homework, the musical, and my select theatre plays, I’ve had no time to bond with my family. My days begin at 6am and I usually don’t get home until 8:30-9pm due to rehearsals and what not. Saturdays aren’t easy, either. Set construction for the musical from 9am to 6pm. By that time, I help take care of my siblings then do my homework. Sundays, I wake up early and prepare myself and my siblings, as usual, for church. The day goes on and I get my homework done, while pushing my siblings to do the same. My mother is usually gone for a short span of time before she comes home, then leaves a day or so afterwards. The worst of the worst is when she has no choice but to be separated from us for a week or more at a time. My mother loves my family, her church, and her job. She says continually that she is so grateful for everything she has. She always tells me to be grateful, and how can I not be? I have a wonderful family, food, clothing, shelter, etc. I have more than what some people can only dream of. I am more than grateful for that, so who am I to complain about this routine? My selfish human nature; unfortunately, tends to get the best of me~

I miss my mother more than anything when she travels. When she’s gone, my everyday life is this stressful mess that no one can help me untangle. She keeps me sane and the world along with it. Her calmness keeps serenity in my life that no one can replace. When I think of where I would be had breast cancer claimed her life, I shudder. I would not be who I am today. This is why she travels. She travels to tell her story not only to speak to those who can make a difference, but to give hope, strength, and the same serenity she gives to me to all those who are where she has been and where she is now. I love my mother, and I can honestly say, in all selfishness, that I’m glad she’s back home for as long as she can be. 



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Friendships

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I recently read a personal essay by Phillip Lopate about friendship. It was an extraordinary essay that was very well written; however, there was an element that I did not agree with. “Friends can’t be your family, they can’t be your loves, they can’t be your physiatrists. But they can be your friends, which is plenty,” (Riverside Reader, p. 279-280). From a logical standpoint, I can understand what Lopate is getting across. From an emotional standpoint; however, as a very emotional thinker myself, such “logic” isn’t comprehensible.

I’m not critiquing this man’s writing. How could I? Who am I in comparison to a professional writer? I am just an emotional writer and thinker. I write about subjects from the heart, and where has that gotten me?

I bring this quote up to write about something truly emotional for me: friendship. Why do I disagree with this singular quote? Why does it upset me so? Experiences with my best friend Ashley have made be believe an opposing opinion.   

Ashley has been my best friend since the 6th grade and we are able to talk about anything and everything. She has helped me become who I am today by playing many important roles in my life. Not only is she the best friend, but she is also the wise, older sister I never had, the mother, the teacher, and the open arms that I can always hold onto and cry when I don't know where to turn. She has been a great impact and influence on me from the moment we met up to now. 

We all have values that have been influenced by loved ones, family, significant others, and the like. That is what makes these opinions so personal and important to us. We all have that one person who means the most to us. Granted, we have our ups and our down; however, there is nothing better than those good "ups". Those moments are what should be cherished whether they are for a life time or a short while. Love the ones your with every day, and tell them how much they mean to you. 



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Breast Cancer Fundraiser~

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Hello my beauties~

So I have a story to tell you all today. Friday and Saturday night I volunteered for a Breast Cancer fundraiser. It was one of those Haunted Houses. :) I got to dress up as a female vampire. A "Draculina" if you will. It was so much fun!! It was actually suggested by my Select Theatre class in school. 

The best part of the whole ordeal was that it was an independent fundraiser by an elderly couple and their grandson. Bless their hearts for it, but unfortunately there wasn't much advertising beforehand. What did that mean? We didn't get to many "victims" to scare and; therefore, not a lot of money for the cause.

But you know...

That's not the point. The amount of money raised? Yes, it's nice and makes a difference; however, what's more important was the fact that these kind people went out of their way to sacrifice a weekend for helping find the cure. It was a small gesture, but every amount of love is needed. 

It makes my heart so very happy to know that such goodness is alive today!! It's warming to know that people care. I'm not sure what the grand total raised was, but I do know that we had so much fun doing what we love for one of the greatest causes I know. 

 



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Please Take the Time to Smile :)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

  

Hello My Beauties~

 I apologize for not writing a blog last week! I've been so busy with school and theatre. I am now in 5 theatrical productions. It's been very exciting and a great experience, but rather stressful. Breast Cancer, in many ways, is also stressful; but always has an experience that we can learn from. The treatments, the pain, and the new exhaustion for simple tasks can wear anyone down; however, it is so easy to let your mind become just as down and under as the body is.  The slippery slope of depression and helplessness is very real.  But I am going to tell you - don't let cancer consume your mind too! 

Having Cancer yourself or being a close witness to a loved one with Cancer can be a way of learning new ways of life. The mind has always been a place where one can escape too. The mind is a personal haven that cannot be controlled by anyone but yourself.  So, in your everyday life, think of the good that comes from this disease! Think about your family, your job, your hopes and dreams. Take the time to smile and laugh at least once a day. Go about your normal day and don’t let Cancer control you. On a side note, studies have shown that those who think positively and are healthy mentally spend less time in the hospital than those who do not.  

I wish all of you luck in your battle against Cancer. One day, we will find the cure. Have a splendid week and remember to find one thing to smile about. J



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My Very First Vlog for the Breast Cancer Sisterhood

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Hello My Beauties~
This is my first official vlog for the Breast Cancer Sisterhood channel. I wanted to try something a little different from the normal written blogs that I do. If you, my dear readers/viewers, do not like it, please tell me. I will gladly go back to writing for you all. I'd love your feedback, commentary, suggestions, etc. etc. I apologize for this completely unedited; however, I did this to show you all who I am, completely uncut. I am a real person with real flaws, like everyone else. I am like you and I love you all. 



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September 11th... 10 Years Later

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hello my Beauties~

Where were you ten years ago on September 11th, 2001? I was in the 1st grade. Like most of my peers, I don't remember exactly what happened. I remember that I asked my dad if I could watch Godzilla, since it was on T.V. at the time. My mom says that I thought the attacks were actually part of the movie, with buildings being destroyed left and right. I was so young. It was a month before my first sister was born. I think of her birth now as a way to distract my family from the horrors that occurred one month prior. 

It's was a horrific event. Words cannot even describe...

Ten years later, thousands gathered at the memorial today. In my youth group, we discussed what we believed the purpose of the attacks were. We came to the conclusion that it was to break apart our country. It was an attempt to tear the people away from what we stood for as a Nation. What they did was in vain. This tragedy brought out country closer together than it ever had before. We stood together. And ten years later, we honor those who died with great love and respect. 

God Bless America.


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My Story

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Hello my beauties~
Happy early Labor Day!!
Last week I gave you all a very light version of my story about my mother's breast cancer. My entry today is all about my perspective of the story and some of the difficulties that ensued.<PREVIEWEND>

For the first 10 years of my life, I lived in Chicago. Every year, my mom participated in a cancer fundraiser. The first year I joined her I was in a stroller and wasn't even a year old and already on my first walk-a-thon. All I remember about doing them for the first few years is that we would go to the Shedd Aquarium afterwards and we were always tired, but happy. There were always thousands of people, crowded around, walking up and down the lake shore. I know we kids didn't really know why we were doing it, but we always knew it must be pretty important.

I knew that we did the walk for my Grandma Roberta because we had her name written on the number signs we wore on our backs (and strollers). I never got to meet my Grandma Roberta because she died of Breast Cancer years before I was even born. Every time something big happens in our lives, I can see it in my mom's eyes, even though she never says it- I wish your grandma was here to see this.

I was ten years old when my mom came to pick me up early one day from school. We sat in the parking lot facing the playground when she told me that she had Breast Cancer. I was so scared, and not just because I knew people who got cancer often died. The most frightening part for me was that my mom had just found out she was pregnant a few weeks before that. Here we were, starting to have a bigger family, and we didn't even know how long our mom would be with us. My two sisters were too little to understand what was going on, and to be honest, I didn't really understand everything she was telling me either. 

The first doctor she found told her that she had to end her pregnancy, but my mom would never consider something like that. She has always told us that her children are her miracles, we are her life. So her friends from work told her about Dr. George Sledge down in Indianapolis. He was doing some great work, and she might as well just go down and see what he had to say. My mom drove down there all by herself for that first meeting, and he told her that he would save the baby AND save her, too.

We were all still very scared, but someone had given my mom hope, so she was ready to do whatever it took. They would give her chemotherapy before the baby was born, then do surgery and radiation after. I had no idea what chemo was, but I know that everyone around my mom was talking about it constantly. She explained it like this: Chemo is like a big elephant who has to go into a china shop and find one thing. He sees what he needs at the very back of the store and goes to get it, but on the way he knocks over everything on the shelves. So yes, the cancer would be taken care of; however, along the way, my mom would have a few things that wouldn't work as well as they used to. She would get tired and not want to eat as much...and she would have no hair. 

It took a long time fore her to have the baby...or it seemed that way. She had chemotherapy the whole time, and even had to have extra shots and such to make sure the baby was developing right. The baby doctors worked with the cancer doctors, and our whole family just prayed that they would be able to fix it all.

In April of the next year, we all (my father, two sisters and myself) went to the hospital for the baby's birthday. We didn't know if it would be a boy or girl, if the baby would be healthy or need to stay in the hospital for a long time. But we all found out that that morning that my little brother Noah was strong and healthy. Both he and my mom we OK. My mom had a few more surgeries and radiation treatments after that.

My brother is a skinny little 6 year old who I love dearly, but he is so naughty sometimes! We all love him. It's truly incredible to see such a joy in my life that came from such a horrific experience. Cancer is a disgusting disease that affects so many lives. But by working together, I believe that one day we WILL find a cure. 

  

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Hello my beauties~

Sunday, August 28, 2011

©Survivorship Media Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Alexandra Elizabeth, but you may call me Alex. Or Alexandra, I have no preference. Personally, I think Alexandra sounds more elegant. Anyways, I am 17 years old. I'm a senior in high school and one of the youngest in my class. So right now, I'm going through all the normal stresses that a senior has. Applying to schools and for scholarships, keeping up my grades, being paranoid about getting accepted or not, etc. My mother tells me not to worry but...it's in my nature to freak out. :)
 
Moving on, this is my first blog ever. So I'm super excited to get started and receive feedback from everyone. My personal goal with my blog is to tell you all my story and see if I can inspire anyway. For a brief introduction: My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 10 years old. Not only that, but she was pregnant at the time. By sharing my story, I want to give hope to those who have breast cancer, who are friends or loved ones of those with any cancer, or anyone who need love or advice with...anything.

When my mother was diagnosed, one of the greatest elements that helped us overcome the horrors of cancer was friendship. Just having someone to talk to made all the difference in the world with how our every day lives played out. I'd like you all to think of me as your friend, and friends are always there to listen, give advice and give undying love.

So my friends, let the shenanigans commence!!


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