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On Good Morning America, Chris Brown was being interviewed by Robin Roberts about his new album, FAME, being released.  He was scheduled to perform and he did…but first, Robin asked him about his healing process since the famous domestic abuse incident that took place with Rihanna over two years ago.  You could see that Chris Brown was agitated when Robin asked him about it, even though she asked him in the most respectful and professional way possible.

I thought that he appeared to have his emotions under control…but, he became evasive in his eye contact and his body language definitely became more rigid.  He was angry, you could see that…but; To Continue reading: Write Where You Are (more…)

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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         Today the interview with Christina Applegate aired which told of her diagnosis of breast cancer…she apparently has the breast cancer gene BRCA1.  She seems very upbeat and proactive in her approach.  Her mother is a breast cancer survivor…so, Christina has been getting testing since she was thirty years old…she is 36 now.  So she knew early on that she was to remain vigilant in her testing because of family history.  This is a good thing because she was able to be diagnosed very early.

        Christina chose to be very proactive and had a double mastectomy.  It sounds as though people with BRCA1 are at more of a risk of developing cancer in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the prostrate.  It is thought that with the BRCA1 gene (there are over 600 mutations that researchers have discovered) that it some how develops a protein that doesn’t work properly to suppress tumor development. 

           In reading some of the comments left on ABC’s website in regards to the interview Robin Roberts did with Christina…some of the people were skeptical of her declaring herself 100% cancer free.  Many of the commenters are cancer survivors who also thought themselves free of cancer and they have been through multiple levels of treatment and surgeries.  If it is an encouragement to herself then, so what?  Encouragement and discouragement are seperated by just a breadth of a hair width! I think the consensus is that after only a month; some of them felt it was irresponsible of her to say that she is cancer free.  While i understand that it is a milestone for her to say that and feel it…it is important to also remind people…that being cancer free after a bout with cancer is about remaining vigilant; about testing, and, about follow up with proper medical advice and guidance.  Christina is not an ignorant person…she is just choosing to focus on the positives of the moment.  What cancer patient doesn’t try to do that?  It is a survival skill to be thankful for the positive things in a negative situation!

          Some of the commentors were just a little shy of hostility…some, i think were hinting that she is in denial…there were also, well wishers.  What i liked when i heard the interview, was that Christina is pledging to work towards raising funds to go towards funding genetic testing and MRI’s, for those who can’t afford it, which is extremely helpful in early detection.  She is also going to be involved in a televised special called “Stand Up To Cancer” which will include many “stars”.  Raising awareness and funds, i believe will be the goal. 

            One thing to remind ourselves of, is that cancer doesn’t discriminate between people of wealth and those who have none.  It is an equal opportunity destroyer.  However, finances can make all of the difference in diagnosis, treatment; and, the ability to eat right to heal; as well as, having enough money to afford insurance and transportation to and from medical appointments.   This is all real life issues for people around the world. 

        Let’s remember for Christina, this is all new…she just had the surgery 3 weeks ago.  If she is choosing to be hopeful and positive that is a good thing.  Yes, to be fair…not everyone has the money to get the diagnostic testing available to her…nor, are most people able to get surgery scheduled so quickly and have “experts” on treatment available for immediate consultation.  Let’s not begrudge her, or anyone, that blessing.  

          Christina is saying that she will have reconstructive surgery and have “cute boobs when she is 90”.  Many people don’t have the funds for that either…Christina is blessed and i think she is aware of that.  It is unfortunate that we all don’t have that financial blessing as well.   In an ideal world, any person afflicted with the disease would be able to choose treatment and reconstruction without regard for cost; unfortunately, it is sad that it is not so! 

           It is hard enough going through diagnosis, treatment and the physical and emotional ups and downs without being able to have reconstruction surgery if you want it.  Grieving the loss of your breasts is very natural but, if you want the reconstructive surgery and can’t afford it; it only adds to the pain and loss.  Healing is more than body; it is mind and spirit as well.  Christina will understand that in giving interviews, sensitivity directed towards other patients who aren’t as blessed financially is important too.  Of course, none of us knows what was edited out of the interview, by others, because of time constraints…all i am saying is, give benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.    Here is a link to a foundation that Christina is behind:  http://www.rightactionforwomen.org/

        What Christina has going for her is her youth, early diagnosis, family support, and a platform to educate young women that they are at risk even though they are young.  I say, don’t bring doom and gloom on her for how she handles her health.  Yes, she can educate in a variety of ways…and as long as she has a platform; she needs to do her best to pass accurate information on to others if she is going to address the issue.  It is wise to point out, that she says she was not ready to go public with the information about her battle with breast cancer…but as always…rogue media was breaking the news and they were also publishing random rumors, many without truth.  She felt the need to correct those. 

         People should have a right to privacy if they choose it in regards to their personal private health information.  As she adjusts to the changes in her life, she has the ability to be an amazing advocate for cancer patients.  In the meantime, wish her well…help her fund-raise to educate, inform, and enable those who cannot afford genetic testing and MRI’s which both can be very expensive and exclude many patients from taking advantage of them.  

          Life is too short to spread negativity…in your own life as well as the lives of others.  Cancer is a thief and has stolen enough from us all…let’s channel energy into fighting the real enemy…Cancer!  See also:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/christina-applegate-robin-roberts-interview/ or topic related to breast cancer:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/ or https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/women-are-dying-for-size-of-level-d-when-it-comes-to-breasts/

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         I am looking forward to tomorrow on Good Morning America.  Robin Roberts is going to interview the Steven Curtis Chapman family about the loss of their young 5 year old daughter, Maria, in a tragic car accident involving their teenaged son.  Their daughter was adopted from China.  With the Olympics in China in the media, it is a good time to underscore the connections of the human spirit and relationships formed around the world.

         I fully expect there to be anguish…how can you go through something so traumatic as loosing your daughter, at the accidental hands of your teenaged son, and not have anguish?  Then to have the eyes of the world on you as you grieve; it has had to be extremely stressful.  Not to mention the threat of legal proceedings against your teenaged son, hanging over you while you are going through your loss.  There are so many messages that could be presented to the world through this experience, love, loss, safety, spirituality, depression and the list goes on.  God says, he will make good come from all things.   

          This experience would be horrendous for anyone…let alone a Christian family, just because you have the added responsibilities of not wanting to let God down, or fail to encourage others; however, human beings are just that…human…we often fail, even with the best of intentions.  The Chapman family is a family who has brought hope and healing, through music ministry for years; not to mention, opening doors to financial guidance for adoptive parents, creating another avenue for God miracles to impact lives.  Their struggle to find peace in this very difficult time continues…there are things that grief to the surface…questions that demand answers for.  It is as their daughter Emily said… Grief is a very windy road.  It is a struggle to meet all of their children’s emotional needs as they navigate their own ups and downs; but, at least their family is trying to heal together.

          Christians are not immune to tragic circumstances…in fact, i believe that they are given to everyone.  No one is left out of doses of misery, despair, sickness, loss, financial stress etc.  But the Christian bears an extra burden during those times as they are living their lives, as a testimony before others, about God’s grace and mercy.  How to explain the unexplainable?  The old question, why does God let bad things happen?  Oh, King Solomon i am sure, would have an answer to that as he prayed for wisdom and was granted it by God…but truly, only God knows the whys of things.  All we can do is struggle to hang on to our faith and try to grow it through the struggles of life.

        I know that Robin Roberts is a Christian…she has had her own struggles, this past year.  I am most interested in this interview, as i believe that God will impart compassion, grace and understanding in it, to others who are going through their own difficulties.  I pray that hearts will be touched and moved.  Watch tomorrow on good morning america for this moment of heartfelt grief and love and hope.  It will be worth your time!

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          There is a story out there right now that is making a huge impact on people’s hearts.  It is about a waitress and a restaurant owner.  As most restaurant owners own their businesses to make a profit; I am sure this particular owner in Ontario, Canada is in some ways regretting his decision to temporarily lay off a certain waitress, by the name of Stacy Fearnall, who shaved her head for charity.  Profit or loss determines alot of business owners decisions when running their businesses…I am sure this decision will be no different in the long run.

         It seems that Stacy has lost a few people to cancer and has friends who are, even now, being affected by cancer.  Stacy wanted to remember and honor them.  She wanted to participate in Cops for Cancer which is a charity that raises funds and awareness about the disease.   So by shaving her head, Stacy was able to raise almost three thousand dollars for the charity.  Kudos to Stacy and to the charity!

           However, when she got to work she was allegedly advised to either wear a wig or go home until her hair grew back.  The owner allegedly felt that his customers would be offended.  He has set standards for his employees about how they present themselves.  It seems as if some of the customer’s support his decision…but many others do not.    The power of public opinion will prove itself in the profit or loss numbers since the temporary lay off began.

           It is normally waitresses who get tips; but, i do have one for Mr. Hilliard…have more compassion in your heart and worry less about what people think in regards to the amount of hair one has on their head.  Do you think less of your customers who have bald or shaved heads?  Hair loss is a sensitive subject and one that people feel very strongly about whether it is from cancer or just natural hair loss.   If Mr. Hilliard thinks less of someone with hair loss, maybe he should try inviting those particular customers to come back when they grow hair back on their heads and see what they have to say about such a statement!  How would you handle this situation?

Ps…remember cancer affects us all support cancer research.  www.cancer.org/.   See some generally related articles that i have written.  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/cancer-is-a-thief/. https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/robin-roberts-strength/

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        Robin Roberts made me cry…again :)!  You know what…she has decided to take off her wig and present herself as she is.  Since the chemo treatments and the radiation, she has been wearing a wig.   She said she now realizes that she was clinging to the Robin of before her diagnosis.  That is ok…the wig helped get her through that time more comfortably. 

         Healing from cancer or any other disease or illness is about more than physical treatments…it is an emotional journey as well.  We would benefit from realizing that treatment should include the whole person…physical, emotional, spiritual,medical, financial and any other way that would help to bring total wellness.

         There were moments where Robin showed us parts of the process that she was going through.  First, she shaved her head on the air during Good Morning America.  Then, she showed us her bald head when she “modeled” a dress for a fashion designer.  Her beauty, both inside and out, has always revealed itself.  Robin has a strong network of support in her family, her friends and her viewers.  At times, she seems almost apologetic about how much love and support she has.  But, I think of it as inspiration for others; because true support is a lifeline when facing health challenges. 

       Today, she peeled away the private side of her struggle with the hair loss. She held hands with her co-worker friends and told it all.   She wasn’t ready to go “au natural” all of the time in public in the beginning.  In private, she did as she pleased…but, i’ll bet she wore the wig not only to feel comfortable herself in public; but also, to make her viewers more comfortable.  She said that she didn’t want to distract from reporting the news, in any way, by doing it bald.

        As always, i thank Robin for showing the world, through example, how to follow your instincts and do what is right for you in your healing process. There is no single ONE answer for everyone…healing is a personal and individual thing.  This is the right time for Robin to give up the wig; as she said…she is ready.

         Robin is going to auction the wig and then use the money to donate to an organization that helps those without insurance.  She hopes the wig and the money will help someone who doesn’t have the means.  She can’t cut her own hair to donate but this is the next best thing to doing so.  There is an organization for those wishing to donate their hair in a gesture of goodwill for those in need of a wig; it is called Locks of Love.  Their website is:  http://locksoflove.org/.

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Robin Roberts

      I saw Robin Roberts today on Good Morning America say that she was starting chemotherapy tomorrow.  I pray that she is well soon.  My father just finished up his chemo a couple of months ago.  He is undergoing more tests before they remove the port.  They want to make sure before they put him through the surgery to remove it that they won’t need to administer chemo again. 

      If you know anyone going through chemo it is important to be there to help out.  Even if that person doesn’t feel they need help…they may occasionally need a listening ear.  Support is so important…day or night.  I know that Robin Roberts has a lot of people praying for her and she has a strong family unit.  But some people don’t. 

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