You Are A Breast Cancer Survivor

With every Breast Cancer diagnosis, these simple words are what every single Breast Cancer fighter hopes to hear at their end of their fight.

Between chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and hormonal treatments, the targeted approach to kill the existing cancer while preventing a reoccurrence takes a serious toll on the body, both physically and mentally. For me, the term Cancer had become a household name, after my father’s diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer in 2015.

We did everything we could to help my parents during this very trying time, and no one can ever prepare you to lose a parent at the age of 36 years old. To watch first hand as your dad wastes away, not from the cancer but instead from the side effects of the Parkinson’s Disease he had been diagnosed with years earlier.

When my father finally passed in October of 2015, we thought we were done with the “C” word and tried to resume a normal life after being surrounded by death and illness. I tried my best to re-focus on my responsibilities at work, but it was a daily struggle, as a plethora of symptoms had become my constant companion.

I blamed it on all the stress we had been under while dealing with my dad’s illness, including the lump that had appeared in my breast during my dads last few months on this earth. A year later, and I finally decided to seek the assistance of a Naturopath to hopefully figure out what was wrong with me once and for all, and finally put me on my path to health.

Needless to say, I soon found myself faced with that hated word yet again, Cancer, except this time instead of dealing with someone else, I found myself faced with a very serious battle for my life. I was diagnosed in September of 2016, at the age of 37 with Stage 3A Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was too young to let Cancer take me, and after everything our family had been through a year prior, I had to fight the tough fight that my dad was unable to.

Today I had my 3-month followup with my Oncologist since finishing my last round of Chemo. My reconstruction surgery was approximately a month ago, and I was finally able to kiss the port good-by. I thought I was finally on the path to regaining a normal life, whatever that may be, but instead, I found myself leaving the doctors office with both good and bad news.

The good was a pink folder documenting everything I had been through in the past year. My diagnosis, treatments and important informational resources which is the Oncology way of classifying you as a Breast Cancer Survivor.  Of course, the bad news came when the discussion came to medications needed to keep the Cancer from reoccurring.

You see, my cancer was Estrogen positive, so in order to have the best shot at killing the cancer, you need to starve it, which meant throwing me into early Menopause with a monthly shot. Every four weeks I need to make a trip to my Oncologist to get a shot in the gut, literally, with an extended-release capsule that disables my estrogen production. I am also on Tamoxifen to target the estrogen created by other parts of the body, like belly fat.

So being someone that hates taking any type of medication, I was not thrilled with my current situation, but thought I would only need to be on the Tamoxifen for 5 years, and I could discontinue the Zoldadex after having a Hysterectomy. Well in a very short amount of time my hopes of being medication free were shattered. The 5 years I had sworn my doctor told me at my last meeting with her suddenly turned into 10 years.

Sure I understand they want to make sure there are no reoccurrences of Cancer, but in my head, I can’t help but wonder about the negative side effects of being on any medication for that long. She then advised me that it may be best to switch me from the Tamoxifen to a new medication called Aromasin. Evidently this pill works better at blocking Estrogen, but of course comes with its own side effects, like bone loss, which of course there is another shot to help counteract that, which I would need for two years. Then to make matters even worse, she told me that the hormonal therapies could also make my brain fog, and difficulty with concentrating worse.

I honestly felt like I had been punched in the gut. One minute I feel like I am finally working towards normalcy, only to find out that it has been all the medications I am on that has put me on what feels like an endless roller coaster each and every month. I go from barely being able to think straight or focus for about two weeks after my shot, which I got today, to approximately two weeks of somewhat normal functionality, only to start the cycle all over again.

I left my appointment with a mix of emotions. Sure I’m supposed to be happy that I am a survivor of a disease that has taken women younger than myself. Yes, at my office alone, they just lost a patient this week to this horrible disease, but I can’t help but be a bit self-centered as I still wonder what my new normal will be. Will I ever be able to work again? And if so doing what? I may be a survivor, but I will always have Cancer in my body, it just may be dormant, and I prefer to keep it that way cause I don’t want to fall down this rabbit hole yet again.

With Cancer, there are always good days and there are bad days. I need to remember to not let the bad days consume me, and instead focus on improving my health, and my morning Isagenix shakes are a step in that direction. I have felt noticeably better in the few months I have been using the products, and I have to remember that wellness is not a sprint, its a marathon, and each day is a little bit better than the last.  I need to focus on healing my body and my mind, instead of focusing on things that I cannot control. In a year from now, I hope to be a healthier, happier and slimmer version of myself, who has kicked Cancer’s butt, and with the help of Isagenix, I know I can get there!

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Natural Cleaning Products Direct to your Home – A Grove Collaborative Review

Long before my Breast Cancer diagnosis, we became much more cognizant of the products that we used in our home.  With three cats, and a Mini Schnauzer at the time, it was of the utmost importance to make sure the products we used to clean our floors and other hard surfaces. Other pet parents can agree, that when you mop your floor, there is no keeping those little paws out of that room, no matter how hard you try, so it’s of the utmost importance to ensure your cleaning products will not have a negative effect on your fur kids.

Having been a user of all the name brands for many years, reading books like Wheat Belly and health-related articles opened our eyes to how dangerous even the cleaning products in your home could be to your health. We were already quite aware of the dangers imposed by Monsanto and all the pesticides that were spread on food, so we had already transitioned to utilizing organic products wherever we could, so it really was a no-brainer to do the same with our cleaning products.

The laundry detergent we used was one of the first products to be transitioned to a natural cleanser. I had tried the likes of Method, and even homemade detergent which I had gotten off Etsy, until one day I tried the Mrs. Meyers products and I fell in love. Being someone that hates going to the store for household necessities, I rather shop online whenever possible.

I have purchased cleaning products from Amazon in the past, with mixed reviews, and then found a site called SOAP.com. I was thrilled that I had found a site that I could have all my cleaning products shipped right to my door when I needed them. Then a few months after signing up, the website closed up shop, leaving me at a loss as to where to order my cleaning supplies from.

Amazon is a great resource for a lot of things, except cleaning product, due mostly to the lack of care taken when items are packaged for shipment. Many a time I have had orders arrive at my home damaged and leaking, so I went on the hunt to find another site that would be my “one-stop shop” for all my household needs.

One day I was browsing my Facebook news feed and happened to see a post from Grove Collaborative. I signed up, but for some reason, it took me a few months before I finally made my first order from the site. When my first order arrived at my door, I was thrilled with the care that was taken to package my products to ensure there was no damage, and I loved the fact that they thought enough to include a few Freebies for me to try.

The Grove Collaborative offers natural cleaning products for your home, family, and even baby. Popular brands like Burt’s Bees, Seventh Generation, and Mrs. Meyers, as well as lesser known brands. But all the Grove Collaborative cleaning products are affordable and effective natural products from companies who share the Grove Collaborative values and vision of being uncompromisingly healthy, beautifully effective, sustainably minded and amazingly affordable. Grove Collaborative is a Certified B Corporation, which means they meet the words most rigorous standards for supporting social, environmental, and community wellbeing.

It is important to note, that the Grove Collaborative is a subscription service. This means that the products you order are auto-shipped to you on a set schedule. You will receive a reminder email a few days prior to your order being processed so you have plenty of time to go in and modify your Grove Collaborative subscription by adding or removing products or rescheduling your shipment for a later date.

When you first signup with the Grove Collaborative, you will be offered the option to sign up for their 60-day VIP trial membership. The VIP membership gives you access to great perks like Free Shipping, Free full-sized gifts, and even price matching. This membership normally costs $39.99 a year, but when you sign up for the trial membership you will receive it at a discounted rate of only $19.99 a year.

In my opinion, the VIP membership is well worth the money. In my short time with this company, I have received multiple dish towels, a Grove Collaboratives Cleaning Essentials Concentrate set, Glass Spray Bottle, Walnut Scrubber Sponge, Lip Balms & a moisturizing essentials kit, all at no cost to me, and I have only been a subscriber since June 2017.

As a bonus, if you signup with the Grove Collaborative via my link, you will receive $10 off your very first order. So if you are curious to know why the Grove Collaborative is my number one favorite shopping resource for natural products for your home, Click Here to learn more.

 

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Long Enough For Use In A 20oz HighBall Glass – A Reusable Glass Drinking Straw Review

The past year has been a whirlwind in our home. One minute everything is fine, then the next you feel like your life has been turned upside down. That’s what happens with a Breast Cancer diagnosis.

Prior to my diagnosis, our Tupperware glasses were in constant rotation in our home. We also had quite the collection of Tupperware storage containers, soup containers and more. One of our all-time favorite pieces was the oversized That’s-A bowl, that got a lot of use, primarily for pasta salads and coleslaw during the summer months.

It was on one of my visits to my Naturopath that changed the way we lived. She advised my husband and I that plastic should no longer be used in our home.  Although we tried our best to utilize items that were BPA free, it apparently didn’t seem to matter because any plastic can leach chemicals into your food or drink, increasing your risk for cancer. We returned home from that appointment with our heads spinning, and on a quest for items to replace the products that were in such heavy rotation in our home.

First on the list was our glassware. We liked to do fruit smoothies, with a kick, in our Vitamix, so we needed glasses, and straws to go along with those glasses. Since we were in the midst of ramping up for my cancer treatment, I left the searching to my husband, as I was too brain-fried to think straight, and placed the order for the items he had found. While the glasses were a hit, the straws that were meant to accompany them left a bit to be desired. Mostly because they were too short to fit in the glasses.

We survived with those straws for over a year, until I recently came across these reusable glass drinking straws from Fountain Of Youth Eco-Choice. When it comes to something like these glass drinking straws, it can be very hard to judge size based on a photo on a website, so I figured I really didn’t have much to lose in giving them a try. Worst case if they didn’t at all meet our needs, I could request a refund.

Since I am an Amazon Prime member, these straws arrived at my home in only a few days and immediately I was impressed with the product. They shipped as a set of five and arrived in a heavy duty cardboard cylinder, seen in the photo above. Each straw was also individually wrapped in paper, as those who saw my life Facebook video will remember, to protect each straw from damage. It was nice to see that the company really cared about its product and took the time to ensure it was protected.

Then came the true test, their use. We are not soda drinkers in this house, so my go-to drink during the day is a glass of water. Since I spend many hours in front of the computer, it’s helpful to have a straw in my glass, which helps prevent me from being an occasional clutz and spilling water all over myself or my notes. Cause we all know water and paper never go together well.

I utilize a traditional drinking glass, which is I believe 16 oz, and the straws fit in them perfectly, as you can see in the photo at the left. I love the fact that they have a bend built into the straw, which makes consuming water every day quite easy. It was also nice to see that these straws came with their own cleaning brush for those drinks, like our smoothies, that may leave little bits behind.

Then one night while my husband was making dinner, he actually tried these straws in the 20oz double wall glasses that we had purchased over a year ago. The thought had never even dawned on me to try these glass straws in those drinking glasses because subconsciously I had assumed that they would not fit, so I didn’t even bother to try.

He brought the glass to show me, and to my surprise, they fit in the double wall glasses perfectly, with the bend in the straw resting on the edge as if they were designed specifically for the glasses. Another win in my book.

Since purchasing these glass drinking straws, I have been using them on a daily basis with no complaints at all. They also make it much easier for me to drink when I am relaxing in bed in the evening, as it prevents me from accidentally dribbling water on myself because being propped up with pillows can make it a bit cumbersome to get the right angle to drink from just the glass.

Overall, I am very happy with these reusable glass drinking straws from Fountain Of Youth Eco-Choice. They are very easy to use and work perfectly in any size glass that we have in our home. While they may cost a bit more than a package of plastic straws at your local discount store, approximately $3.39 per straw at the time this post was written, their quality and durability make them well worth the money. So if you’re on the fence about purchasing these straws, don’t delay because I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

 

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Isagenix BOGO Sale on Pumpkin Spice Isalean Shakes

Tis the season for all things Pumpkin Spice and the Isagenix IsaLean Shake is no exception. Each season Isagenix releases seasonal flavors and the Isagenix shake flavors for fall were Chocolate Mint and Pumpkin Spice.

Sadly the Chocolate Mint is sold out, and that really should come as no surprise because this Isagenix shake is quite yummy, tastes just like mint chocolate chip ice cream, but I’m getting off track here.

With limited quantities remaining of the Pumpkin Spice flavor, Isagenix has released a Buy One Get One free deal. Now through December 3rd in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, add two Isagenix Isalean Pumpkin Spice shakes to your shopping cart, and the cost of one of Isagenix shakes will automatically be deducted from your total.

It is important to note that you must add at least two of the Pumpkin spice flavor to your cart for this offer to work. Of course, there are no restrictions on how many canisters you can order, so don’t be afraid to shop my Isagenix Business Page to your heart’s content. This is also a great time to get on our auto-ship plan for these shakes in our traditional flavors, like the Dutch Chocolate, French Vanilla or Strawberry Cream. All of which are in daily rotation in my breakfast routine.

Again, this BOGO deal expires on December 3rd, so don’t delay and shop my Isagenix business page today.

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The Chloe + Isabel Jewelry Cyber Monday Sale Has Been Extended!

Yes, you heard that correctly. If you missed out on all the deals offered by Chloe + Isabel jewelry for the Cyber Monday sale, you have a second chance to take advantage of up to 70% off a wide variety of Chloe + Isabel jewelry pieces.

This also includes the statement necklaces that were featured in Sunday’s, Sunday Funday sale, as well as any remaining Doorbuster deals from our Black Friday sale.

With gifts for her, gifts for the home, and even gifts for the man in your life, today’s Cyber Tuesday sale truly is a one-stop shop for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Wrap bracelets, statement necklaces, ear cuffs, unique handpieces, statement earrings and more, there are too many pieces to list in just this one post.

There is also a selection of tie bars and cufflinks in my Chloe + Isabel online boutique, so there really is no excuse to not check out this sale. The sale kicks off at NOON EST, and as always, supplies are limited and this sale will expire at 11:59 PM PT, 2:59 AM EST, tonight so why not pop into my Chloe + Isabel boutique and cross those people off your holiday shopping list today.

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Cyber Monday Starts Early with Chloe + Isabel Jewelry

If you thought that the Chloe + Isabel jewelry deals could not get any better than those offered for Black Friday, well then prepared to be amazed as what is in store for the Chloe + Isabel Cyber Monday sale.

Starting tonight, November 26, 2017, at 9 PM EST, you have the chance to snag great jewelry pieces perfect for anyone on your holiday shopping list. Statement necklaces, rings, earrings, hair pieces and more, there are so many pieces to choose from with a savings of up to 70% off!

Whether you are shopping for the fashionista “Chloe”, or the more traditional “Isabel”, pieces like our Grand Cabaret Bracelet, Ethereal Chandelier Statement Earrings, Hero Convertible Tassel Necklace and the Cocktail Hour CZ Statement Ring, just to name a few, are the perfect accessory to your holiday wardrobe. These pieces will also be sure to light up the face of anyone on your shopping list who opens their gifts on Christmas morning.

You can even shop my Chloe + Isabel boutique for the men on your holiday list with the assortment of Tie Bars and Cufflinks from Chloe + Isabel. With our Cyber Monday sale starting at 9 PM EST tonight, there is no need to wait for Monday to get started on your holiday shopping list, so don’t delay and visit my Chloe + Isabel online boutique tonight before these deals pass you by.

 

 

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Chloe + Isabel Sunday Funday Sale – Our Bestselling Statement Necklaces

With the holidays upon us,  your list of holiday party obligations is more than likely a mile long. Get-togethers with friends, co-workers, and family all require different outfits, and of course, no holiday outfit is complete without a statement necklace from Chloe + Isabel jewelry.

In order to stretch your holiday shopping budget even further this holiday season, Chloe + Isabel is offering its top 12 best selling statement necklaces at up to 35% off, for today, November 26th, 2017, only.

This Sunday Funday Sale includes pieces from Chloe + Isabel collections such as African Plains, Turkish Delight, Serengeti, and Jaipur just to name a few. As an added bonus, you can bundle these statement necklaces along with the Chloe + Isabel Black Friday sale items priced at up to 50% off! And if you have not done so already, make sure to signup for the Free Chloe + Isabel Passport Rewards program as that will grant you free shipping on orders of $100 more, as well as a 15% reward credit that can be applied to any future orders placed through my Chloe + Isabel online Boutique.

Both discounts expire at 5:59 PM PT, 8:59 PM EST, tonight, so make sure to act fast to take advantage of these deals. Just visit my Chloe + Isabel boutique, and click on the Sunday Funday 11-26-2017 banner at the top of the page. This will bring you to the page with our Sunday Funday items as well as our Black Friday deals.  You will have the option to signup for our Passport Rewards program at checkout, so don’t delay and shop my Chloe + Isabel boutique today.

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Chloe + Isabel Small Business Saturday Pop Up Shop

Wow, it is amazing how quickly time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday it was New Years, and now Thanksgiving, as well as Black Friday, have come and gone, and holiday shopping is in full swing.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to share with you some great deals in my Chloe + Isabel online boutique. In addition to the up to 50% off discount on select jewelry pieces, for today only Chloe + Isabel jewelry has added an additional 12 seasonal jewelry pieces that are on sale today only as part of our small business Saturday sale.

Trendy pieces from our Amulet collection, Northern Lights, and a few others are priced at a one day only discount. In addition to this sale, all customers who shop today via my Chloe + Isabel Online Pop Up Shop will be entered for a chance to win a Chloe + Isabel promo code for $25 off your next purchase of $75 or more.

So there really is no better time than today to mark the jewelry lovers off your holiday shopping list by shopping small with me and Chloe + Isabel jewelry today.

 

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Small On Size and Satisfactory Performance – A CarryWell Insulated Grocery Bag Review

With so many grocery stores threatening to start charging its customers for every plastic or paper bag they use, the habit of utilizing reusable grocery bags has become quite common for many consumers. While there are no worries about your frozen goodies thawing during the winter months here in New England, summer temps can get quite high, requiring the need for insulated reusable grocery bags that can fit frozen as well as perishable goods from a weekly shopping trip.

While I have a stack of reusable grocery bags that I received from a survey site many years ago, the only insulated grocery bags we have in our home are ones that my husband received from work. Over the years the fleece exterior has started to wear thin, and the lining has started to separate from the bag, rendering these bags not as useful as they once were.

Of course, we couldn’t dispose of them without first finding a replacement. Since I am an Amazon Prime member, I tend to do a lot of shopping on Amazon, so I was excited to get the chance to test drive the insulated grocery bag from CarryWell when the opportunity was offered to me.

When this insulated reusable grocery bag was delivered to my home, my first impression was that this reusable grocery bag was much smaller than I had hoped it would be. When compared to our existing bags it was quite obvious that there was a very noticeable size difference, which made me question how useful these grocery bags would be.

On my first trip to our local grocery store, I attempted to fit two cartons of eggs in the bottom of this insulated grocery bag, a common task for my existing insulated grocery bags. To my surprise, something as simple as two cartons of eggs did not in the bottom of this bag, the first negative strike for this bag in my book.

A few weeks later, on my next grocery shopping trip, I attempted to fit a bottle of orange juice, some cheese and assorted fruits and veggies in the insulated grocery bag. The reusable grocery bag from CarryWell seemed to handle this task quite well until it was time to carry the bag into the house. Due to the weight of the bottle of OJ, the zipper on the bag started to open up on its own, which was another negative mark as I prefer to keep all my insulated grocery bags tightly closed until I get around to unpacking them.

On my third shopping trip with this bag, I chose to use it solely for produce. This appeared to work well until it came time to zip the bag closed. The design of this insulated grocery bag actually limits the number of fruits and veggies that you can stuff into the bag. You can see in the photo at the right a representation of the size of this reusable grocery bag in comparison to one of our existing grocery bags.

The blue bag on the left is one of the bags we have been using for many years now, and you can see it is rectangular in shape and zips closed on three sides, allowing me to stuff it to the top with food.

On the other hand, the insulated reusable grocery bag from CaryWell restricts me to be able to fill the bag approximately 3/4 of the way in order to allow for the zipper to close. Try and stuff too much in this bag and the sides of the bag poke out, and closing the zipper becomes quite difficult if not almost an impossible task.

Overall, I am happy with this bag, and while it does serve a purpose, it is by no means sufficient to be used as a primary replacement for my existing insulated reusable grocery bags. I think the designers over at CarryWell need to go back to the drawing board and design a much larger bag that serves a purpose beyond toating home a few bags of apples or oranges.

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