Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pampers to Depends (or visa versa)

Last night, we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and all I can say is "got no sense" -
Great story! Full of symbolism about life: what we think about our lives, how we see ourselves, growing old and the end of our lives. There were some great lines in that movie that I find keep playing out in my head. One in particular was that of an elderly male character who kept asking Benjamin if he had ever told him that he had been struck by lightning seven times - he said that God was trying to remind him that he was still here. After the scene where several of the elderly characters were sitting on the front porch of the home they were sharing and the narrator (who was Benjamin) describing these folks as those who had survived life's circumstances just to end up on the front porch talking about the weather - the movie went on to prove that however meaningless this might would seem that we would all just end up with nothing more to say than it's raining and cool out - each of ours lives have a real impact in this life in some way and though nothing last forever and some things will be forgotten - an impact nevertheless. I left thinking about this and how we may never know exactly how significant our individual impact might have been and how even as we are all heading in different directions in our lives that even if we can somehow change the course for just one person to see joy through sorrow and faith through fear then our lives would have been well spent.
Though time passes quickly and memories are short and we can't turn back the clock -
somewhere between pampers and depends, we did live!

This flick truly serves up food for thought!
This is just a small portion of the thoughts the movie left me chewing on - there are many layers with this one and you may walk away having experienced something totally different.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Trained for this

So my five year check up did not go as I had expected....the doctor's report (his facts I might add) says there are some new breast cancer metz on a few places on my bones. He says that I will be needing to go out to Houston to check out their latest greatest chemo cocktails and he will get the party started next month.
Yes, I will be honest with you I cried, I screamed, I punched a few walls and I threw a few things....well I hope you didn't think I would have said oh, how awesome and I am so pschyed. Heck no, this sucks sucks sucks! BUT I know too much about God now and I know that His grace really is sufficient as the Bible says. I stood before family and friends 5 years ago and shared my testimony of healing (which is truth I might add) and I will again.

Praying, reading God's word, going to church to be taught and to draw strength from other believers is all training so when a real problem comes along - you have trained for it.
But note: you never graduate from this training...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Five Years Today

Today I am at a total of 10 years out from stage 4 vulva cancer and 5 years to the very day out from breast cancer. It was exactly 5 years ago today that I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I just needed to blog that I have every intention to keep on walking in healing and health. I thank God everyday for keeping me through all of that mess. Though there may be a few little left over thorns in the side here and there for me from this last cancer - I have faith enough to believe (no, I KNOW) that God will never leave me nor forsake me. He who has promised is faithful.
And for folks who often told me that I must be in denial - I say YEAP, I deny cancer and I always will!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I truly love Thanksgiving Day...but the real truth is, as all survivors would agree...every day is Thanksgiving Day.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Color

I have some old black & white photos of my grandparents and parents sitting around my house and often times I find myself gazing into those photos wondering things like what color was my grandmother's dress and what color is that couch my mom and dad are sitting on. I don't know what those shades of gray are covering but more than the color of their clothes and the furniture, I wonder what was on their minds, where they were in life and how were they dealing with it. I often hear folks talk about how much simpler times must have been back then - you know "the good 'ole days" but I don't think that is true at all.
I think my grandparents had to work hard and still often had to do without. I think that between working cotton fields and trying to feed twelve kids, life was hard. In fact, I would bet that in every one of those black and white photos were many many layers of color.
Recession, war, loosing someone you love...all colors of life. But so is love, joy, peace, hope, family and friends. God has painted one awesome masterpiece for us called "life" and I hope to always keep my eyes open to take it all in and never let shades of gray keep it covered. I challenge you to do the same.
Watch and listen to this song"In Color"....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Son's Seabrook Project

Come Spring, you can "CLEAN & GO GREEN".......................................................We are one of several groups of local high school students who are taking part in the Seabrook Project. The Seabrook Project is an opportunity given to high school students in Anderson, South Carolina, by the Anderson United Way, to raise money for local charities. We chose Upstate Forever, a green organization, because we believe that the next stage of the "Evolution" of our society, the next major decisions we have to make, will be environmental ones. And we believe that the people who will be making those decisions are the youth of the world today. And in a recent culture where "green" is quickly becoming a cliche, the teenage group seems to have been passed over entirely from involvement in these issues. And that seems to be paradoxical because it is our age group who will truly be inheriting the effects. Another danger of the "green"cliche is that it could easily become an over looked fad when true danger exists. (As you will find on our "The Facts" page) This is not something to be taken lightly, and it is something that should involve everyone.

UPSTATE FOREVER: Upstate Forever is a local organization affecting Anderson, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Cherokee and many other counties of the Upstate. They have Land Trust programs, they promote sustainable communities, clean air and water, and much more. As you can read on their website:
www.upstateforever.orgEVENTS: "Spring Clean and Go Green" is the major fundraising event we are planning for Upstate Forever. All you have to do is drop off your donated items anytime between now and March 20th and on March 21st, we'll have a giant community garage sale. The event location will be The Anderson County Farmer's Market Pavilion located in Downtown Anderson.
We appreciate your donations.
(Note: In-Kind Donation Letters are available from the United Way of Anderson).
To learn more about us, please visit: evolvegreen.org

Friday, November 7, 2008


I think I may be suffering from a rare condition - "PEW".

That would be "Post Elections Withdrawal". I guess I'm just one of those who fell prey to the powerful pull of that political machine during the campaign season and it's addictive affects.

Yes, I became a "POLITICAL JUNKIE".

I am not sure if there is therapy or maybe a pill I can take - maybe intervention from Food Network -

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Special LIttle Breast Cancer Request

This is a special little breast cancer request on the final day of breast cancer awareness month.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Save the Dates '09 LiveStrong Challenges

Back from the Austin Livestrong Challenge

We are back from the Austin Livestrong Challenge and what a challenging weekend it was. We kayaked on Lady Bird Lake (Colorado River), rode the mind-boggling Segways (which, by the way, works every muscle in your body it "felt" like), watched the famous Congress Bridge Bat Flight ( millions of bats take flight every evening from under this bridge and folks make a real spectator sport out of it), visited The Alamo in San Antonio, and ate lots of real Tex Mex. Of course the highlight of the trip was participating in the Livestrong Challenge 5k with that memorable stroll down the Survivor lane with thousands of folks cheering and clapping and being met by LAF staffers that presented you with a yellow rose as they offer you their warm sincere congratulations. It was just one of those moments - you know one of those moments when you are reminded one more time of not how lucky you are because luck has nothing to do with it but how blessed you are and that you are a winner no matter how life's race tried to defeat you. This was my first Livestrong Challenge but I am sold on this extraordinary experience and plan to participate in all of the various cities' Challenges next year that I possibly can. I would advice you to check them out as well.
By the way, 3.6 million dollars was raised for the 12 million Americans living with cancer today at this Challenge alone. To learn more about the Challenges from this year and the future Challenges visit: http://www.livestrongchallenge.org/site/c.frKPI1PAIoE/b.3920225/

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Headed to Austin...

Thursday I will be leaving for Austin, Texas to take the "Challenge", the "LiveSTRONG Challenge". This is my first LiveSTRONG Challenge and I have heard it is a pretty incredible experience. I will be participating in the 5k and look forward to crossing that finish line.

Look for my challenge pics when I return....

Friday, October 17, 2008

What Helped Get Me Through Book

I had the honor of being a contributor in the compilation of this book by sharing various quotes concerning parts of my story along with Lance Armstrong, Scott Hamilton and Carly Simon and many many survivors from all over the country. If you want to learn more about it or purchase one you can visit the link below. It is a great book for the survivor or anyone who has been diagnosed.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life is SWEET!

Pink Sunday

Celebrate Pink Sunday, October 26, 2008
Join your fellow church members in celebrating Pink Sunday on Sunday, October 26th, a grassroots effort with over 300 Upstate churches to raise awareness about breast cancer. Women will receive an educational packet from Susan G. Komen for the Cure which discusses risk factors and the critical role of early detection in savings lives from breast cancer.
Wear ‘pink’ that Sunday to show your support, to honor those who have lost their battle with breast cancer, and to celebrate survivors and their courage. Share with your friends, family members and neighbors the life saving message of early detection!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

GET CHECKED OUT! It only takes a little couRAGE!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dragon Boating comes to Disney


Upstate Dragon Boat Festival

The Upstate Dragon Boat Festival was incredible. This was the first time Livestrong Upstate Dragon Boat Festival Team raced and we did great. We actually finished 3rd in the final 6 of our division. We did not medal (although two of our ladies - Joy Foster and Laura Armstrong were alternates and filled in for paddlers on another team and did receive a gold medal), but we did get recognized as best new team. This was such an amazing experience that we all shared and at the same time raised a lot of money for cancer research right here at home in the Upstate as all proceeds benefited Greenville Hospital's Cancer Research & Care Center. We are forming our permanent "Breast cancer Survivor" Team now - if anyone is interested in climbing on board, you can contact me at ajsuttles@bellsouth.net. We need survivors to paddle, supporters and sponsors. This really is a great substitution for the typical support group - it will change your life and your torso! Ha.
(Additional mixed survivor, caregiver and professional teams to come throughout the Upstate).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You Are Beautiful

NewSpring will be starting a new series called "Beautiful" that will be going from Oct. 19 - Nov. 23. It is described as a series for women and the men who pursue them. A lot of us feel beaten up as a woman (not defeated, but just left battered and bruised). In my case, after dancing with a couple of stage four female cancers while only in my thirties often times I felt like damaged goods and that is exactly how cancer wants to leave you feeling if you do manage to make it out of the ring. Some of us have so many scars - I'm not just speaking of physical scars but emotional and spiritual ones. I encourage you, woman to woman, to please come to this series cause I don't know about you but I want to see myself the way God sees me. I want to take back all that cancer took from me and often times this final claim of seeing myself beautiful again has been the hardest for me and I don't mean in a vain way but in the way God created me in the likeness of Him.
If you cannot physically come to NewSpring - please, watch it on-line.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

CNN Report on Breast Cancer Survivors and Dragon Boat Racing

CNN will air a segment on dragon boating and breast cancer this coming Monday, October 6, sometime "mid-morning". It will be part of Judy Fortin's "Health Minute".
CNN was at the Peachtree City Dragon Boat Festival last week-end to interview & film Dragon Boat Atlanta and Jill Binkley, Director of TurningPoint Women's Healthcare about paddling a dragon boat after breast cancer.
If you miss the TV version, you can connect on line to:
www.cnn.com/HEALTH and watch the video of the show and read an article that Judy is also writing.

Livestrong Army Upstate SC will be racing this Sat., the 11th, at the Upstate Dragon Boat Festival being held at Portman Marina so it is pretty exciting that CNN will actually be touching on the benefits of Dragon Boat racing for breast cancer survivors on this particular week. The Oct. 11th race is a festival and is for anyone who would like to paddle from survivors to caregivers to professionals to raise money for the Cancer Research & Care Center of the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Center.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Son for President?

As you can see my son has been very busy. I think he would make a great President. In fact, I think I just might write him in on the ticket. Ha
Really he and his classmates have been involved in a "mock" Presidential Election. And really getting caught up in it I might add - yes, mudslinging and all.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The South Carolina Cancer Alliance will be holding its quarterly membership meeting on Friday, October 24, 2008 at the Hyatt in downtown Greenville.On Thursday, October 23, tours will be given of AnMed Health Cancer Center and the Spartanburg Regional/Gibbes Cancer Center. A Thursday night reception will be held. Friday's program begins with a session of early morning yoga, task force meetings, and a panel of survivors and professionals. After a day long program on Friday, tours will be given at GHS and St. Francis. Please see attached agenda and event registration form for more details. Or you can visit their website at http://www.sccanceralliance.org/ and click on "Next Meeting" in the middle of the page.

I will be in Austin for the Livestrong Challenge and will not be able to attend but I know it will be worth your time, so check it out.

Friends at Race for the Cure

Some amazing friends at the Race for the Cure this year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

World Cancer Declaration

Visit this link and sign the World Cancer Declaration...


The World's Cutest Cheerleader

ok, I just had to post this photo of my niece at the Citadel vs. Clemson game last week taken by the Greenville News. She is the world's cutest Cheerleader!
I wonder what my brother would do if she chooses to go to USC - I bet he wouldn't dress up like a Gamecock Cheerleader.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The logo below is mine & Caleb's CafePress"Sport your Support" tee shirt logo design....

You can buy our design at the following link...

Friday, September 26, 2008

TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

- Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Reminder at the State House

A few 10th graders, including my son, from Montessori School of Anderson attended the South Carolina Independent School Association Conference that was held at the State House this week. I don't think I actually realized how many private schools operate in South Carolina but the number attending was quiet astounding. Each school was asked to propose three resolutions with a representative from each to come forth and present one of those resolutions before the House. To witness these kids coming forth and presenting the issues that was important to them and exercising their right to have a voice was just another reminder to me that we can make a difference when we learn to "speak out". I remember experiencing these same thoughts as I watched these same kids at the United Nations in NYC a couple of years ago.
I hope and pray that the next generation does better than what my generation has done and the past ones have done, as far as that goes, to hold legislatures accountable.
My son says he is interested in politics and with this year being an election year it would be great for him to be able to watch the democratic process unfold but he would have to sort through all of the garbage first. I know I feel like a lot of other mothers when I say I do not want my son's generation to have to straighten out a bunch of mess that we have left behind for them. Come on!
As the people, why don't we hit our own Campaign trail and run our own Campaign ads.
Sometimes we just need a reminder that we do have that voice and I would say this State House visit was that reminder.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Candidates Plans to Combat Cancer

Winning the fight against cancer since declaring a war on cancer in 1971, we as a nation have taken incredible strides in addressing the devastating impact of this disease. Despite achieving many life-saving advances, the war against cancer is an ongoing struggle that continues every day. This year alone cancer will claim 565,000 Americans lives. As President, John McCain will support the efforts to win the fight against cancer through a comprehensive public-private strategy: Stronger and More Coordinated Research John McCain has been a strong supporter of cancer research programs both in public and private sectors. He sees a coordinated and strong research effort as a foundation for defeating cancer.Ensuring that our doctors and scientists have appropriate funding to continue their research efforts is an important priority. John McCain has voted to double the funding for National Institutes of Health (NIH), and as President will make sure that our researchers have necessary funding to defeat cancer once and for all.He will work to better coordinate the efforts between the government sector, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the private sector, especially with a focus on translational research so new discoveries in laboratories can be translated quickly and more efficiently to patients' bedsides. He will also engage the next generation of researchers early in this fight through academic curriculums and internships. As co-sponsor of legislation which aimed to provide better access to clinical trials including cancer, John McCain understands their critical role as essential testing grounds for new break through treatments. He also supported the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act that, among other changes, modernized the registry for clinical trial information. John McCain will continue to stress the importance of clinical trials. Importantly, John McCain recognizes the need to understand the reasons behind the onset of cancer are just as important as the research to treat it. He has co-sponsored legislation that would create research centers that would study environmental factors that may be related to the etiology of breast cancer. Greater Focus on Healthy Living and Early Detection The key to winning the fight on cancer is to ensure that we focus on creating a healthier lifestyle for all of us. The McCain health plan focuses on working with businesses and insurance companies to widely employ common sense approaches like smoking cessation programs, healthier eating habits, and more active lifestyle to not only reduce incidence of cancer but also chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. John McCain authored comprehensive legislation reducing the sale, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to minors and educating the public about the dangers associated with tobacco use, particularly cancer. He also supports wider implementation of smoking cessation programs to promote a healthier lifestyle for all Americans.Early detection is an essential element of a successful cancer treatment regimen. For breast cancer, we need to continue to refine imaging and screening techniques that identify onset of cancer sooner. John McCain has been a champion on these issues:
Co-sponsored and fought for implementation of mammography standards and succeeded in getting Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) passed in 1992. Lead efforts to reauthorize this important legislation to ensure that the new digital mammography technology advancements were incorporated into the national standards to ensure that women all across America have access to state of the art detection technology. Fought to expand Medicare coverage to include mammography and colorectal screenings. Access to Quality and Affordable Care for All Throughout our health care system, the great goal is to make the best care available to everyone. Underlying the many things that trouble our health-care system are the fundamental problems of cost and access. And these rising costs are by no means always accompanied by better quality in care or coverage. The key to real reform is to restore control over our health-care system to the patients themselves. John McCain will build on the employer-based coverage, by offering generous tax credits directly to individuals and families for the purchase of health insurance of their choice, including keeping their current coverage. While fully protecting employer provided health care benefits, this plan will offer additional assistance to those without employer provided coverage and to those who move in and out of the work force and don't want their health coverage tied to an employer's plan. These health plans would be yours, and yours to keep.Most importantly, John McCain believes that no American, simply because of a pre-existing condition like cancer, should be denied access to quality and affordable coverage. This is a very important priority in his health care plan. And to make sure they get the high-quality coverage they need, John McCain has proposed a Guaranteed Access Plan (GAP) that will combine industry, state, and federal resources to help in the purchase of coverage for those hardest to insure, including patients with pre-existing conditions like cancer. There would be limits on premiums, and lower-income Americans would get additional financial assistance. This cooperation among states in the purchase of insurance would also be a crucial step in ridding the market of both needless and costly regulations, and the dominance in the market of only a few insurance companies. John McCain will break down these barriers to competition, creativity, and excellence, with the goal of establishing a national market to make innovative policies and lowest prices available to every person in every state. Finally, John McCain will continue to be a leader in pushing for greater competition in the drug and biotechnology industry through faster introduction of generic drugs and by allowing safe and effective follow-on biologics (FOBs) to enter the marketplace while ensuring that future research and development is not hindered. This will ensure that all patients, including cancer patients, have access to more affordable life-saving medications.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year, joining over 10 million Americans who have experienced cancer in their lifetime.1 Fighting cancer cost families and businesses $78 billion in medical costs last year, and the overall cost of cancer to our economy was estimated to be over $200 billion.2 Barack Obama understands firsthand the toll cancer takes on families – his mother died from ovarian cancer in her early 50s and his grandfather battled prostate cancer. Barack Obama has spent his career fighting to improve prevention and treatment of cancer. As an Illinois State Senator, Obama passed laws to mandate insurance coverage of colorectal cancer examinations, ensure Medicaid coverage for treatment of breast and cervical cancers, promote early detection of prostate and testicular cancers, and helped create the Illinois Task Force on Cervical Cancer Elimination. As United States Senator, he has fought for increased funding for cancer research, and championed genomics and personalized medicine to identify new and better treatments for cancer and other diseases. As president, Barack Obama will build upon his career-long efforts and launch a new campaign to combat cancer and provide greater lifetime support to cancer survivors and their families. Double Funding for Cancer Research: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made significant advances in understanding cancer biology, and translating that knowledge into effective prevention programs, diagnostics, treatments and cures. Notably, this knowledge has also benefited individuals with other diseases, such as autoimmune disorders. Despite these advances, cancer funding has stagnated in recent federal budgets.3 Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to reversing this trend, and providing our nation’s scientists with the resources they need to expand and accelerate bench-to-bedside research that will lead to enhanced prevention and diagnostic tools and innovative treatments. The Obama-Biden plan will double federal funding for cancer research within 5 years, focusing on NIH and NCI. Obama and Biden will also work with Congress to increase funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an under-resourced agency that plays a critical role in ensuring that advances in cancer research make a difference in the care of the millions of Americans who experience cancer. And, their plan will provide additional funding for research on rare cancers and those without effective treatment options; for the study of health disparities and evaluation of possible interventions; and efforts to better understand genetic factors that can impact cancer onset and outcomes. Ensure All Americans Have Affordable, Accessible and Quality Health Care: Individuals who lack health insurance or are underinsured receive fewer preventive cancer screenings, have a greater likelihood of being diagnosed with late stages of cancer, and experience poorer health outcomes than cancer patients who have adequate insurance.4 The Obama-Biden administration will ensure affordable health coverage for all Americans. His plan maintains patient choice, and establishes a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public health plan to allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable and accessible health coverage similar to that available to federal employees. The Obama-Biden health plan will provide tax credits to people so they can afford health care and will reduce the typical family’s medical expenditures by $2,500 per year while providing them with more health care options and greater security. Ensure All Americans Have Access to Preventive Health Care: The Obama-Biden health plan will ensure that all Americans have access to preventive health care services. Their proposal creates a voluntary national pool, the National Health Insurance Exchange, comprised of a range of private plans and a new public plan. These plans as well as all federally supported health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, will be required to cover all essential clinical preventive services with minimal or zero co-pays and deductibles. Under the Obama-Biden plan, Medicaid co-pays for colorectal and breast cancer screenings will be eliminated, and colorectal cancer screenings will be required in all group and individual health plans, for example. Obama and Biden will also strengthen partnerships between federal, state and local public health authorities to expand access to proven community-based prevention programs, extend prevention efforts into workplaces and schools, and support federal initiatives, including the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) that serves as a safety net for millions of women who would otherwise have no access to these screenings. Finally, the Obama-Biden public health plan will expand investment in proven smoking cessation programs and public education campaigns to raise awareness about tobacco-related cancer End Insurance Discrimination: When cancer patients and cancer survivors change health insurance plans, their new insurance companies currently have the ability to deny them insurance benefits because of their “preexisting” condition. The Obama-Biden plan will end insurance company discrimination and guarantee that all Americans – regardless of pre-existing conditions like cancer – will be able to purchase any private insurance plan at an affordable and fair price. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are also proud of their longtime support of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, a measure recently signed into law that will prevent insurance companies from using information from genetic tests to restrict or deny coverage to individuals at risk from cancer and other diseases. Improve Access to Clinical Trials: Today, less than five percent of patients with cancer participate in clinical trials,5 despite their importance in advancing cancer research and development of effective new treatments. There are multiple reasons for low participation, including poor reimbursement for clinical research and a growing shortage of clinical researchers. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will seek to increase participation in clinical trials to 10 percent of adult cancer patients by requiring coverage of patient clinical trial costs in the new public and private plans offered through the National Health Insurance Exchange, increasing NCI reimbursement for patient participation in clinical research and requesting the NCI Director to identify regulatory barriers that prevent the timely implementation and completion of successful clinical trials. Obama and Biden will also enforce President Clinton’s 2000 Executive Memorandum that expanded Medicare coverage to routine clinical trial costs, and reverse any successful attempts from the Bush Administration to change this important safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries. Support Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Interventions: The Obama-Biden health plan will improve cancer outcomes by rewarding providers for achieving performance thresholds on outcome measures. Their plan will require hospitals and providers to collect and publicly report measures of health care costs and quality, including data on preventable medical errors, nurse staffing ratios, and hospital-acquired infections, so individuals are able to compare providers. The Obama-Biden health care reform plan will also implement and fund patient-centered programs, including patient navigator and medical home initiatives that help individuals access and pursue comprehensive cancer treatment. Improve Federal Coordination of Cancer Research, Treatment and Awareness Programs: The Obama- Biden plan will maximize federal cancer funding by improving coordination both within the government and across
government/private/non-profit partnerships for research, treatment and awareness efforts. Currently, several federal agencies are focused on different aspects of tackling cancer – NCI focuses on research, CDC on cancer control, FDA on regulating cancer-related drugs, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on paying for cancer-related care. Too often, efforts across these agencies are poorly coordinated, leading to gaps in our national strategy to combat cancer. As president, Barack Obama will immediately direct his Secretary of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with agency officials, academic researchers, cancer survivors and advocates for people with cancer, and state public health officials, to comprehensively examine the various cancer-related efforts of federal agencies, and provide recommendations to eliminate barriers to effective coordination across federal agencies and between the federal government and other stakeholders. Strengthen the Medical Workforce: The growing demand for cancer specialists is expected to far outpace the number of practicing oncologists in our health care system.6 At the same time, the nation’s demand for primary care physicians, nurses and other health professionals will continue to increase as our population ages, rates of chronic disease continue to rise, and more Americans gain access to preventive and chronic disease
health care services. The Obama-Biden plan will help our health care workforce grow by expanding funding for loan repayment, adequate reimbursement, grants for training curricula, the Nurse Reinvestment Act of Title VIII of the Public Health Act, and infrastructure support to improve working conditions. The Obama-Biden plan to double cancer research funding will also help recruit and retain clinical researchers who specialize in cancer by providing adequate funding for oncological study. In addition, investing in health information technology and practice redesign will free up time of physicians and clinical personnel to care for patients, not cater to insurance companies. And the Obama-Biden investment in cancer research will directly benefit our nation’s cancer centers, which are at the front line in the effort to eradicate cancer and are largely responsible for training the cancer workforce that will practice in the United States. Support Advances in Personalized Medicine: Barack Obama has been a congressional leader in bringing attention to the potential of genomics to improve treatment and develop cures for Americans with cancer. Genomics is the study of gene structure and function, and researchers have started using genomics to increase understanding of diseases and develop better diagnostic tools and treatments. As a Senator, Barack Obama introduced the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act to create an interagency task force on genomics research, modernize FDA review of genomics tests and expand support to genomics researchers, including funding and creation of a new mechanism to allow researchers across the country to access and analyze genomics research. As president, Obama will continue to support advances in personalized medicine to help ensure early detection and treatment of cancer and other diseases. Provide New Supports to Cancer Survivors and their Families: Barack Obama and Joe Biden recognize that the majority of individuals diagnosed with cancer live for over five years after diagnosis,7 and they will implement a comprehensive agenda to support the unique needs of cancer survivors. Obama and Biden will direct the CDC to develop and carry out an epidemiologic study on cancer survivors to understand their longterm health needs. The Obama-Biden plan will also foster efforts to expand psychosocial supports to cancer survivors, including directing the CDC to identify and replicate successful support group programs for cancer survivors. Finally, the Obama-Biden plan will provide the CDC $50 million in new funding to determine the most effective approaches that assist not only navigation of cancer patients through diagnosis and treatment processes, but also provide easy-to-understand information on the necessary follow-up steps to ensure continued lifelong health. Identify Health Impacts of Environmental Factors: Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe it is critical to understand the relationship between environmental factors and risk or onset of disease, particularly cancer. They support the efforts of Senators Clinton and Hatch to expand CDC biomonitoring programs, and as president, Obama will expand the collaboration between the CDC and state public health agencies across the country to increase understanding and improve treatment of individuals negatively affected by environmental factors.

Remember talk is cheap! Let's hold them accountable!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't Blink

I heard Sarah Palin say "Don't Blink" and I found myself chewing on that a while. As I watched footage from 9/11 on the History Channel last night and today as we watch this enormous storm headed towards Texas I thought about this little nugget of advice. Life is so good and at times so incredible but at the same time can be so challenging and painful and the extremes can happen in the same amount of time it takes us to blink.
But as good and incredible, challenging and painful as life is - it happens in a blink.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Livestrong Army Upstate SC

Join Livestrong Army Upstate SC at the Race for the Cure on Sept. 27th at the CU-ICAR.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Please click this link and watch the video.....
"It's Midnight, Now What?"

Livestrong Army Upstate SC at the USA Pro Cycling Championships

Livestrong Army Upstate SC came together with The Palmetto Peloton Project at the USA Pro Cycling Championships on Labor Day weekend in Greenville, SC. Many of the event participants added their signatures to our Livestrong petition and banner that will be going to our legislatures here in South Carolina asking them to help us make cancer a national priority. We also managed to recruit many new army and dragon boat members. We met some amazing people and it was a great experience being involved with this year's race hosted by the Greenville Hosptial System.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Birthday

Today is my birthday! A very clever birthday cake from my hubby and son with a wristband that says "keep living strong".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Greenville Drive Game

Livestrong Army Upstate SC & The Palmetto Peloton Project team up at the Greenville Drive Game.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What we need Congress to do:

Support an increase of 6.5% for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 9.5% for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and 6.9% for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) in the FY 2009 LHHS appropriations bill.
Support an increase of $136 million in the FY 2009 LHHS appropriations bill for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cancer programs.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Livestrong at Matty's

"Livestrong" at Matty's this past Monday.
Thanks to all the staff!!!