Monday, December 17, 2012

Raffle for Free Atopalm Moisturizing Hand Treatment

Atopalm: an Amazing Antidote for Dry, Chapped and Cracked Hands

Enter our free raffle on Facebook - today and tomorrow -

Win a free Atopalm Moisturizing Hand Treatment - a brand new product available through Lots To Live For, Inc! This new product has received amazing reviews on, Beauty Junkie in San Francisco, The Daily Obsession, and

To enter - visit our facebook page at
1. Like the post with the Atopalm picture
2. Become a facebook fan (like our facebook page).

The winner will be announced on the facebook page. Please check back to see if you win!

Atopalm Moisturizing Hand Treatment:  the ultimate in revitalizing skins' moisturizatin through the restoration of the skins' protective barrier, leaving your skin more supple, smoother and looking brighter. The perfect antidote for those who are ready for amazing hand treatment with a unique combination of effective ingredients. This product is handy for use during the winter months when your skin might get dry, cracked and chapped.  It goes on smoothly and is not greasy.

If you would like to order the Atopalm Hand moisturizer, please call us at 1-866-548-3367.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Power of One "Plus" and Creating the 10 to Thrive eBook

Click here for link: 10 to Thrive eBook 

According to the Livestrong Foundation, one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and three out of four families will provide caregiving to a loved one with cancer.[i] 

The Power of One+...

By Tambre Leighn, MA, CPC, ELI-MP (guest blogger)

One of the most common issues cancer survivors and caregivers face is isolation. Often you feel alone because cancer has changed your lives in so many ways you no longer relate to the one you were living before the experience.

The emotional journey of cancer is complex. Many survivors and caregivers avoid asking for help out of a desire to not burden others or equate asking for help as a sign of weakness.

The reality is no one gets through the experience of cancer on his or her own. It requires the support, cooperation and coordination of a relatively wide circle of people from treatment through into survivorship.
It requires.....

The power of one +.      We're in this together....and we can't do it alone.
As a caregiver, I learned this the hard way. So earlier this year when Nico Juber, one of the founders of Thrive/Survive Los Angeles (link: and I were discussing the huge impact cancer has for young adults in survivorship we created an idea for an eBook…and then we asked for help.

We reached out to the cancer community including medical professionals, health and wellness experts and founders of other cancer non-profits. Would they contribute a list of the top ten insights, resources and action steps in their area of expertise to help survivors take practical action steps to increase their quality of life?

Almost every invitation to contribute was accepted and it was only due to conflicting schedules that anyone took a pass. What does this say about people? This experience and other past evidence as well as the outcomes my clients have shared when they’ve learned to reach out for help is that people, in general, have a strong desire to make a difference for others.

Asking simply creates an invitation for them to choose, or not, whether they have the resources to assist. If I had attempted to undertake an eBook project of the size and scope of 10 to Thrive, it simply wouldn’t be in existence right now. Nico and I couldn’t pull together that much expertise in several life times to write on all ten areas. This project required a team approach.

The experience of co-creating the 10 to Thrive eBook with Nico and the long list of amazing contributing authors models the power of what can be done when you dig into your contacts list and then have the courage to invite people to help. If they can’t, they can’t. But that opens up the chance to ask them if they know anyone they can recommend. 

Tambre Leighn, MA, CPC, ELI-MP

Whether you’re writing an amazing eBook to help AYA cancer survivors, going through treatment, caring for a loved one or struggling with survivorship challenges, building a team makes a major difference in the journey and the outcome. We cannot know, do and be it all in life. To read more about building a team, check out Strength in Numbers (link:
Meanwhile, if you or someone you know could benefit from a free copy of 10 to Thrive: a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide to life after cancer for young adults please go to or pass this link on to someone you know is struggling. Completely free because we believe in…
The Power of One+!
For more insights, tips and resources go to:

[i] Lance Armstrong Foundation Annual Report, 2004.

This blog post is part of the Resource Roundup series sponsored by Cancer Blog: Lots To Live For! in which the spotlight is shined on a resource that can help improve the journeys of cancer patients and caregivers. Past Resource Roundup stars have included the Annie Appleseed Project and Caring Bridge.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why is Our Breath so Important for Cancer Recovery?

Breathing for Cancer Recovery - Calm and Relaxation -  Managing Stress, Fear, Pain and Anxiety

By Diana Ross, Guest blogger

“Close your eyes and gradually bring your breath into your mind’s awareness. Experience each inhalation as it draws fresh energy in; feel the exhalation emptying you, carrying away fatigue, stress and unnecessary thoughts. Let your breaths flow softly and smoothly from one into the next without hurrying or pressing between breaths. Now breathe in, and breathe out.” Diana Ross

We hear from time to time the familiar saying “take a deep breath” when we become stressed, anxious or over excited. Ever wonder why? There are many reasons why but most notably taking a full, deep conscious breath has been known to settle us down when we are nervous or upset.

We create this internal calm by consciously tuning in to our breath. The immediate result of tuning into your breath is the ability to obtain control of your emotional state of mind. The positive potential which comes from controlling your breathing results in facilitating recovery from surgery and beyond. This healing ability of breathing consciously works by calming nerves and inviting relaxation. The immune system also benefits from proper breathing cycles. By conscious breathing we bring the mind/body/spirit state into balance and the nervous system runs with maximum efficiency.

Balancing the breath serves to maintain and equalize the complete breath cycle. The goal of conscious breathing is to have both inhalation and exhalation identical in volume and duration thus creating the natural flow of the breath. This natural flow brings the quiet mind with it. Concentration will be higher during this equalized state and invite a meditative mind. A meditative mind cannot happen until the breath is brought under control. You see now how vitally important the breath is in wellness and how it heals.

Habitually we resort to unconscious shallow breathing and therefore do not utilize our true lung capacity when we create uneven inhalations and exhalations. As you begin to focus on your breathing for the health benefits it may reap you may notice that your airflow might be unequal. Do not be concerned. It is a natural phenomenon, and you need not resort to any other method; just continue to practice breathing with awareness. Strive for an equalized airflow through both nostrils. Also in the effects of the new breathing practice may not be felt right away, but after a few sessions the results will become obvious. It is only through practice that we begin to master the conscious breathing practice, so don’t get discouraged. When practicing breathing techniques (pranayama) the mind will become still, and eventually the breath will become even. The energy we normally spend engaging and processing the world around us begins to bend inward and we begin to see with more clarity.

Breathe With Purpose CD
The importance of training the breath becomes a powerful tool in managing stress, fear, and anxiety as well as recovery. A focused breathing technique assists in restoring energy and calming the mind, so we need to breathe with greater awareness. The breath is an amazing vehicle in that it is always present. It is effective at every level of self inquiry and acts in both a preventative as well as a restorative manner. Once we bring an awareness of the breath into the moment, where it is most needed, we can then improve our quality of life. We can enjoy quiet moments of meditation: we can enjoy our be-ing.

We can begin or continue to heal. We can enjoy being present.

Diana Ross, E-RYT500, CYT, Certified KaliRay TriYoga
Founder, Breast Cancer Yoga

Breast Cancer Yoga has a Two Breathing CD series “Breathe with Purpose, and Breathe for Health and Wellness.” It has a series of breaths that are easy to learn. You are guided the entire time, breath by breath. You can purchase them on the website.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

6 Tips To Prepare Healthy Holiday Foods

Brought to you from the Pink Kitchen, for breast cancer survivors and those who love them!

by Lisa Grey, Guest Blogger, Cancer Survivor and Thriver and Founder of the Pink Kitchen  

The holiday season brings with it many joys; and one of our favorite ways to share joy with our loved ones is through sharing food: parties, family meals, and sweets passed around at the office or the neighborhood.

I don’t mean to be a Grinch – but all of this momentary joy wreaks havoc on our bodies.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner - and all the culinary treats it brings – this may be the very last thing you want to hear. But hear me out, friends. I would never go so far as to suggest that you give up all holiday goodies. That would be setting you – and me! – up for failure. From time to time, we all want to indulge in a famous holiday cookie that takes us back to childhood, or perhaps a special dish that warms us on a chilly holiday evening.

But there are a few ways that we can ease the burden on our bodies. While you can’t control what other people serve, you do have some control over what you serve in your own home, or what you bring to someone else’s table. And there truly are ways to eat scrumptious foods that also happen to be healthy. Here are six tips to get you started.

Fresh cranberry sauce is easier than you think. It also tastes much fresher, and has a vibrant, gorgeous color. Try the easy recipe below, and you may never go back to your old cranberry sauce!

Use vegetarian broths to make gravy. Meat broths tend to be high in fat and calories. On the other hand, vegetable broths are low in calories and fat, but are still full of flavor. This brings us to our next tip.

Use millet flour to thicken gravies and sauces. Millet flour is yellow in color. It is much healthier for you than all-purpose flour because it comes from a whole grain, providing nutrients such as . You can find millet flour in healthier grocery stores such as Whole Foods or online.

Rosemary Lemon Gravy on Turnip Mashed Potatoes
Mash some turnips with your potatoes. Sound crazy? Be brave and give it a try. Turnips are very low in carbs. When blended with potatoes, you may not even taste them. But you are adding nutrition, as well as lowering calories.

Give your sweet potatoes a healthy makeover. Put down those marshmallows. Sweet potatoes, as their name suggests, are naturally sweet. Just fill a casserole dish with chopped sweet potatoes. Then add cinnamon, coconut oil, and just a touch of maple syrup, agave syrup, or brown rice syrup.

Substitute coconut oil for butter. We all know that butter clogs our arteries. But coconut oil promotes a healthy heart. There are two types of coconut oil. One is unrefined, which tastes like coconut. The other is naturally refined. Refined coconut oil, which has no flavor, can be used in place of butter in any of your savory dishes.

If you follow the tips above, you can satisfy your craving for a hearty holiday meal, while taking care of your body at the same time. If you think about it, that’s the best holiday gift you can give yourself. After all, the healthier you are, the more holidays you will likely be around to celebrate!

Easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce
(Serves approximately 8)
1 bag fresh cranberries
2/3 c. pitted dates
1 orange, peeled
1 apple, cored and cut into quarters
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice

Core the apple.
Peel the orange, removing seeds.
Place dates in food processor. Pulse until they start to break down.
Add the orange, apple, cranberries,and spices.
Blend until combined, but slightly chunky.

Lisa Grey, founder of the Pink Kitchen, knows a thing or two about nutrition. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Lisa used nutritious foods and herbs to help her attack the disease. Her goal was to do whatever she could to destroy the cancer and keep it away.
Since then, Lisa has had a passion for sharing simple, quick, and delicious ways to eat nutritiously…not only for breast cancer survivors, but for anyone overwhelmed with the prospect of healthy eating. Out of this passion, Pink Kitchen was born.

To browse holiday gift ideas for cancer patients please visit Lots To Live For, Inc. at:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

5 Point Plan for Better Cancer Outcomes: Focus on a Natural Approach to Cancer

Complementary Medicine Options and Life Style Choices to Help Cancer Patients From a Patient/Advocate Perspective

By Ann Fonfa (founder Annie Appleseed Project), guest blogger

I was diagnosed with (breast) cancer in January 1993 at the age of 44. At the time I was suffering from extreme Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I felt that the oncologist I consulted was incredibly dismissive of a health issue that caused me to take to my bed 3-4 days at a time. I was reacting with long-lasting headache, dizziness, nausea, rashes and more from exposure to fragrances, cleaning products, wet paint, formaldehyde (new furniture/carpeting), etc.

So I chose to explore what was then called Alternative medicine. My search brought me a lot more information than expected – specifically a wealth of information about nutrition - which is where I started. At this point most people have heard what is healthier to eat, but some have resisted actually doing it. If you want to reduce your risk of cancer occurrence, recurrence or to just be healthier, you MUST give up so much sugar, NO soda, and NO deep-fried foods. It’s that simple – these items (chips are deep-fried), are just not real food. We’ve let ourselves fall into these awful habits, so darn easy to eat chips at lunchtime instead of a salad or an apple.

Back to alternative cancer ideas: After some years, yoga became totally acceptable to the point that many cancer centers and most support groups offer it. Studies have shown that it really makes a difference to our health. The concept of complementary therapies was introduced and has gradually become accepted. There are simple and natural substances and protocols that could reduce toxicity and enhance the value of chemotherapy and/or radiation. (Here’s our Free Handout of Natural Strategies to Reduce Toxicities). Complementary therapies began to be called integrative because they COULD be used while undergoing conventional treatments. Let’s face it, the treatments offered by the mainstream cause harms – ranging from short-term to longer-lasting. Why is this allowed even now?
I have been gathering information about cancer prevention and treatment, and sharing it via the nonprofit I founded in June 1999: The Annie Appleseed Project provides information, education, advocacy and awareness for people with cancer and their family and friends. The Annie Appleseed Project offers information on natural therapies and substances, lifestyle issues, and complementary or alternative medicine, from a patient’s perspective. This is gathered in part from our network of volunteer advocates who attend educational cancer meetings around the globe, from medical, scientific/research journals, and emails from supporters.

It’s out there, it’s been studied. Sadly many researchers feel the need to look at natural substances the same way pharmaceuticals are examined, even though many natural items have been shown, during hundreds or thousands of years of human use, to be quite safe (except for personal allergy). Doctors have been taught to expect pharmaceutical-style clinical trials – but here’s the catch. The cost of a clinical trial, what is called Level 1, is in the hundreds of millions and natural protocols simply cannot be patented (nor should they), thus no pharmaceutical company is interested. This barrier is one I wrote about in a journal article many years ago and this still has not changed. Another major issue that blocks the full use of complementary therapies is the lack of insurance reimbursement.

The Annie Appleseed Project has a five point plan for better health in general and better outcomes if you have been diagnosed with cancer:

1. Eating Right If someone wishes to do a range of inexpensive, simple and protective things, start with healthier eating – adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet. Remove SODA and Deep-fried foods, eat less sugar and less salt; and add whole grains.

2. Physical Activity Take a walk, dance, shake, swim, bike, etc. on a daily basis. Good news from author Antronette (Toni) Yancey, MD, MPH, whose book Instant Recess explains her theories. Just 10 minutes a day of physical activity, full-out, is enough to keep our bodies healthy. Many studies have shown that physical activity is very beneficial to people going through treatment for cancer, or in recovery. Combining physical activity with healthier eating is EVEN better than either separately – studies show that too.

3. Dietary Supplements Fish oil, probiotics, vitamin D3 and curcumin are the basics because everything else depends on what you personally may need. You can visit a clinical nutritionist who does blood work, or you can get your own eating patterns assessed. Your doctors can test you for vitamin D3 but it seems from the recent work done in this area, that almost no one has enough vitamin D3. Make sure you supplement if you are low. The darker your skin, the more vitamin D you may need.

4. Detoxification We live in a world filled with chemical exposures, as a chemically-sensitive person (although I am so much better than I used to be); I KNOW when the air is bad. Plastic materials surround us, many being shown to be harmful. Pesticides in our food supply, and our water, formaldehyde and parabens in our clothing, furniture and hair/skincare products are all part of this problem. But some detoxification is possible – cilantro, dandelion leaves OR parsley can help the body remove heavy metals – one of these should be eaten every day. Making fresh (organic) raw juices can help a lot too. Using hot and cold showers, foot baths, far infrared saunas and more, can all help detox. Again our website can be a help in finding ideas. Always drink lots of water – do you have a simple filter? It’s better to filter your water than drinking it straight up these days. Try to drink from a BPA-free carry bottle.

Never use plastic in your microwave, better yet - DON’T use the microwave. It is really a time management issue. If you know you want to eat at 6:30, turn your oven (or toaster-oven) on ahead of time. Or eat a BIG salad for dinner. Some say eating less at night is healthier. I personally eat a big breakfast, a salad for lunch, and often fruit and nuts for dinner.

5. Relax and Enjoy Life Yoga and meditation are not the only ways to relaxation – that which gives you pleasure should be your focus too. Are you a gardener, a grandparent, a bowler – focus on your joy in action. I attended a meeting in Brussels, Belgium in 1999 – the second international conference ever held by the National Breast Cancer Coalition. My sister came with me as we planned, excitingly, to travel to Amsterdam together. She was astounded by the party held at the end of the conference. I asked her whether she thought we ought to be sitting around and crying instead of dancing? She realized then, as we all should, that life is RIGHT NOW. We are meant to enjoy this moment. If I had spent the last almost twenty years worrying about dying from cancer, that would have been an enormous waste of my life.

Happily I didn’t. I enjoy each day and live it fully. You should too.

For those seeking more information you can visit our Annie Appleseed Project Facebook page, follow us @annieappleseed on Twitter, visit our website (you can opt in for our monthly e-newsletter). We’ll host Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies conference February 28-March 2, 2013 in West Palm Beach, FL. Some scholarships are available for those in need. We offer CEs and CNEs for professionals. 5 organic meals, exhibits, networking, giveaways, much more. Ann Fonfa is the founder of the Annie Appleseed Project.

To learn about products that can help reduce and relieve the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment please visit

This blog post is part of the Resource Roundup series sponsored by Cancer Blog: Lots To Live For! in which the spotlight is shined on a resource that can help improve the journeys of cancer patients and caregivers. A Past Resource Roundup  was Caring Bridge.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eight Awesome Tips To Help Cancer Patients

Acts of Kindness To Help Make Life Easier for A Patient Undergoing Cancer Treatment
By Margot Malin     

It may be an awkward moment when you learn that a friend, loved one, or coworker has been diagnosed with cancer. You may initially be at a loss for words and yet you want to offer empathy and comfort. Here are 8 Tips and Helpful Gifts of Kindness so you can create your own plan to help the cancer patient you know along his or her journey.

Food – Go grocery shopping – stock the refrigerator with fresh, healthy and easy to prepare items. Cook dinner for the family and deliver it.

Childcare – Cancer patients get tired, sometimes very tired. You can offer to baby sit for young children. Offer to arrange and take older children on play dates. If you know the children well, take them on a little outing – to the playground, to a movie, to a show or museum. During this stressful time, school work might suffer. Offer to tutor, or arrange for a tutor for those subjects that are particularly challenging right now.

Laundry and other daily chores – Laundry can be easily postponed when someone is not feeling well. Offer to do the laundry – at your home or theirs – or take it to a wash and fold service. Helping with other daily chores and activities can be a great way to relieve the patient of some activities which might be repetitive, tiring and stressful.

Chemotherapy and Radiation sessions – Offer to drive to radiation oncology sessions and chemo appointments. Sitting and receiving an infusion can be cold and lonely. Stay during chemo to help the time pass – you can write letters, read aloud, listen to music, or look at poetry during these sessions. Bring a warm and cozy blanket with you. Other things you can bring to pass the time: an ipad, a laptop, a Kindle, craft supplies.

Doctor appointments – Offer to drive to a doctor appointment or accompany the patient on public transportation – and if the patient is open to the idea – be present when the patient speaks with the doctor. A second set of ears is a welcome addition during this stressful time. Maybe you can think of questions that the patient might be too overwhelmed or nervous to consider. You can also take notes about the visit to be sure that the important takeaways are remembered.

Medical record keeping and medical research – You can help by doing medical research about the patient’s diagnosis as well as research into complimentary and alternative therapies. Personal health record keeping is especially important during treatment and beyond. Consider purchasing either a special loose leaf / workbook to keep track of paper records, or the Minerva Health Manager, electronic personal health record software.

Side effect solutions – There are many products to help unpleasant and uncomfortable physical side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. For example, you can find products to help radiation dermatitis, radiation burns, hair loss, dry mouth and mouth sores, nausea, and more. To learn about products that can help reduce and relieve cancer treatment side effects visit

Books, CD’s and Music – There are many inspirational books written by, and about cancer patients. Just two examples are: From Incurable to IncredibleCancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds written by Tami Boehmer, a cancer survivor and When Cancer Hits – A Complete Guide to Taking Care of You Through Treatment authored by Britta Aragon, also a cancer survivor. There are rest and relaxation CD’s. Breast Cancer Yoga has created a CD for breathing and meditation and a DVD for gentle yoga. Recovery Fitness also has an Exercise for Cancer Patients DVD. There are also CD’s and DVD’s available to reduce stress and enhance relaxation.
A little thought and creativity can help you come up with many other helpful ideas. You can even ask the patient to give you a wish list of what kind of help they might appreciate for their situation. Some of the best expressions of support are inexpensive and some are free – but they are all priceless to the patient receiving your kindness.

Margot Malin is the CEO, President and Founder of Lots To Live For, Inc. which sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Lots To Live For, Inc. was founded after the passing of Margot’s mother and grandmother who both fought courageous battles against cancer.

To find products to help reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment please visit:
Visit our facebook page at: for information and inspiration!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds – Attributes of Survivors Who Became Thrivers

by Tami Boehmer, Guest Blogger
Learn how to win a copy of Tami's book at the end of this blog post.

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39 in 2002 after finding a lump during a breast self-exam. There was no history of breast cancer in my family, so I was shocked, to say the least. Two weeks later my father died. My daughter was three, and my husband and I had been married less than five years. It was a devastating time, but I was heartened when my doctor told me I had no lymph node involvement and my prognosis was excellent.

After five years, chances are slim cancer will return. But again, I learned you can’t pay attention to statistics. In February 2008, I found a lump in my armpit, and after a series of scans, I learned it had returned as stage IV cancer. I went to a world-renowned cancer hospital only to be told I would certainly die from breast cancer. Luckily I turned it into a challenge to prove the doctor wrong.

I spent my career in healthcare public relations, and always loved writing patient success stories. I already knew my friend Buzz Sheffield, who was told five years earlier he had months to live. (Today, eight years later, he is alive and well.) I also read Bernie Siegel’s wonderful book, Love, Medicine and Miracles, which talked about Exceptional Cancer Patients and how the worst thing doctors can do is to give death sentences.

So I started my search for more incredible people who beat the odds of terminal cancer for my book, From Incurable to Incredible. I was searching for answers. It was an extremely personal journey. As someone facing a Stage IV breast cancer diagnosis, you could say my life depended on it.

My biggest question was: What sets people apart who beat the odds of a terminal or incurable prognosis? As I was putting the 27 stories together, I noticed many similarities among survivors nationwide who shared their stories. Rather than passively accepting their circumstances; they decided to transform them by:

• Refusing to buy into statistics and the death sentences many of them were given.

• Never giving up, no matter what. They may have had down times, but were able to pull themselves together and do what they needed to do.

• Relying on support from family, loved ones, or support groups. These connections gave them a reason to carry on.

• Choosing to look on the bright side and see the gifts cancer brings.

• Giving back and making a difference in other people’s lives, whether it was fundraising, lobbying, or supporting other survivors.

• Having a strong sense of faith. Even if they didn’t believe in God, they believed in something larger than themselves.

• Being proactive participants in their health care.

• Viewing their lives as transformed by their experience.

I continue to share stories of amazing cancer survivors on my blog,, and continue to see these common threads. But I’ve found there are people in the cancer community who are offended by these observations. “Are you saying that people who didn’t make it weren’t positive enough?” Absolutely not! Cancer is complex, and I do know people who possess all of these qualities and still succumb to this awful disease … two of them whose stories are in my book. There are no absolutes or guarantees. In the midst of dismal statistics for people with late stage cancer, my purpose is to help show there are possibilities. There is always hope, and there are ways to live life to the fullest … with purpose and joy. As Deb Violette, a lung cancer survivor and advocate featured in my book shared, “This little voice in my head said, 'Why are you focusing on the 90 percent of people who didn’t make it; why don’t you focus on the 10 percent who do?'" She was diagnosed in 1998 and is very alive and well today.

No one should put a period where there should be a question mark.

Tami Boehmer is a speaker and an award-winning blogger and author. From Incurable to Incredible is available on and and via Tami’s blog,

If you are interested in reading the inspirational true health stories of cancer survivors who beat the odds, you can purchase the book from Amazon by clicking in the box below. Win a FREE copy of the book by visiting the Lots To Live For, Inc. facebook page by 10/7/12 by clicking here.  - To enter the raffle to win a free book "like" the page and "like" the blog post. Comment if you feel inspired.

To learn about and purchase products that can help reduce and relive the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation visit You will find solutions for: radiation burns, radiation dermatitis, dry mouth, mouth sores, nausea, sensitive and compromised skin, hair loss, and more.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Genesis of Lots To Live For, Inc.- An Interview with IdeaMensch

IdeaMensch is a community of entrepreneurs who share how they bring their businesses to life. Margot Malin, the founder of Lots To Live For, Inc. was interviewed by IdeaMensch on September 4, 2012. IdeaMensch probes about the genesis of the business with insightful questions that let the founder's ideas, beliefs and experiences shine through.

Some excerpts of the interview:

"Where did the idea for Lots To Live For, Inc. come from?

The genesis and inspiration for the company came from watching both my mother and grandmother fight courageous battles against cancer while simultaneously trying to maintain normal lifestyles. Lots To Live For, Inc. offers one-stop shopping and solutions for cancer patients, by selling products and offering tips to alleviate, reduce and relieve unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Side effects from cancer treatments can be debilitating. During my mother’s and grandmother’s treatments, we found some really helpful products after exhaustive searching. It occurred to me that consolidating these items in a single place would be extremely helpful to others who are going through treatment. Our business slogan is: We recognize that you have lots to live for, and we offer solutions so that you can improve the quality of your life."

In the interview Margot also offers some advice to aspiring entrepreneurs - below is a quick quote:

"As an entrepreneur what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep your eyes and ears open. Treat customers and suppliers with respect. Read a lot. Try to think outside of the box. Look for disruptive technologies and try to jump on the wave. Never fall into the OPM (other people’s money) mentality. Treat equity investors’ money as if it were your own. Don’t spend frivolously."

In another section of the interview, Margot offers some personal inspiration to readers.

"Can you offer some words of advice for our readers’ personal lives?
1. Always act with integrity.
2. Accept personal responsibility.
3. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Take time to have fun and reflect. Smell the roses.
4. Believe in yourself.
5. Dare to be different.
6. Be careful of the footprints you leave. Unfortunately, your indiscretions or social media gaffes can haunt you."

To read about some of the challenges in bringing Lots To Live For, Inc. to life, as well as thoughts about business opportunities, and general observations and advice about life you can read the complete interview with Margot Malin on the IdeaMensch website by clicking here.

Please visit to learn about products to help relieve the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Lots To Live For, Inc. welcomes you as a facebook fan at

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Are You Prepared for a Medical Emergency? The Importance of Medical Records and Emergency Contacts

By Margot Malin and guest blogger Dan Schiavello

Back to School offers a time for fresh beginnings.
Have you created a back to school check list? Clothes, books, pens & pencils, shoes, rain gear  - what items can you check off?

Maybe the most important items are not even on your list.  Have you considered:
1. Organizing family health records?
2. Identifying emergency contacts or designating a medical advocate?

You don't have to be a school parent; you don't even need to have children to use the month of September to get your health records and Emergency Contacts up to date and in order. It can save your life or the life of a loved one.

The Importance of Personal Health Records

You don't have to be sick to create a personal health record. In fact, the best time to organize your records may be when no one is in a crisis mode.  Why organize your records?  Whether individuals and their families are relatively healthy and going for a routine doctor's visit, or managing a chronic condition, many want to be actively involved in thier healthcare experience. At some point in time most families have children who might be going on a field trip, on a music competition, to a multi day extracurricular event such as choir, DECA or Model UN. Medical situations requiring health history can develop during participation in junior varsity or varsity sports, or a traveling sports program and parents are not always readily available under these circumstances. Also consider that accidents or illnesses can occur when children are on a teen tour, traveling abroad on a summer program for a semester or are away at college.

An appropriate medical record should contain physician contact information, insurance information, detailed information on medical alerts, emergency contacts, health conditions, medications, allergies, illness history and immunization records. Medical records can also store test results such as radiology reports (X-Rays and MRI's). Lack of information can lead to devastating medical oversights. Access to medical information, whether you have a medical emergency just down the street or halfway around the world, can help keep you and your family safe.

Medical records should be thorough. They can start as "analog" records and be created in a loose leaf binder, or a series of folders. However, digital records - also called personal health records - are easier to carry, and can be easier to interpret because they are methodically organized.  Digital health records can also be more thorough since personal health record software can prompt you for items that might otherwise be forgotten or omitted.  MRI's and X-Rays can be stored on electronic personal health records which means you won't have to carry around unwieldy bags or folders filled with radiology images and reports. It is important to note the difference between personal health records and the computer records which many physicians are starting to use. They are not the same thing. Your personal health record carries all of your personal health information. Most physician records only include the records that you create in one specific physician group or hospital. Said in another way, personal health records differ from the electronic health records maintained by physicians which are usually physician specific and usually not coordinated among providers.

One example of an electronic personal health record is the Minerva Health Manager.  You can read more about the surprisingly affordable Minerva Health Manager by clicking here. With your complete health history in hand — whether printed as a report from your own computer to your own printer, or carried on your Minerva slimline or wristband Flash Drive, iPhone, iPad or Android — you are in a better position to receive the very best health care for you and your family. Minerva Health Manager includes family health history reports that record hereditary health conditions in your family tree — so you can work with health care professionals to take the right steps to help maintain your good health, as early as possible. Minerva can empower you to make good choices for your health. 

Finding an "Emergency Contact"

When your children are going back to school, you are usually asked to provide a list of "emergency contacts" - people who are ready to stand in your shoes, and be called in the event that you are unreachable when a health situation develops.

Do you know what kinds of characteristics are important in emergency contacts?
First and foremost - the emergency contact has to know that they have been designated as a contact! It is surprising how many people choose a friend and write the friend's name on the emergency contact form without even asking them!

Here are some other things to think about when selecting an emergency contact:

1. Will they be available in case you can't be reached? Contacts that have jobs that are a long commuting distance from the school or sports arena are not ideal. Contacts who travel frequently and are often out of town are not ideal. Distant relatives are not appropriate emergency contacts for this situation.

2. Does the person agree to be an emergency contact? Explicitly ask them. Do not assume. You would like someone who agrees to step in to act on your behalf in an emergency not someone who doesn't even know that they have been designated, and may feel uncomfortable in the position.

3. Do they know the important medical information related to your child?
This means any allergies (especially to medications), the names and locations of primary care physicians, your child's insurance information and other details that you deem important.  Having a carefully completed personal health record available for your emergency contact is very helpful and could become life saving under certain circumstances. The Minerva Health Manager is one type of personal health record that combines ease of use with portability. You can give a flash drive to your emergency contact, or have your child carry it in their backpack for accessibility at all times.  If your child has a personal health record, make sure to let your emergency contact know!

4. Do you trust them to stand in your shoes until you can be reached or until you arrive to take over?

5. Do they ask important questions?

6. Will they remain calm?

7. Do you trust their decision making capabilities, especially related to medical issues?

The designation of an emergency contact is an important consideration. Many people do not give this the thought that it deserves.  Did you know that medical errors are the third largest cause of death after heart disease and cancer?

An emergency contact is not the same as a medical advocate, though you might also consider some of the characteristics described by Michele Robson in her medical advocate article by clicking here. A medical advocate is an even more demanding position. The characteristics described in Ms. Robson's article such as: having a big mouth and being tough and reliable can also be important considerations for emergency contacts.

September is an important time of year to update and review the medical records of your children and your family. It also provides the opportunity to consider who you trust to be available to step into your shoes in case you are not available when an emergency occurs. Many people don't take this process seriously. Don't be one of them! Having organized medical records and a competent emergency contact can save the life of a loved one in an emergency.

Margot Main is CEO, President and Founder of Lots To Live For, Inc. - a website that sells products to help reduce and relieve the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

Dan Schiavello is President and Founder of Minerva Health Technologies. The medical information stored on a Minerva Health Manager flash drive actually saved Dan's life when he was taken to an emergency room.

Both authors have experience filling out numerous health records and emergency contact forms for their children and other family members over several decades.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Checklist for Chemotherapy Patients

20 Things You Need To Know About Chemotherapy

The journey after a cancer diagnosis can be approached holistically - incorporating mind, body and spirit. Click on the CancerActive article below for great advice if you or someone you know is considering Chemotherapy. The "Twenty Things You Need to Know About Chemotherapy" includes questions to ask your doctor about the treatment he or she is recommending, and what you can do to support your body during and after treatment. This is a really informative article because it is easy to read, and integrates medical information along with holistic, lifestyle, diet and exercise suggestions.

Do you know the difference between the older regimens of chemotherapy drugs and the newer biologics?
What kind of questions should you ask your oncologist?
How can you modify your diet to strengthen your body during your treatment? Did you know there are some herbs and supplements that can be very helpful?
Which alternative therapies in addition to massage, yoga and accupuncture can help you?

Learn the answers to all these questions and more at:   This article is from the CancerActive website which is Britain´s Number 1 holistic cancer charity.
The goal of CancerActive is to EMPOWER people to increase their personal odds of beating cancer; to be able to make more informed personal choices about their cancer treatment options. They provide a wide variety of information, not just about orthodox cancer treatments, but also on complementary canccert therapies and some, currently alternative cancer treatments as well. You can sign up for their email newsletter directly on the CancerActive website. (Note: The CANCERactive name and logo are registered trade marks)  The CancerActive website contains a wealth of interesting and important information and it is worth taking the time to review many of the articles on the site.

A variety of products are available to reduce and relieve some of the common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. To learn about these products visit Lots To Live For, Inc. On this website you will find solutions to common side effects such as compromised skin, radiation dermatitis, mouth sores, itchy scalp, and more.   

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Natural and Alternative Treatments for Chemotherapy Nausea and Vomiting

Cancer Gifts – Thoughtful Gifts for Cancer Patients Suffering from Nausea

As most cancer patients can attest to, many chemotherapy drugs can cause nausea. Sometimes oncology radiation can also cause nausea. Oncologists can offer a number of different classes of antiemetic prescription medications to help control this nausea. In this blog post we focus on some alternative treatments that can help to reduce CINV.

Several different alterations or enhancements in life style can help increase comfort. Often, the patient’s sense of smell becomes very sensitive. It can be helpful to use unscented soaps, shampoos, body lotions, and deodorants. Modifications to diet can include hydration (lots of non sugar based liquids), spacing out eating into many small meals during the day, and avoiding fried and greasy items. Fresh air and loose clothing may also be helpful.

Mindful meditation and other alternative practices can be helpful. These can include, but are not limited to relaxation and imagery therapy, music therapy, biofeedback, desensitization, breathing exercises or accupressure.

A few products can also be helpful in reducing the nausea from CINV. BioBands are clinically proven, effective wristbands that provide safe and effective relief of nausea. Designed and patented by an American Board Certified obstetrician and gynecologist. The wristband utilizes acupressure, a natural pressure therapy applied to a specific acupuncture point that controls nausea and vomiting. Acupressure is recognized as one of the alternative practices that can help reduce chemotherapy induced nausea. Drug-free BioBands are easy to use and have no side-effects simply place the adjustable band correctly on either wrist. A small bead which is embedded in the adjustable band presses down on the P6 (Neiguan) point, located three finger widths above the wrist crease between the tendons of the flexor surface of the forearm, approximately in the area of a watchband. Pressure on this point helps interrupt the signals that trigger nausea and thereby providing relief. To read more about Biobands, and to order Biobands click here.

Another natural solution to reduce CINV has been developed in the form of a simple lozenge or lollipop. Queasy Pops and Queasy Drops are an all natural way to ease a queasy stomach. Queasy Pops and Drops are great tasting lollipops and lozenges which have been formulated from the essential oils from delicious, all natural sources. Queasy Drops act via aromatherapy and taste receptors to inhibit negative taste sensations and calm the tummy. Another great attribute of Queasy Drops is that they can also alleviate dry mouth which another very common side effect of chemotherapy. The products also provide quick calories and are soothing and comforting. The Queasy drops come in many appealing flavors including: sour raspberry, green tea with lemon, ginger, banana and natural cola. The Queasy pops are available in a different flavor assortment including: peppermint, cinnamon, sour lemon, papaya, ginger, sour raspberry and green tea with lemon. To purchase Queasy Pops or Queasy Drops click here.
You can purchase an anti-nausea gift pack including one Bioband and one tub of Queasy Drops by clicking here.

Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting can be debilitating. It can take over your life and prevent you from even getting out of bed. Here are a few natural solutions to try in addition to the antiemetic medications prescribed by your oncologist.

To view other products that can be helpful in managing the side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation please visit

Additional resources:

To learn more about breathing exercises please visit BreastCancerYoga by clicking here.

To read about a guided imagery application for cancer patients called Whip Cancer Now click here.

To read more about antiemetic medications in a very informative and highly recommended Consumer Reports publication called "Evaluting the Oral 5-HT3 Antiginists: Drugs Used to Treat Nausea and Vomiting" click here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Pink Vaccine - the Vaccine to Prevent Breast Cancer

By Elyn Jacobs, Guest Blogger, Founder of Elyn Jacobs Consulting and Certified Cancer Coach

What if? What if we had a vaccine that was safe and could eliminate 95% of all breast cancer? Would you take it? Would you hope that your daughters, sisters, lovers and wives would take it? For every man or woman who has battled this terrible disease, I’ll bet the answer is yes. I’ll bet it’s yes for all those who have not yet dealt with this beast. So when I heard that there was a vaccine that has been found to be 100% effective in preventing breast cancer in mice, yet is sitting on a shelf, I was horrified, angry and hell-bent on doing something about it, and I am not alone. Remember, that anything that works in humans worked first in mice. 

In June, I invited Dr Kathleen Ruddy (shown at right) to be a guest on my weekly radio show. Dr Ruddy spoke about a breast cancer virus that might be involved with 40-75% of breast cancer. She discussed a preventive vaccine developed at the Cleveland Clinic by Professor Vincent Tuohy that is ready for safety testing in women and may also be effective against the viral form of breast cancer. Cindy Sullivan, a breast cancer survivor living in Colorado, was listening in and made a comment in the chat room that she was really, really mad (ok, in her words, pissed off) that this vaccine was ready for clinical trials and still unfunded. Cindy contacted us, and Kathleen suggested that we band together with two other equally determined women; we set up a conference call and before you know it, we joined forces to get the word out and to get this vaccine funded. To read more about the champions for the Pink Vaccine, click here. To listen to my interview with Dr Ruddy, please click here.

The virus in itself was not news to me or others; Kathleen and I spoke about this a year ago, and it received national attention via a video Dr. Ruddy made that was nominated best short film of the Breast Fest Breast Cancer Film Festival 2010. However, what amazes me is that in addition to the paucity of attention about the virus, there is equal disregard for the first preventive breast cancer vaccine that Professor Tuohy developed, for he has yet to get the funding for clinical trials to test its efficacy in women. So why is it that there is not funding for trials? If not for lack of awareness, what is it?

In order to get the Pink Vaccine to clinical trial we need to raise approximately $6 Million. In the estimated $30 Billion spent on breast cancer every year in the U.S., $6 Million seems like the proverbial drop in the bucket. Breast cancer is a big territorial business steeped in politics and greed. Komen has turned Dr Tuohy down for funding several times and Avon has refused to even consider it. (Please watch this powerful video, Pink Ribbons). When you think about it, it’s not in the best interest of corporate America or Pink-America to prevent this costly disease. Still, I have a hard time accepting that there is not funding for such an important vaccine….not everyone profits from breast cancer, so why isn’t this vaccine funded? Breast cancer costs insurance companies billions; sisters, daughters, wives, mothers and lovers and men die every day. Isn’t this enough motivation? Something must be done. The US Government as well as those whose purported mission it is to find a cure or end breast cancer must step in. Yes, we absolutely need to find a cure for breast cancer; millions are dying of this terrible disease. Treatment is not enough, and it ruins lives with illness, toxicity and fear. Treatment is not a cure; this vaccine is not a cure. (However, it may help prevent recurrence and slow the growth: researchers found that mice already infected with breast cancer saw a marked reduction in tumors after being given this vaccine.)

And that word cure. That in itself is a quagmire. A cure to me is not just something that is a remedy or something that will bring back health; it is not something that indicates a remission of signs or symptoms of a disease. To me, a cure means that the cancer is gone and will not return. We ask if our cancer is curable, but due to the nature of cancer, it often revisits.

Komen did just issue a sizable research grant to a team with a potentially more effective treatment for triple negative breast cancer, one that will reduce the spread of cancer and prolong survival, and to me, that is exciting news; but again, if we can prevent this disease, let’s do that too. If I knew of a vaccine that could completely cure, I would push for that also. But for now, what we do have is The Pink Vaccine, developed by Dr. Vincent Tuohy of the Cleveland Clinic. It’s ready for clinical trials in humans. Remember polio? Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. If this vaccine works in humans the way it works in mice, we could eliminate breast cancer. The Pink Vaccine is not the only vaccine in the works; but it’s the only one to prevent breast cancer, and that is the best cure there is.

Elyn Jacobs
Facebook @Elyn Jacobs and @Elyn Jacobs Consulting
Linkedin @Elyn Jacobs
The opinions expressed in this blog post are those of Elyn Jacobs, the author. If you would like more information about this vaccine or would like to connect with others interested in finding money to fund additional research and clinical trials please feel free to contact Elyn Jacobs directly.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit: To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST).

To learn about products that can help alleviate side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation including radiation burns, mouth sores, compromised skin, and more,  please visit

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Survive and Live Well – Internet Radio for Cancer Patients, Cancer Survivors and Cancer Thrivers

By Elyn Jacobs, Guest Blogger and Cancer Coach

I am no stranger to cancer. My father survived prostate cancer fifteen years ago; my mother battled breast cancer for thirteen years and lost her battle months after my own diagnosis. My sister would then be diagnosed mere months later. I was 45. We were young and healthy; young, healthy people don’t get cancer. We were wrong. We had to be missing something.

I reflected on my mother’s life with cancer. My mother’s journey was strife with episodes of doctor’s orders, not teamwork, and I had to intervene many times. I knew that she had been pushed into one final treatment that had little promise, and was to be the cause of her sudden and rapid decline. With one last gasp of air and the flickering of her eyes, she was gone. The fear in her eyes as they flashed and she fell silent is a sight I would never forget. It haunts me. I don’t want to die like that, of the terrible death cancer inflicts. I would not let this cancer take me from my two wonderful boys. I then reflected on my own journey. I had an incredible team of doctors who empowered me to take control of the situation and to be an active participant in my care. My questions were answered, my voice heard. Clearly, to have the best outcome, one must have a great team who is willing to work as a team. Still, team Elyn knew that just because treatment had ended, life without cancer had just begun.

I realized that I would do everything possible to avoid recurrence and to help others avoid getting this disease. I began with extensive research to better understand the causes which led to certain lifestyle changes I have made. I learned that healing requires more than just the best medical team. I learned that by changing the environment in which my cancer was permitted to grow, I could reduce its ability to take hold again. I found there was a gap between utilizing the best of medical science and supporting the body’s own innate ability to heal itself; nature provides ample resources for healing as well as enhancing conventional cancer treatment, but this ability requires support.

I like to say that my encounter with breast cancer propelled me on a life-changing course. One that took me from the darkness of cancer to empowering women to find the best treatment and team for their cancer, and to move on to a life of wellness. I realized that I could not return to my Wall Street job. I knew I had found my new passion. I wanted to be the voice. I wanted to make sure that all women were heard by their doctors and received the best possible care. I wanted to help women to reduce their risk of recurrence. I wanted others to know the value of complementary therapies during and post treatment. I wanted to help others get past their cancer and into cancer-free lives. I became a cancer coach. My life would be forever changed.

However, along this path I realized that coaching was not enough. I decided to host a radio show to give people access to doctors, peers, and critical information direct to their home or office. My show, Survive and Live Well, tips to treat and beat cancer, is part of the Cancer Support Network, (Women4CancerSupport). Join me weekly as I chat with the experts; hear the stories and paths taken by those who have traveled before and alongside you. We have an amazing lineup; upcoming shows will cover surgical options for breast cancer, genetics, and alternative options for treatment. Want a peek at upcoming guests? Click here for the show schedule of bios of past and future guests. We have fun, we learn a lot. You can listen live Tuesdays at 1pm, EST, by logging into Join us in the chat room to chat with other guests and to ask questions. Find the best options for you, for your cancer. Learn how you can help prevent recurrence and minimize the treatment side effects that compromise your health and well being. My goal is to empower you with information to help you regain control of your health; to not only treat cancer, but beat cancer, survive, thrive and live well.

To view a list of upcoming and past shows click here. Past shows/interviews have been archived and are available for you to listen at any time on your computer. There is no charge to listen to upcoming or archived shows. Click here for guest bios and topics.
Elyn Jacobs
Twitter @elynjacobs
Facebook @Elyn Jacobs and @Elyn Jacobs Consulting
Linkedin @Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit: To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit, Tuesdays at 1pm (EST).

To view products and other resources that can be helpful to cancer patients please click here: