Tag Archives: cancer

Get Involved and help us out

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Here at Cards of Hope, we send out inspirational cards to over 500 people battling cancer weekly.  For children in our program, we mail out cards with stickers, tattoos, bookmarks and etc.  We run on purely donations.  We are in desperate need of stamps. We go through over 2,220 stamps a month.  Even one book of stamps, helps us send out 20 cards.  Please help us today by donating money to buy stamps at the following link:  https://www.paypal.me/cardsofhope or mail some to us.  Everything is truly appreciated.  We will even add your information to the sponsors page.

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It’s Cervical Cancer awareness month

Happy New Year everyone!  January marks a new year and cervical cancer awareness month.  I hope that by 2017, that will be a cure for all cancers.

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When talking about cancer, there are always lots of questions about who is at risk for developing it, the treatments, the signs and etc.  I am going to try to cover some of that in today’s blog post.  Let’s first look at the risk factors of cervical cancer.

Risk factors for cervical cancer : ( via www.cancer.org)

  • Having a family history of cervical cancer (a mother or sister) –chances are 2 to 3 times higher of developing cervical cancer
  • Being younger than 17 at your first full term pregnancy
  • Having had multiple full term births
  • Infection of HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Having used an IUD (Intrauterine device)
  • Long term use of oral contraceptives
  • Being overweight
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Those that have had a Chlamydia infection
  • Those that are on  immunosuppression medications
  • Those that have weakened immune systems
  • Those that have been exposed to DES (diethylstilbestrol)
  • Those that smoke

Just because you may have some or all of the risk factors above doesn’t mean that you will develop cervical cancer.  It just means that you have a higher chance of developing it.

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Here are the warning signs of cervical cancer.  If you are having these signs, please contact our physician for a pap smear and check up.

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (i.e. bleeding after sex, bleeding between menstrual cycles, bleeding after menopause and etc.)
  • An unusual discharge from your vagina (often times between our periods)
  • Painful intercourse

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Typical ways for treating cervical cancer is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  Depending on what stage the cancer is diagnosed at is exactly what treatment is used.

So if you haven’t had your pap smear somewhat recently, please schedule to have it done soon.

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Have you scheduled your mammogram yet?

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It is breast cancer awareness month.  This is a perfect time to schedule your yearly mammogram if you are a woman over the age of 40.

Here are some tips to help when you go for yours.

  • Don’t wear deodorant, powders, lotions or perfumes the day of your mammogram.  These items can possibly show up on your images.
  • Schedule your mammogram when your breast will be the least tender.  ( Often times this is the week after your period)
  • Consider taking Motrin or Tylenol prior to your mammogram, if you feel a lot discomfort when having one.
  • Often times wearing a two piece outfit makes putting on the facility’s gown a little easier.
  • If you are having a mammogram done at a different place then you did last time, make sure to bring your films from your last mammogram to that facility.  That way they have something to compare your new pictures to.
  • Have a friend have theirs on the same day.  Often times having a buddy that is going through having a mammogram helps time go by faster in the waiting area.

Beating the Cancer Blues (Children’s Edition)

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Fighting cancer is hard work and it is perfectly normal for a child to get the blues as they battle against it. Here are some tips on how to help your child or a loved one’s child beat the cancer blues.  Please let me know if you have some suggestions that I didn’t mention.

Going by your local Dollar Tree or favorite dollar store is a great place to start with getting things to occupy the time of your cancer warrior.  They normally have a vast assortment of coloring books, crayons, activity books, sticker books, crafts, dress up clothes, word search books, puzzles, playing cards, and small toys at a low.  A simple puzzle or a coloring book can keep your child occupied while being confined to a bed for a little while.

Your local library is also a great resource.  You can check out books and movies for your child.  Why not borrow a few children’s movies and have a movie night with your child?  If your child is allowed to be around other children, why not invite friends over for a pajama and movie party.

Have a spa day.  Give each other manicures and pedicures.  Rub lotion on each other’s legs and arms.

If your child is in the hospital, ask the nurses if they have an activity cart available.  Most hospitals do and the cart is full of craft supplies and ideas to keep busy.  Each hospital’s cart is different but very fun needless to say.

Often times riding to appointments can be boring and sad, why not try playing car trip bingo?  Before leaving the house, get a piece of paper draw 20 boxes and write or draw  pictures (depending on the age group) of items possibly seen on a car ride in each box.  (For example:  a red car, a stop light, a stop sign, a dump truck, a motorcycle and etc) You can also find loads of free printable car bingo boards online as well. Let your child bring a small crayon or pen to mark off when they see the item on their bingo board.  Use different board items if you are doing bingo with more than one child.  Offer a prize for a BINGO (like a special treat, toy or prize) to make it more exciting.

Let your child express their feelings through painting.  Water colors and finger paints are found at most dollar stores along with poster boards and paper.  Sometimes being creative and painting their emotions helps make them feel a little more in control of what is going on.

Try going camping, even if it is in the backyard.  Often times going outside and seeing nature at its finest helps get the mind occupied on other things.  Most children love seeing squirrels racing up trees and gathering acorns.  Also, looking at animal tracks is a great way to spend time out in nature.

Treasure hunts are always loads of fun especially for children that are in the hospital or have to stay at home and miss out playing with their friends.  Leaving clues to lead them to a treasure that you have hidden causes lots of giggles and smiles. (Having about 5-10 clues like.. “Clue #2 is under what you eat on (plate) and etc) The treasure can be a new book, a small toy, or a coloring book. You can also decorate a box and make it a treasure box and fill it up with things that you know that your child would enjoy.  You can hide the clues for the hunt while your child is resting or  sleeping.

Scavenger hunts are great as well and they work great when you have a few children.  Write or draw on a piece of paper several items (at least 10-15) that the child(ren) needs to find to win/ get the prize. For example:  a cotton ball, a doctor or nurse’s signature, a get well card, and etc.  The prize could be your child(ren)’s favorite ice cream, etc.

How about trying your hands in making home made cookies from scratch.  There are tons of cookie recipes from scratch on the internet to try.  Your child will enjoy mixing and adding ingredients to make their wonderful cookies.

Have your child make cards for relatives and friends.  Most children will enjoy coloring and drawing on construction paper to make cards for grandparents, aunts, uncles and etc. for upcoming holidays or birthdays.

Taking turns playing I-Spy game is also a great way to beat the blues.  You can play this game practically anywhere and everywhere.

Having a Super Hero Day is another way to kick the blues to the curb.  Have the family all dress up as super heroes and let them describe their super hero ability.  When you serve a meal that day, call it “Super Hero food” and decorate the plate as a super hero and use super hero words.  (For example.. making a hot dog and using ketchup to make a face and the bun as a cape and put the words “Wham”, or “Pow” in ketchup or mustard beside the hot dog)

Well, I hope that these ideas help you beat your child’s cancer blues.  Big hugs and keep on being strong.

July is Sarcoma awareness month

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Did you know that July is Sarcoma awareness month?  Here are some facts about Sarcoma:

  • Sarcoma is a rare cancer.  It affects 1% of adult cancers.
  • It is more common in children and it accounts for 15% of childhood cancers.
  • Sarcoma is a cancer that affects the connective tissues of the body (tendons, muscles, fat cells, blood vessels, bones, cartilage, and synovial fluid (in joints)
  • The term “sarcoma” encompasses over 40 different tumor types.

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Here are some signs of Sarcoma:

  • A lump that has grown over the past weeks and/or months
  • Abdominal pain that doesn’t go away
  • Black tarry stools
  • Blood in stools or vomit

Keep in mind that even if you have 1 or all of these signs, doesn’t mean that you have Sarcoma.  It does mean that you should be checked out by your physician.

Another cancer warrior happy

This picture is from one of our cancer warriors.  She enjoyed getting her card and stickers.  Please consider donating to Cards of Hope, so that we can bring hope, joy and love to more cancer warriors.

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Brain Cancer Awareness Month

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Did you know that May is brain cancer awareness month?  Here are a few things about brain cancer that you should know..

  • Brain cancers are the most common cancer for children ages 0-19 yrs.
  • More than 4,600 children this year will be diagnosed with brain cancer this year
  • There are 120 different types of brain tumors
  • About 22,850 adults in the US will be diagnosed in the United States with brain cancer

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Signs and Symptoms of Brain cancer:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory changes
  • Fatigue
  • Personality changes
  • Changes in sensory items (i.e. loss of smell or taste, having a strong sense of smell/taste)
  • Vision changes
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty swallowing

If you are concerned about possibly having a brain tumor and you have some of these signs, please notify your doctor and get checked out.

Super Hero Jonah receives a special surprise ..

This little cancer warrior lives in Belgium and is showing off the special surprise that he got from Cards of Hope.  He loves bunnies, so we sent him a bunny hat that was specially made just for him.  It looks like we made another little one super happy.  What do you think?

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We are always in need of donations.  Please donate today to http://www.cards-of-hope.com/donations/

April is also Esophageal Cancer awareness month

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Did you know that Esophageal cancer makes up 1% of the cancers in the United States. It is 3 to 4 times more common in men than women.  If you live in the US, your lifetime risk for developing this type of cancer is you are a male is 1 in 125 and if you are female it is 1 in 435.  Less than 15% of cases of Esophageal cancer are found to be in people younger than 55 years old.

So what are the risk factors of Esophageal cancer?

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being obese
  • Having GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
  • Having Barrett’s esophagus
  • Injury to the esophagus
  • Exposure to certain chemicals and chemical fumes
  • History of other cancers

Here are the signs and symptoms of Esophageal cancer:

  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain in the breast bone area
  • Chronic indigestion and heartburn
  • Weight loss that is unplanned
  • Vomiting
  • Bone pain
  • Pneumonia

If you have multiple signs listed above, please see your doctor, but remember it may be another condition other than cancer.

Multiple Myeloma awareness

Hello everyone!  March is almost over, but before it ends I wanted to go over some basic awareness for Multiple Myeloma.  March is also Multiple Myeloma awareness month.

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Did you know that Multiple Myeloma is the 2nd most common blood cancer in the United States?  Most people are diagnosed after the age of 65 and it is very rare in people under 35 years of age.  More males than females get this cancer.  If you have a family history of this disease then you are at a more increased risk.

Below is a list of signs of Multiple Myeloma.  If you have these symptoms, please see your doctor to get tested.

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