Meeting the Challenges of Cancer Survivorship

Cancer is a journey, but you walk the road alone. There are many places to stop along the way and get nourishment — you just have to be willing to take it.

Emily Hollenberg

In a recent article, Overcoming the Mental Challenges of Cancer, Heather Fues, Oncology Nurse for Palmetto Toumey Health, Emily, Cancer Information Specialist for The American Cancer Society, Daun Davis, Colon Cancer Survivor, Margaret Wineglass, Adenocarcinoma Survivor, Katrina Mellerson, Breast Cancer Survivor, and Tiffany Collins, daughter of a stomach cancer victim, told how cancer is survivable and controlled with the mind. These women pointed out the mental and emotional challenges of surviving cancer, while having the fear of possible recurrence and guilt knowing that they have survived while other patients like them haven’t. These women told what inspired them to fight, live freely and at what point was it when they realized that they won the fight against cancer.

Javier, Cancer Information specialist for The American Cancer Society’s Hotline, has provided more information on cancer survivorship and how they help in the process of overcoming mentally. During a telephone interview he was asked to give an update on the programs offered by the American Cancer Society and to advise if there were any specific changes in the programs since the last update Emily, CIS provided two months ago.

He said, “ There hasn’t been any recent changes to the programs we currently offer”. Javier stated that everything is still the same at this time but that he would be more than happy to provide more information about the organization and to answer any questions.

Javier was asked to explain how he helps cancer patients, survivors and their families meet the challenges of cancer survivorship. He said, “I answer calls and emails from people with cancer, their family members and friends, and others who have questions about cancer.” He stated that the American Cancer Society’s National Cancer Information Center has developed an extensive database of up to date cancer information. The information provided in the database is what he shares daily with callers.

According to Javier, the database covers many topics and includes information on cancer prevention recommendations, guidelines for detecting cancer early, different cancer types and subtypes, cancer treatment options, their side effects and more.

He also said that he not only helps callers get information but he locates resources and different programs to help patients overcome mentally. Javier said he searches resources within specific areas for support services to see what’s offered in the different communities before directing patients to those support services.

Javier mentioned that the organization’s website includes a list of all programs and services offered along with facts about the American Cancer Society’s Hotline.

The Cancer Society Hotline can be reached at 1-800-227-2345. The help line is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The NCIC provides local information for everyone in the U.S.









Things Go Better With Coca-Cola

Has there ever been a time when your car windshield was dirty and filled with bugs and no cleaning supplies were available?


Coke can do a quick job of tearing through thick layers of insects, grime, and crap. It’s a dirty job, but it works.

Keonta Cobbs, father of two, states that he’s been using Coke as a cleaning supply for a while now. “I’m always traveling with my boys and don’t have time to stop and wash my car or go through a car wash”. Keonta said, it’s easier to just shake up a can and pour onto his windshield. He mentioned that when he pours the soda on the windshield it removes the bugs and dirt in no time, but that he has to pour water on the windshield afterwards to keep it from being sticky. “Most of the time I pour soda onto a cloth and wipe the windshield and finish up with a wet cloth to remove the soda”. He said that it’s quicker to use the windshield wipers to clean the window, but doing so could mess up the paint job on a vehicle.

Mr. Cobbs isn’t the only one using soda as a cleaning product. Nick Davis published an article on about homemade windshield bug remover. He talked about three different formulas and one of them was Coca-Cola. His instructions for applying the soda to the windshield were similar to Keonta’s. For cleaning up the soda he said, “Wash the windshield with ½ cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Rinse the windshield with clean water then dry the window with paper towels”.

Cleaning with a can of Coke may be the next best thing to cleaning supplies. Don’t forget to try it!


Help Fight Ovarian Cancer

SHOP at amazonsmile to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at no cost to you.

Make a difference and help beat cancer!!

Supporting the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is easy and simple. IT DOESN’T COST YOU ANYTHING!! When you make a purchase through Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Just in case you’re wondering, shopping at amazonsmile is no different from Prices, selection and convenience are all the same.

The Ovarian Cancer research Fund and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has been supporting patients and their families for over twenty two years. Providing advocacy and research. The OCRF and OCNA have now joined together to form the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance(OCRFA). According to ovarian, this will be the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families.

Get Involved!!!

Give through everyday interactions to help women kick cancer’s butt!

Life After Cancer Treatment

Love this. @mindsetofgreatness #quotes #survivor #fuckcancer #lifeaftercancer

A photo posted by Sara Davenport (@theoasisproject) on

Rev. Linda M., cancer survivor, wants people to know that “There is hope, healing is available and that there is life after cancer.” She was diagnosed in 2012 with Ovarian Cancer. During that time, Linda found comfort in family and friends and one particular thing that her husband said after her diagnosis. He said, “Come on, you’re going to be alright, we’ve fought bigger devils than this.”

Linda said that she didn’t think they ever fought bigger devils, but she didn’t cancel out those faith-filled words her husband spoke. Over the next few weeks she started treatment, she described treatment as a difficult time. While going through treatment she realized that the words her husband and friends spoke were the very words that comforted her during chemotherapy.

Linda said that she never forgot the words of a close friend that said “You’ll need to let others take care of you.” She found comfort in those words. She said “This offered me hope that there would be others to help me, just as I had given my help and support to others before.” Eventually, Rev. Linda had to stop with treatment. She said “Months later, I was forced to stop chemotherapy due to some complications. But, soon after that, an MRI showed I was cancer-free!”

Rev Linda M. stated that she is now on a committee for a 5K race (Athena’s Run) in the North Carolina area. Along with the commitie she helps celebrate cancer survivors, honor patients who die and encourage those who are fighting against gynecological cancers. Linda said that as a survivor, she has to be involved. She said, “I’ve been given the opportunity for life.” She wants to encourage other women to be sensitive to their bodies and to the voice of God. She said, “When you hear the word “cancer,” there can be an immediate kind of depression that occurs that can take us to a place where there is no hope.” Linda wants people to know that “there is hope—healing is available—there is life after cancer.”

According to Maribeth Maney, after cancer treatment, a new road of survivorship lies ahead. She states that many survivors are ready to put their cancer experience behind them, but they worry about the cancer coming back. Maney said that fear and anxiety are normal and that there are things cancer survivors can do to take care of themselves. She gives a list of five steps to live a heathier life after cancer treatment:

href=””>#cancer treatment #HealthyDriven

From The Author

“Cancer is only going to be a chapter in my life and not the whole story.”

Joe Wasser

Wasser said it best; cancer is just a chapter in your life. If you’re a cancer patient and you’re not done with treatment yet, you have something to look forward to. That something is Hope. A little piece of hope can make a big difference. Know that you’re only writing a chapter in your book and that this to shall past. If you’re a cancer survivor, you’ve already won the fight against cancer. Overcoming with the mind is winning! There is life after cancer. You have to find your own way to live. Linda used her voice to inform and encourage others because that’s what makes her happy. Live your life; find things that that you like doing. Inspire yourself to keep on living. #DoWhatYouLove #LifeAfterCancerExist #WhatWiLLItTake #Exercise #Encouragement #Counseling #HelpingOthers #WhatEverItIs #FindYourWay

Take the first step towards a better life and get the support you need. The link below provides assistance with finding services that can improve your quality of life.

Winning Against Colon Cancer

“I know, that I know, that I know, that God has kept watch over me through the years” she said.

She is Daun Davis, colon cancer survivor of 14 years. Daun said that through most of her childhood and young adult years, she has gone through trials, like most kids do. Back in 1999 she had a mild stroke. She lost use of her left arm and could not see out of her left eye. She was given medication to reverse the effects and she had surgery to clean out a carotid artery in her neck. She now has a long scar on her neck from the surgery, but all of her body functions have been 99.9% restored. Daun was 44 years old at this time, not overweight, had no high blood pressure and no others symptoms for strokes. She was able to return to work full-time and eventually moved from Baltimore, MD to South Carolina. She said, “God restored me!”

The 20th of June 2002 Daun was scheduled for a normal check up with her family doctor. She said, “During my visit, my doctor asked if I had any questions or concerns. I said I had none, other than I was eating huge amounts of ice.” Davis stated that she was having a strange craving for ice and not just any old kind, she had a particular type that she would eat. She ate the shaven kind, the small clumps of ice like the ice they sell at Sonic. “I was buying it by the bag like it was my treat.”

Daun stated that her doctor wanted to run some test to determine if she had an iron deficiency. The test results showed blood where it should not have been. She was then scheduled to take a colonoscopy. “They removed some polyps and found cancer on my colon. I was stage four.” Davis was then scheduled on the 5th of July to have surgery to try to remove the cancerous sections. “Everything was happening so fast.”

Surgery was a success, doctors were able to remove the cancerous sections and put her colon back together. She did not have to wear a colostomy bag. During surgery, however, doctors saw some spots on her liver and recommended that she have chemotherapy for three months. “I saw an oncologist who was very bleak. He couldn’t really look me in the eye during my visits. He looked sad when he would talk to me.” After treatment, Daun was scheduled to have a CAT scan to make sure that the spots they saw, which they could not conclude was cancer, did not change. She stated that her doctors were baffled when they got the results. Daun said that they could not explain why she was doing so well. “I KNEW IT WAS BECAUSE OF GOD. He heard my cry and interceded on my behalf! He spoke to me and told me that there was more work for me to do!”


Daun was able to take chemo treatments, rest for a day and return to work the next. She said, “The day of treatment, I was wiped out.” She was told that her medicine could cause nausea and hair loss. Her hair never fell out and she didn’t experience any nausea until the end of treatment. “God was with me all around this whole situation.” When Daun finished treatment she was extremely happy. She said that she was dancing in the office and was happy to get out of there.

When asked how she overcame cancer mentally she replied “My faith in God.” She said she was never going to give up. That she would have fought until her very last breath. She mentioned that walking, exercising when she could, encouragement from family and friends and joining a cancer support group also helped her overcome cancer mentally.

Daun would like to encourage cancer patients and survivors to stay positive and never give up. To have your family talk to each other about their health issues so that they will know their history. She said, “We all know our family tree, but talk about your HEALTH TREE. Don’t be ASHAMED!”

“I’m a survivor of 14 years! I praise God for his grace!”

From The Author

When Daun was diagnosed with cancer she said that the initial shock and trying to digest everything was difficult. Her desire was to grow older to see her children grown and on their own. She wanted to see her grandchildren too, but wasn’t sure if it was possible with stage four cancer. She became a survivor in 2002. It’s now 2016. She was able to see her children and grandchildren grow up. She is proof that cancer is beatable mentally and physically. Before the cancer was removed from her body, and before she even finished treatment she had already won the fight against colon cancer.

“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.”


Fighting Cancer From Within

“Cancer may have started the fight, but I will finish it.” –

Tambre Leighn, a certified life coach is experienced in cancer survivorship and wellness coaching. Tambre according to her LinkedIn profile has delivered cancer survivorship and wellness coaching, workshops, and leadership training to top organizations including: USC Phillip Norris Cancer Center, Emory University, Mattel Inc., Keep A Breast Foundation, Thrive/Survive Los Angeles, Pink Link, and more. Additionally, she’s currently designing pilot programs with several top cancer treatment centers which integrate coaching into survivorship care planning.

Her LinkedIn’s back ground summary also states that as a published author, Tambre’s articles on coaching for cancer survivors and caregivers have appeared in leading cancer magazines including Coping With Cancer and Breast Cancer Wellness; she also blogs regularly as an expert for the non-profit, “I Had Cancer.”

According to her liked in profile, her passion for transforming healthcare and providing programs that are prevention based comes from her personal experience of losing her husband to cancer when he was only 37 years old.

Tambre uses Twitter to help cancer survivors and caregivers to move from surviving to thriving! She encourages by posting positive and encouraging post.

Her mission on Facebook is to transform survivorship for cancer survivors, caregivers & healthcare professionals. Tambre provides ways to support cancer patients and survivors, resources than can be used for support and of course inspiration. She also provides informative information in post that are very beneficial to healthcare professionals.

Tambre Leighn is also on Google+ helping cancer survivors & caregivers move from surviving to thriving! She even gives tips to those who are seeking a life coach.

Tambre Leighn is an expert in cancer survivorship. She is always uplifting through social media and providing informative information.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Their LinkedIn profile states “Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.”

The official American Cancer Society page on Google+ is used to help cancer patients and survivors get well and stay well  by finding cures and fighting back.

The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913 by 10 doctors and 5 laypeople in New York City. It was called the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC). According to, this was at time when cancer meant certain death. Patients weren’t always told when they had cancer back then. If they were told, they didn’t always tell their friends and family they had been diagnosed.

This organization has always and is currently expanding their research. “Thanks in part to the Society’s work, there are nearly 14.5 million people alive in the United States alone who have survived cancer. More than 500 lives are being saved each day that would have otherwise been lost to cancer.”

From The Author

You may have to learn new ways to cope when fighting cancer from within. That’s ok because trying is winning. Managing sadness and anxiety are important when overcoming cancer mentally. Yes, you may have to improve communication with your doctors or health care teams, talk to your friends and family about cancer, find reliable information or useful resources in your community while managing financial challenges too. It’s cool……. It’s called “Cancer Survivorship”

Always keep in mind….

“What Cancer Cannot Do”

Cancer is so limited…

It cannot cripple love

It cannot shatter hope

It cannot corrode faith

It cannot destroy peace

It cannot kill friendship

It cannot suppress memories

It cannot silence courage

It cannot invade the soul

It cannot steal eternal life

It cannot conquer the spirit”

– Author Unknown

Cancer Survivorship

Katrina Mellerson first noticed a lump on her right breast back in 2005. She said “ I had just got home from work and was about to take a shower when I noticed a lump on my right breast. It felt like a rock.” Mellerson stated that she then had her first biopsy done where doctors stuck a needle into her breast to pull out fluid. She had what she called a lumpectomy.

Years went by and it wasn’t until 2008 when she felt a lump again. Katrina said “ Everything was good until 2008”. This time, she saw a different doctor at New York Hospital. This particular doctor told her that her previous lump was cancerous and that the current lump was too. Katrina was very upset because she was told something different from before. “I was diagnosed with cancer.” She said that if she had known then that it was cancerous she would have started treatment then instead of waiting. “I could have done treatment then instead of waiting”.

Mellerson stated that at her second doctor’s appointment she had to get the lump removed. She said, “I was given the choice to remove my right boob or get a mastectomy.” Removing her boob, she said, would have made her feel like she was less of a woman. She decided to get the mastectomy and keep her boob.

“I was distraught and not prepared at all for this news”

After the lump removal, Katrina began treatment at Trident Hospital in Charleston South Carolina. Treatment began on April 28, 2009 and lasted until June 6, 2010. During treatment, Mellerson said that most of her stress came from her non-supportive mother, how her diagnosis affected her daughter Jasmine, her four hour-long treatment sessions and this medicine called The Red Devil.

She said that her mother wouldn’t attend doctor appointments regularly or help out with her daughter after her treatment sessions. She said, “I would be very tired and sleepy after treatment when I got home and my mother would ask me to get up out the bed and feed my daughter.” Katrina stated that she moved back to South Carolina from New York after being diagnosed with cancer so that she could get some help, but that it didn’t turn out that way. She said most days after treatment she even had to drive herself home.

During treatment, Jasmine started to act out but never admitted that she didn’t like or want to see her mom battling with cancer. The four-hour treatment sessions were once a week in the beginning, but eventually slowed up to once every two weeks. She said it was the Benadryl they gave her during treatments that always knocked her out.

The Red Devil, according to Katrina, was an all red medication that caused her hair and eyebrows to fall out. She said, “I ran from treatment for four months because I wasn’t ready for the transition.”

When asked to describe how she felt in two words about her overall situation she said “ Why me?”

When asked how she overcame cancer mentally she talked about her goals and receiving encouragement. Mellerson said that her main goal was to complete treatment so she could get back to her normal life. Focusing on what her outcome would be is what she said helped her to stay focus and maintain. She said, “I had to complete treatment because I wanted my hair and eyebrows to grow back. I was ready to get back to doing me.”

She also stated that family members would often encourage her and that the encouragement was a big help along her journey to recovery.

Tambre Leighn, a cancer survivorship coach expert has a Twitter account that she uses to encourage cancer patients and survivors. In a recent post she said, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you how your story ends.”

In another post she asked, “How effective is a lecture from your doctor?” In that post she links an article titled “A better way” and asked her viewers to check out her comment about the article because she believes that there is a better approach to lecturing cancer patients.

Eight Mental Tips for Coping With Cancer Treatment is an article that Eric Ryals posted to his LinkedIn account. He applied his athletic mindset to his battle against cancer and shared how he mentally overcame cancer in hopes of helping someone else face any extreme physical, mental and spiritual challenge. His eight tips are:

  1. Mind Over Matter
  2. Stay In the Present Tense
  3. Annihilate Self-Doubt: You Will Prevail
  4. Personify Adversity: Conquer the “Beast”
  5. Embrace the Love and Good Will of Others
  6. You Call This Pain? This Is Relatively Nothing
  7. Laughing and Crying Is the Same Release
  8. Happiness Is A Decision.

The American Cancer Society posted an image of a Facebook emoji on May 25, 2016 to their Facebook page asking all individuals to post in the comments all emoji reactions that describe how they are feeling along their cancer journey. The American Cancer Society stated, “ Your cancer journey can bring out many emotions- how are you feeling today? Use Facebook emoji reactions to tell us how you’re feeling today-we’re all in this together”.

The link to the Facebook post is provided below.

There are many ways to overcome cancer mentally. Check out the Cancer Survivorship Talk audio below.

From The Author
There are many ways to overcome cancer mentally. Find what helps you live freely. You’ve already won the fight by trying!

Living Life With Autism

Adrienne Kelly’s 25-year-old son, Prince, was diagnosed with autism at the age of one. He was taken to the doctor for a well child visit where he was first diagnosed with cataracts. Doctors informed his mom that cataracts were often seen in older people. He was taken back for more test and doctors eventually told her that he was suffering from autism. They ran multiple tests and finally told her that he would never be like a normal child.

Asking Kelly questions was easy; she didn’t mind speaking up about her son. When asked what was it like growing up in the home, she said, “It wasn’t too hard”. She had to treat little Prince the same way she did her other two children. In a single parent home she spoke about patience and how that was the key to taking care of her baby boy. Prince couldn’t walk on his own until he was about three years old, he wouldn’t speak or try to mumble words that a child that age would normally do. The basic needs at that age were no problem. She had done that stuff with her other children. It wasn’t until he got older when things changed.

Teaching him how to care for his self was challenging. It wasn’t as easy teaching him how to wash. It took time, but he eventually got it. Kelly said being a single parent, working, and not always having someone to look after her son meant that she had to teach him what to do. “It took time, but it was doable”. She made that clear. Prince knew how to lock and unlock the house door just in case he got home from school and Adrienne wasn’t there. He could microwave his food, use the bathroom and do all basic things needed to take care of his self until she got home. Adrienne stated that his autism didn’t stop him from learning how to do things; his learning ability was just slower than the average child’s.

Kelly described her son’s personality and what it was like for him in school. She said, “My son was always and still is a happy person. He had times when he would act out, but mostly whenever he was around large crowds. He also knew when he was being picked at”. On his way to school one morning another small boy was picking at him. He took his hat and wouldn’t give it back. Prince reacted by hitting the young boy.

Prince attended most of his school days in New York City. He was in a class where he was taught individually. It wasn’t until after he got in school that he could talk. He was able to take speech classes and learn sign language. He was separated from other students who didn’t have a disability when it was time for lunch, but like most people he had rules to follow. He even had chores. Kelly said, “In certain areas of his life he was treated differently from a normal child, but in others he was treated just the same.”

Adrienne Kelly made it clear that her son was not mentally retarded. She said that’s how his doctors and most people would identify him. “My son is not mentally retarded, he is pretty intelligent. He can have a full conversation with anyone, he may not be able to read, write or ride a bike like most young adults at his age, but he can do great things. Prince received his high school diploma and never missed a day from school. My son can swim and ice skate and knows all about personal hygiene.”

Kelly discussed many reasons why people should get informed about autism and how to deal with it in the home. When asked if she had any advice for other parents or disabled people suffering from autism she said, “Patience is the key, it’s a lot of work, but if I can do it, anyone can.”

While speaking to Adrienne about Prince, he sat in the next room and remained quiet until he was asked a few questions. When asked, “How are you?” he replied, “I’m fine thank you. How are you?” Prince was able to engage in a full conversation. His speech was different, but he understood and answered all questions.

For more information on living with autism, email

Words From The Author
Living With Autism is not the end of the world. We all are different and beautiful in our own special way. It doesn’t matter if you are affected by this disease, if a family member has it or just a close friend. This is no reason to give up on or not live your dreams. Learn about the disease and use what you can to DO WHAT YOU LOVE or to help someone else achieve.

How To Identify & Handle Stress

How To Identify & Handle Stress from Ashley Singletary on Vimeo.

Marquita, a local resident of Sumter South Carolina, sat down in a brief interview to tell her story on what causes her to become stressed. She also talked about coming up with different techniques to reduce her stress level. She is 32 years old and is a single mother of three. She works and attends school full-time. When asked what causes stress for her she said that she becomes stressed with minimum help from her children’s father. Also, mentioning the fact that they don’t live in the same household as their father.

She stated that most of her stress is caused at home, but that she experiences high stress while dealing with personal issues too. Her finances, full-time workload at school and high blood pressure all are included in her personal issues. Out of all the things that cause high stress in her life she mentioned that she could control some. “I can control my blood pressure by taking medicine and watching my sodium intake. I can partially control my personal issues.” Lastly, she stated she could control her finances by spending money wisely.

During the interview, Marquita stated that she loved to attend church and learn about spiritual life. Spending time with her children, doing make-up and traveling is what she enjoys and does the most. “I’m passionate about life because it’s too short. I experience so much death with family members, I’m just happy to wake up every day.”

When asked if she manages her time well she replied, “No, my time management is very bad.” She often wishes for an extra three or four hours a day. Procrastination was the explanation she gave for not managing her time well. Marquita’s techniques to try to handle stress included being by herself and simply taking time to meditate and think.

Too many activities a day is not the problem she explained. “I have a lot of time; I just don’t use it wisely because of minimum help.” She often feels vulnerable to stress. Yes, easy to become stressed when her kids are fighting or when she is tired. She admits to trying to please everyone, which can cause her to be highly stressed. “I always put pressure on me.”

She was asked to explain how she handles stress a second time; she said, “I just read my Bible”.

Darien, Marquita’s oldest son, was asked to describe how he felt his mother handled stress from day to day. He said “She gets really quiet and sometimes she even reads a book”. As Darien described his mother’s stress he also talked about helping out at home and how he tries to assist in every way to help his mom.

After sitting down with Marquita and her son, research was completed on finding ways to handle stress. According to Margarita Tartakovsky, the author of an article titled “>10 Practical Ways to Handle Stress”, Stress is normal and everyone is faced with it at some point. The best thing to do is to “take action”. Here are a few ways that Tartakovsky says stress can be handled:

  1. Figure out where the stress is coming from
  2. Consider what you can control and work on that
  3. Do what you love
  4. Manage your time well
  5. Create a toolbox of techniques
  6. Pick off the negotiable from your plate
  7. Don’t leave yourself extra stress
  8. Preserve good boundaries
  9. Realize there’s a difference between worrying and caring
  10. Embrace mistakes and don’t drown in perfectionism

For more detailed information on how to handle stress you can click here.

Notes From the Author:

We all come from different walks of life. Along our journeys to mastery life can and will throw curve balls. It’s up to us to believe in ourselves, seek help and move on. As our journey shortens we must stay motivated and proactive. “Do what you love”. Stress can be experienced anywhere and everyone has different stress triggers. Identify what is causing the stress, and try to find ways to handle it. If it’s beyond your control let it roll off your back. It’s just another bump in the road.