Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another Sister loses her battle

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Current mood: sad, yet inspired

I just came across this article on my yahoo news and had to do some more research. Kudos to Eva Ekvall for sharing and showing the world the ugly truth about breast cancer. For sharing her images. I know I've blogged about this before and how much I hate society for thinking breast cancer is just a simple pink ribbon we put on everything. No one ever talks about the real truth, the ugly ugly truth!

It's not about walking around in a pink haze in October. It's about getting the word out there and in my case and my cause getting the word out there to the young women. Don't think breast cancer doesn't affect women in their 20's and 30's cause it does and unfortunately the younger you are the more aggressive the cancer.

We need to show the "ugly" images of breast cancer. It's not all pretty pink ribbons, it's bald heads and weight gain from chemo and scars from mastectomies and chemo ports. And in my case another lovely scar on my arm from my surgery complication.

My thoughts and prayers are with Eva's family. What a courgeous woman and I look forward to reading your book.

Former Miss Venezuela dies of breast cancer at 28
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP)

Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by Venezuelans, has died at age 28.

Her family said Ekvall died Saturday at a hospital in Houston.

Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000, and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico. She went on to work as a model, actress and television news anchor.

She also authored a book, "Fuera de Foco" ("Out of Focus"), about her struggle with cancer, which included images by Venezuelan photographer Roberto Mata.

She told the newspaper El Nacional in an interview last year after the book was published that "I needed to send the message of the need for cancer prevention."

On the cover was a portrait in which she appeared with makeup and her head shaved. The book also included images of her while going through chemotherapy.

"I hate to see photos in which I come out ugly," Ekvall told El Nacional. "But you know what? Nobody ever said cancer is pretty or that I should look like Miss Venezuela when I have cancer."

At the time, she was hopeful of overcoming cancer and wanted to write more.

Ekvall's family said in a statement Sunday that her remains were being cremated in Houston on Monday and that a service is to be held in Venezuela once her remains are returned to the country.

Ekvall said in a 2007 interview published in Venezuelan news media that although her mother is Jamaican and her father is American of Swedish and Hungarian descent, "I feel more Venezuelan than anybody."

She was married to radio producer John Fabio Bermudez and had a 2-year-old daughter.

In her book, Ekvall had described her joy at the birth of her daughter saying "that happiness, although (the daughter) may not know it or understand it, keeps me alive today."

The book included emails that she wrote to friends providing updates on her treatment and thanking them for their support, as well as short essays by relatives and friends reflecting on her ordeal.

Her father, Eric Ekvall, recalled in the book that his mother, also named Eva, had died of the same type of cancer at age 39.

"Those who know Eva know she doesn't give up," he said of his daughter. "She fights for what she wants."

Her death brought an outpouring of condolences from Venezuelans, including from some prominent artists and politicians who praised her in messages on Twitter.

One drawing posted online depicted her as an angel with white wings and a pink ribbon on her chest.

Ekvall's husband posted a photo on Twitter Sunday showing a close-up of his hand holding hers, resting on a bed, with the words "Always together ... I love you wife."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I will come back a better woman!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Current mood: Thankful

I just read this article on Guiliana Rancic and had to share it.

As a B/C survivor and one who had to make that same life changing decision, my hat is off to her for sharing her personal journey.

And yes Giuliana, you will come out a better woman! I know I have come out stronger than ever.

Your breasts don't define who you are!

Giuliana Rancic Getting Double Mastectomy:
"I Will Come Back a Better Woman"
Mon., Dec. 5, 2011 5:05 AM PST by Marcus Errico

Giuliana Rancic, who announced she was battling breast cancer in October, has decided to undergo a double mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. But in typical Giuliana style, she is turning her personal struggle into a positive message.

In exclusive comments to E! News and on Today this morning, Giuliana says she has three big reasons for going public.

"First, I would like to take the stigma away. 'Mastectomy' the word seemed so scary to me at first. After doing research and seeing the advancements, the surgery has come a long way from 20 years ago. The results can be incredible.

"Not only can it save your life, but you can come out feeling healthier and with a positive self-image.

"Second, I want to encourage everyone to be proactive with their health and get checked out."

And there's another, more personal reason.

"When I went public with my breast cancer diagnosis six weeks ago, the overwhelming outpouring of love, prayers and support really helped me heal faster. I want to make sure to thank everyone and give them an update for being so kind and loving and supportive."

Giuliana says that she opted for the procedure after careful deliberation and in consultation with a handpicked team of experts, "including top doctors, radiologists, women who've had mastectomies and women who've opted for alternative treatments, like lumpectomies, radiation and anti-estrogen therapy.

"It was not an easy decision but it was the best decision for me." she says.

Appearing by her side on Today was husband Bill Rancic, who has been steadfast in his support.

"Bill's been incredible," says Giuliana. "One of my first thoughts I had when I started considering the mastectomy was, 'What am I going to look like?' And then, 'What will my husband think?'

"But Bill told me, 'I don't care about the physical results. I just want you around for another 50 years. I need you healthy. I need you as my wife. I need you as a mother to our kids.'"

The surgery is set to take place next week. But Giuliana is anticipating a quick convalescence.

"I hope for a full recovery by New Year's Eve. We're planning to be in Times Square!" she says.

"2012 is our year," adds Bill. "We're going to ring in the New Year happy and healthy."

First they have to get through the next few weeks.

"Am I scared? Yes. Scared of the unknown. Scared of the pain," Giuliana confesses. "But I'm not scared of what I'll be like. I'll have scars, but I like scars. Scars are beautiful because they tell a story.

"I'll be able to say that I survived something major and it's made me stronger. I will be a better woman for it."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Powerful Lyrics!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Current mood: Thankful

So a few weeks ago, I was watching the CMA awards and Martina McBride, whom I absolutely love, sang a song that blew my mind . The words of this song ripped right through me and I instantly began to cry at some of the lyrics.

I have come a long way in accepting my cancercrapness and my body and scars and everything else. Like the fact that I have two fake boobs and it took me forever to feel confident about myself again....hence the lyrics:

she made it through the surgery fine
they said they caught it just in time
but they had to take more than planned

and now it's forced smiles and baggy shirts
to hide what the cancer took from her
and she wants to feel like a woman again

WOW! such powerful words I swear I wrote them...

I remember the night Dr. Lee called after my first surgery and she told me that the cancer had spread and that I needed a mastectomy.... Later I would decide to take the healthy breast as well. Probably the hardest, yet easiest decision I ever had to make. Why would I not? My cancer was so aggressive the chances of a recurrence in my other breast was too high. I wasn't going to wait for the cancer to come back. I was fighting the cancer on my terms!

I just want to say thanks to all those who supported me. My friends and family. You know who you are. The ones who took me out on good days, just to get me out of the house. The ones who came over and played Uno with me and watched my Andy Pettitte pitch on the not so good days. The ones who drove me back and forth to my chemo and Dr's appointments. The ones who just let me vent and cry with them. Thank you all. I love each and everyone of you....