Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tips To Prepare for Chemotherapy and Radiation

Select Your Teams, Organize Your Medical Records and Do Your Research

by Margot Malin

Have you or has someone you know recently been diagnosed with cancer? Here are some helpful things to consider before starting treatment.

This post is condensed version of a more detailed post appearing in the Breast Cancer Yoga Blog.

    1. Choose your medical and support teams. Your "medical team" members can include: your surgeon, your oncologist, your oncology nurses, your nurse navigator, and a cancer coach.  Your "support team" can include friends, family and individuals you meet through support organizations.
             Click to learn more about nurse navigators and cancer coaches.

Medical Team - Cancer Support
2.  Do your research so that you thoroughly understand your treatment protocol. Be active in selecting your course of treatment if you are given a series of choices or options. Having some control and “buying in” will help your frame of mind and can even enhance your outcome. Do as much research as you feel comfortable with. Focus on the important facts. The book TheWeb-Savvy Patient: An Insider's Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis is a helpful resource.

3.  Ask about side effects. Be sure to review the potential physical side effects that might result from your treatment. Not all chemotherapy drugs cause the same side effects. Being aware of the side effects caused by the medications you will receive can help you to prepare in advance and purchase products which can help reduce these side effects. To view products to help relieve cancer treatment side effects visit the on line store: http://www.lotstolivefor.com/.

  4. Organize your medical records.  An important way to take control of your health is to take control of your medical records. Be sure you have them organized and in one easily accessible location. You will be visiting a number of doctors and facilities and receiving a variety of treatments and tests.  It is unlikely that they will all be coordinated at the practitioner level.  The MinervaHealth Manager helps you organize your health records in a single coordinated location and it is portable and can be carried with you to doctor appointments and treatments.

 5.  Explore Resources.  In addition to your “teams” there are many support organizations that can help.  A good starting point is to look at the “Collection of CancerResources” that we have compiled on the Lots To Live For website. Your treatment facility might also recommend or have list of support groups. 

 6.  Nutrition and Supplements can help.  The right food can make your body stronger.  Carefully selected nutritional supplements can be a valuable tool in rebuilding your body’s immune system. You might also want to consult a nutritionist who specializes in cancer nutrition.  Two books of interest include: American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Survivors: Eating Well,Staying Well During and After Cancer and The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence Continue healthy eating during treatment and after treatment is complete.

  7.  Strengthen your body through careful exercise and stretching. Optimize your mobility, strength and conditioning before your surgery or other treatment protocol. This can help reduce your recovery time. 

You can create positive energy by embracing these 7 tips. The key takeaways are to: take control and be proactive, be organized, create support networks using the numerous resources available and make educated choices.

To read the full post click: http://breastcanceryogablog.com/2013/10/31/7-tips-for-preparing-for-chemotherapy-and-radiation/
Just Diagnosed Cancer Kit

Looking for just the right gift for someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer?
The "Just Diagnosed Kit" includes a collection of helpful items to begin a journey towards wellness.
Click here to learn more about this gift: http://www.lotstolivefor.com/just-diagnosed-cancer-kit/

Friday, October 25, 2013

Please Vote to Help Us Comfort More Cancer Patients

Lots To Live For, Inc. has applied to the Mission Main Street Grants sponsored by Chase bank. We hope to qualify to be considered for a grant to grow our business.

We need votes to help us qualify for the grant.
Please support us by clicking here: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/62842
Then, click on the word vote to support us.

Vote to Help the Cancer Community
This grant will help us bring comfort to more cancer patients. We will be able to add new products to reduce and relieve the side effects of cancer surgery, chemotherapy and radiation oncology.

Mission Main Street(TM) Grants is a grant program sponsored by Chase to award twelve small businesses with grants to help expand their businesses.

All businesses need 250 votes to be considered for the grant. We truly appreciate your support which will help to positively impact and brighten the lives of those affected by cancer.

PLEASE VOTE: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/62842

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tips To Help You Soothe Radiation Burns from Britta Aragon, founder of CV Skinlabs

by Britta Aragon

This is a condensed version of the complete post which you can access:

Ask anyone who's been through radiation treatments, and they'll tell you - one of the most difficult things to deal with are the burns.  Radiation kills cancer cells, but on its way into the body to attack the tumor, it can also damage skin cells.  Depending on the intensity or strength of the beam and how many sessions you have, the burns may range from minor redness and swelling, like a sunburn, to more sever blistering, peeling and flaking.

When treating these types of burns, the standard, over-the-counter petroleum-based products just won't cut it! Petroleum covers the skin, but does noting to nourish or heal it, and can actually contribute to more dryness over the long term.  Chemical preservatives and fragrances can also contribute to the irritation and pain.

Instead, what you need when treating radiation burns is:
A. Something to cool it down
B. Something to heal it
C. Something to deeply moisturize

In this blog post Britta Aragon, cancer survivor, shares tips for reducing the effects of radiation on the skin. Britta shares her skin care knowledge as a make up artist and esthetician.  "My goal is to encourage people to be extra kind to their bodies, minds and souls during what can be a very difficult time...Self-care is where the healing starts."

Using her expertise, Britta has developed the CV Skinlabs product line especially for sensitive skin.  With careful attention paid to be sure that all ingredients are natural and soothing, CV Skinlabs products deliver beauty and safety without compromise.

There are currently 4 products in the CV Skinlabs product line (shown above) and Britta explains how they can help you relive the symptoms of radiation burns including itch, radiation bumps and radiation rash with these fabulous products that she has developed.

  1. Rescue & Relief Spray - brings cooling relief to dry, itchy, burning and irritated skin
  2. Body Repair Lotion - hydrates dry skin and restores radiance, relieves dry itcy skin
  3. Restorative Skin Balm - advanced therapy for severely dry and cracked skin, helps scars
  4. Calming Moisture for Face, Neck and Scalp - helps to immediately calm, hydrate & nourish chronically dry and flushed skin while returning radiance.

Please enter our FACEBOOK RAFFLE to win a FREE CV SKINLABS RESCUE & RELIEF SPRAY.  Please "LIKE" one of the raffle announcement posts, and be sure you "LIKE" our facebook page to enter. You can find our facebook page www.facebook.com/LotsToLiveFor by clicking here

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Salvestrols are an Indispensable Weapon in the Battle Against Cancer

by Elyn Jacobs

Learn about how Salvestrols combat cancer and why Salvestrols are an indispensable weapon in the battle against cancer i


Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Exectutive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What You Put On Your Skin Matters ~ Scrutinze Ingredients - Here's Why!

By Jama Russano, Guest Blogger

Did you know that ninety percent of skin-care products on the market contain ingredients that can be carcinogenic, estrogenic, or teratogenic, with the potential for long-term serious neurological disorders and conditions? Skin is the body’s largest organ; everything we put on our skin can potentially end up in our bodies. Be kind to your skin. DermaQOL personal care products have been formulated with organic essential oils, extracts and natural materials and all products are free of harsh ingredients.

Be kind to your skin!  To read more about the risks of some ingredients that are frequently used in personal care product and have the potential to be harmful , please visit our new Wordpress Blog at:


DermaQOL Gift Kit 
It took five years to create a solution for the most delicate and sensitive, chemically reactive skin! DermaQOL Personal Care products are specifically formulated from a select group of certified organic essential oils, extracts, and resins combined with natural materials that meet strict standards and "free of harsh ingredient list". Delicate, nourishing, and sensitive skin-care products simply glide across your skin without pulling and tugging. Feel the difference! Take the challenge and compare the DermaQOL products to the items your are currently using.

To learn more about DermaQOL products and to purchase DermaQOL products visit: http://www.lotstolivefor.com/brands/Derma-QOL.html

Please visit the Lots To Live For!  Wordpress cancer blog where you can comment on our posts, and sign up to receive new posts by email:  http://blog.lotstolivefor.com/

Jama Russano, the author of this post has over 30 years of experience in the cosmetics industry.  She developed Thorne Organics and DermaQOL Estrogenic Activity Free Skin Care Products. (You can read more about Jama's biography in the full blog post by clicking above).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Radiant Wrap – Stylish and Comfortable Radiation Therapy Gowns - Inspiration During Treatment

We have transitioned to a new blog format. You can find the full copy of this post at our new Wordpress blog at:

Thanks to Maria Lucas of Radiant Wrap a visit to a radiation oncology center doesn't have to mean wearing a frayed and faded gown. The inspiration for her idea came during her treatment and it is one of her ways to "pay it forward" and help other patients feel more comfortable during treatment.
Radiant Wrap founders - Maria Lucas and her son
Maria says "I knew I wanted something that was stylish and flattering, something that was closed and secure at the back and something that didn’t have ties, buttons, Velcro or snaps. I thought if I could cut up these gowns and design a one piece wrap around that tied at the waist, I would have a beautiful alternative gown. And that is exactly what I did. I had a prototype made of my design, and a first run of forty gowns made that June, six months after I was diagnosed and one month after I finished my radiation."

Read more in the blog post, where you can also read about how to order a Radiant Wrap for yourself or a loved one.

You can view and purchase Radiant Wrap gowns at: http://www.theradiantwrap.com/

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CureLauncher Offers Personalized Clinical Trial Matching

Our blog has transitioned to a new format on Wordpress.
Please click on the link below to be taken to the full version of this blog post about CureLauncher.

If you are seeking new treatments and clinical trials  CureLauncher can help give you the power and the support to make a life changing decision. Warm, compassionate, and experienced relationship managers will guide you through the process of finding a new treatment.  Taking control and knowing your options opens up a whole new world of hope.  CureLauncher can help connect you with clinical trials in your area.

CureLauncher - Take Contol Know Your Options
 For more information and to read  a testimonial from Barb Hollingsworth click here: http://blog.lotstolivefor.com/2013/06/18/curelauncher-personalized-clinical-trial-matching/

Please subscribe to our new blog - you can sign up to receive new posts by email on the home page - on the right column.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tips to Combat Cancer Side Effects and Improve Comfort During Cancer Treatment

by Margot Malin, Founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.

Please note that this is an excerpt from a recent blog piece posted on our new Wordpress blog.
All new blog posts will be published at:
Please visit our new blog to subscribe / sign up to receive emails when we publish new posts.
The sign up is on the right side of the template "Subscribe to Blog Via Email" 
(subscribers to this blog will not automatically be transferred to the new blog)

Our latest post is entitled:

Tips to Improve Comfort During Cancer Treatment / How To Combat Cancer Side Effects

Starting either chemotherapy or radiation oncology treatment can feel overwhelming. There are logistics and arrangements to consider, medical research and treatment options to review, as well as getting through daily tasks.  Patients often forget to explore how they can reduce cancer treatment side effects.  Reducing unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects is important because the more comfortable you feel during treatment, the more likely you will be to continue through treatments uninterrupted, and the better your outcome will be. In addition, you will be able to carry on a more normal lifestyle, and have a better overall frame of mind.
Lots To Live For, Inc. provides Comfort During Cancer

In the post we offer concrete suggestions about how to combat the inevitable debilitating side effects of treatment. We share information about a variety of products that can make you more comfortable during chemotherapy and radiation. We offer tips and resources about nutrition and exercise during cancer. And perhaps most helpful, we offer suggestions for a "goody bag" of helpful items to take with you to radiation and chemotherapy treatments to enhance your comfort.

Please click here to view the full blog post.

To learn more about products to help reduce and relieve the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation please visit us at: www.LotsToLiveFor.com

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Lymphedema Breast Cancer App - A Comprehensive “On the Go” Guide to Lymphedema

The Lymphedema Breast Cancer App features information on what lymphedema is and how to reduce your risk. The App is a resource for all women who have had lymph node surgery or radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment and who are at risk of developing Lymphedema. The App includes a “step by step” video teaching users how to measure their own arm. Users can save their arm measurements in the App’s measures diary, allowing them to track the size of their arm over time.

The Lymphoedema Breast Cancer App can be downloaded from the itunes and Google Play stores for $1.99. The App is compatible for both smartphone and tablet devices.

The Lymphoedema Breast Cancer App was developed by Kelly Foote, who is a cancer care physiotherapist and the app developer. She is a guest blogger for the article described herein and which you can access by clicking below.

Lymphodema Breast Cancer App
We are transitioning the Cancer Blog: Lots To Live For!  blog format over to our new Wordpress Blog.

You can click here to view the full post about The Lymphedema Breast Cancer App.

Please sign up to subscribe to our new blog format (you can do this on the new blog). 
If  you are a subscriber to this blog your subscription will not automatically carry over.

We appreciate your interest in our blog posts.  We have some awesome and informative posts scheduled in the near future so please be sure not to miss them!

Note: Kelly Foote is a Cancer Care Physiotherapist and the Lymphoedema Breast Cancer App Developer. Kelly resides in Brisbane, Australia.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Finished with Cancer Treatment…Now What?! Creating Your Cancer Survivorship Care Plan!

By Tambre Leighn, MA, CPC, ELI-MP (guest blogger)
Ring the bell, hug the nurses goodbye.  Part of you is celebrating and another part is wondering, now what?

A recent report by the Center for Disease Control, announced the great news that overall trends show lives lost to cancer are decreasing.[1]  This corollary of this is that more people are living longer as survivors…often dealing with significant challenges as a result of their cancer or treatments.

Finally, there is an increasing awareness that while the end of treatment is a milestone, it is not the finish line and, in many ways, it is just the beginning of not only recovery from cancer but recovery of your life. 

Now what?  A cancer survivorship care plan is a great place to start.  It’s now considered standard of care according to the Commission on Cancer 2012 New Cancer Program Standards The Future of Quality Cancer Care.[2]  This is new territory.   It will take time to develop guidelines, systems and processes to support the implementation of this new tool for survivors.

Being proactive requires self-advocacy, which, in turn, requires knowledge.  A basic survivorship care plan includes the following elements:
  •  An organized, thorough and accessible personal health record summarizing the history of your care  including scans, test results, treatment plans, etc.  This personal health record should be portable so that you can bring it to future appointments.  It can be in the format of well-organized physical documents, created using personal health record software – or a mixture of both.
  •   A schedule of follow up care including information on potential late effects of treatment
  •  Guidelines for well being including physical, emotional and financial along with an outline of resources to support you.
If your medical team has not provided you with a care plan even though you’re coming up on the end of treatment or you’re finished, it is up to you to ask.  For more information, check out Livestrong http://www.livestrongcareplan.org/ (also available in Spanish) and my blog post, Survivorship Care Plans ~ Empowerment Through Awarenes.

[1] Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2009 http://seer.cancer.gov/report_to_nation/
[2] www.wicancer.org/documents/McKellar_1245pm.ppt

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, Imerman Angels and Caring Bridge.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seize the Days: Interviews with Cancer Patients and Survivors Provide Inspiration

Celebrating the Ways Cancer Patients Add Life to Their Days 

by Evan J. Lipson, M.D., guest blogger  

Dr. Evan Lipson is an oncologist who launched an organization called "Seize the Days" in order to celebrate people living with cancer and explore the ways they make their days meaningful. The project gives patients and their loved ones an opportunity to record and share their stories using broadcast-quality audio interviews, which are available to view at www.seizethedays.org.

Interviews on the website from over 50 patients demonstrate that people living with cancer add life to their days in all sorts of interesting and remarkable ways. Some people strengthen relationships with loved ones, becoming even closer with family and friends. Other people concentrate on activism, starting foundations or fundraising. Some derive fulfillment by creating something - art, poetry, or music. These creations help patients express emotions, leave a legacy, or regain a sense of control.

Dr. Lipson
One of the reasons for developing this site is to showcase the spirit and courage of cancer patients in order to inspire others. In addition, the website provides patients and families an avenue through which they can share and memorialize their stories and those of their loved ones. To learn more and listen to these compelling, touching interviews, visit www.seizethedays.org         

Evan J. Lipson, M.D (oncologist)
President, Seize the Days, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
You can also become a facebook fan when you visit the website.

To learn about products that can help alleviate unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation please visit www.LotsToLiveFor.com. This website offers products to soothe and heal radiation burns and radiation dermatitis, combat nausea, help compromised skin, help mouth sores and dry mouth, and more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Imerman Angels - Connecting Cancer Fighters, Survivors and Caregivers

By Jonny Imerman
Chief Mission Officer, Imerman Angels

Imerman Angels provides personalized connections that enable 1-on-1 support among cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.      

On a Thursday morning in October 2001, my world came to a standstill. At 26 years old, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Although the surgery to remove my left testicle went well, it soon became clear that the cancer had spread, or “metastasized”. The disease was making its way up my body.

I knew what was nextchemotherapy -but I did not understand what that meant. What color is it? How will it make me feel? I called my brother. I started sobbing. I could barely talk. My world was shattered. But, I was not going to give up.

My oncologist told me that the treatments might make me sterile. So, I went to a cryogenics laboratory to bank sperm. After that, it was time to start intense cycles of chemotherapy.

The treatment weakened my body and wiped out most of my white blood cells. In fact, I was in such bad shape, the doctors were forced to delay my chemotherapy while my body recovered between cycles. In addition, the chemotherapy caused many side effects: throat sores, mouth sores, skin rashes, dry skin, cystic acne, extreme fatigue, hair loss, numbness in my fingers and toes, and partial hearing loss. But the most damaging side effect was a blood clot that developed in my left arm. The clot formed around my port, a medical implant that was an access point for my chemotherapy. The doctors had to remove my port, pull out most of the blood clot, and then pump me with blood thinners to break up the rest.

At last, after five months of brutal chemo treatment, I thought my fight was over. I slowly returned to the gym, started going out socially, and got back into life. Although I was happy to be alive, every day was a challenge. I did not have as much energy. I looked different. I struggled to find my post-cancer identity. Just as I was getting comfortable with myself, I learned the fight was not over.

Nearly one year after chemotherapy, a routine CT scan showed four tumors along my spine. Rather than risk cutting the spine, the surgeon went in through the stomach. He made an 11-inch incision, placed my organs to the side, and took out each tumor. The surgery lasted for four hours. It was successful, and finally I was freed from the disease and able to begin my road to recovery.

But my journey was certainly not over. I had made a vow to myself during the time that I was battling cancer. I had looked at others in the oncology clinic and realized that I was different. Each day, my room was filled with family members, close friends and my great doctors. With so much support, I did not have a chance to lose hope. However, in many of the other rooms, hope already seemed lost. As I walked down the hall with my chemotherapy IV-pole on the way to the bathroom, I saw other people fighting cancer alone. They were lying in bed, motionless, watching television or staring in space. Their only stimulation was a nurse checking in for a minute or two on the hour. I knew this was not right. It upset me.

So, my vow was to start helping my fellow fighters in the simplest way that I could. I walked into the other rooms, one at a time, and introduced myself. “Hey, what’s up, I’m Jonny. What’s your name?” Although they were exhausted just like me, everyone was friendly and welcomed my conversation. We shared stories, emotions, and different opinions about many things in life. Our common bond? We were all fighting for life.

Although I had my network of support in my family, friends and doctors, once I started introducing myself to these fellow fighters I realized that they were providing me something valuable that my caregivers could not. From deep discussions about the fears with fertility issues, to simply learning that sucking on Lemonheads candies alleviates the metallic taste from chemo, talking to others who also faced cancer was a powerful, insightful and uplifting tool.

I wondered: “What if every cancer fighter could talk to a cancer survivor who was uniquely familiar with their experience; who not only had beaten the same type and stage of cancer, but who also was the same age and gender as the fighter?” The cancer survivor would be an angelwalking, living proof that the fighter could win, too. What an amazing connection. This is why I created Imerman Angels.

What does Imerman Angels do?

Imerman Angels carefully matches and individually pairs a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. These 1-on-1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience.

The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world. Imerman Angels is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Visit www.ImermanAngels.org for information on how to support or join the network of cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.

Today, we have the largest network of cancer survivors in the world; more than 4,000 cancer survivors and over 1,500 caregivers. They live in all 50 states, and over 60 countries.

We help thousands of families with cancer, across the world, every year.

1-on-1 cancer support works for one reason: we all BELIEVE.

Jonny Imerman, founder of Imerman Angels
No one should fight this disease alone. 

The author, Jonny Imerman is a young adult cancer survivor who strives to make sure no one fights cancer without the support of someone who has already triumphed over the disease.  After being diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 26, Jonny decided to found Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization, which carefully matches a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Imerman Angels now has more than 4,000 cancer survivors and more than 1,500 caregivers in its network, and has been featured by dozens of news organizations including The Wall Street Journal, Harpo Radio’s “Oprah and Friends” with Dr. Oz, Men’s Health, NBC5 Chicago, CBS2 Chicago, ABC7 Chicago, ESPN Radio Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, LIVESTRONG Quarterly, and Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.  Jonny received a 2012 CNN Hero Award; 2012 Lincoln Park Young Professionals ‘Chicago Best of The Best’ Award; 2011 Twilight Foundation Detroit’s Civic Leadership Award; 2011 Chicago Social Magazine’s ‘Who is Chicago’ Award; 2010 Jefferson Award for Public Service; 2010 University of Michigan Humanitarian Service Award; 2009 Ulman Cancer Fund For Young Adults ‘Hope Award’; and 2007 Daily Candy ‘Sweetest Thing’ Award.  Jonny has been invited to speak at cancer centers such as MD Anderson, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Mayo Clinic, Dana-Farber, City of Hope, Northwestern, Rush, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Jonny grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI and lives in Chicago.
Visit Imerman Angels at: www.ImermanAngels.org
Follow Imerman Angels on twitter: @ImermanAngels

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 Creating the 10 to Thrive eBook, Annie Appleseed Project and Caring Bridge, among others. To view products that can help alleviate the unpleasant and uncomfortable side effects of chemotherapy and radiation please visit www.LotsToLiveFor.com.
Lots To Live For, Inc. ~ Comfort, Hope, Inspiration

Help to spread the word about Imerman Angels by winning a free T shirt like Jonny is wearing above - visit www.facebook.com/LotsToLiveFor and "like" the both the page, and the link for this blog post to be entered in a raffle. The contest will end on 1/22/13 and the winner will be announced on 1/23.