26 Year old Told She is going to die of Cervical Cancer

This is an article from England so some of the information does not apply to my United States readers. In England you have to be 25 in order to get a PAP. This young woman wanted to get a PAP at an earlier age. She didn't have any symptoms but wanted to do what I tell so many to, advocate for herself and try to get early prevention if necessary. She was refused and now at age 26 has been diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. AND, she is only 26 years old.

I put up these videos and articles because I want to stress to all the women and mothers out there that cervical cancer can not only happen to old AND YOUNG but it can devastate your life and even kill you. Cervical Cancer is something we need to be talking about and fighting against.


My Friends Awesome Store

My best friends sister in law, who I totally love, has the most fabulous store ever in Chicago. I was super excited to hear that she now has an online stores so I can buy her stuff. My most favorite gift I have ever gotten was from Becca's store. Jessica got me a beautiful Cross necklace when I was diagnosed and when I was cleared of cancer she got me another one that says survivor.

Please help me show support to Becca by visiting her store. And, if you need any x-mass gifts, besides coffee, you should definitely shop at Urban General Store!

Buy Coffee And Fight Melanoma!!!

I just wanted to make a quick announcement. My new online Coffee Shop: Get The Bean has picked its first Charity/Coffee combo! We are going to donate a portion of the proceeds from ALL sales of the Mexico Coetepec Blend to the Melanoma Research Foundation in memory of my fabulous professor who recently lost her battle against Melanoma. If you want to read more about this please visit our GTB Fights Cancer Blog

If you want to purchase the Mexico Coetepec Blend its under Charity Coffee on our website: Get The Bean.

The Song I Picked For My Funeral

Okay let me start by saying this is not suppose to be a morbid post. Whenever I bring this topic up people get upset, that is not my intention at all. When I was on death door step I did a lot of thinking. I tell people that they may understand that they are mortal but until you are truly faced with death you cannot truly comprehend it. I comprehended it and I was at peace. Prior to being deathly ill I was terrified of dying. Now, being farther away from death doorstep, I am again terrified by death. However, there was a time when i was at peace and felt very calm about my mortality.

The one thing that gave me anxiety, stress and fear was the effect my death would have on those I loved. Before this experience I would sometimes wonder if people would be sad if I died, would they cry, how many people would show up at my funeral.
This is a thought that I think many people have had at one point in their lives. When I was told I had an 80% chance of not living I thought about my funeral in a very different way. Would I destroy my loved ones lives, would they cry every time they thought of me, would my friend and family have trouble sleeping, cry a lot, become depressed, have trouble at work & in their relationships? These thoughts scared me more than death. I wanted people to smile when they remembered me, laugh at the fun things we use to do together, excel at work because they would think of my determination. But, I knew that was unlikely.

So, I picked Last Tears as the song I would want played at my funeral if I was to die. I wanted everyone to know that I was okay with my death, that I was strong and they needed to be as well. Something about this song really represented how I felt. The strange this was I LOVE the Indigo Girls but had never heard this song before. To be honest I can't say how I came across it but when I did it was like they wrote the song for me, for this trial in my life!

Please listen and let me know what you think!

Early Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

It is important that you and your daugther(s) know the early symptoms of Cervical Cancer. If you catch Cervical Cancer early it can be treated without bringing devastation to your life. After I beat cervical cancer I promised to help others avoid the horrors I experienced. I wish that I had recognized, and my doctors, all my symptoms. The pain and loss I experienced can be avoided!


I Won Some Awards :)

If you want to participate in my Pay It Forward Contest Click HERE

So I won a couple of awards and it totally made my weekend. As most of you know I lost someone very special, the world did actually! Its been a rough week but all your kind comments and thoughts have meant so much.

First: My other Blog: GTB FIGHTS CANCER won an award. I only post Cancer Stories on that blog so i am posting about it here...I will be putting the award up on that blog though. This award was given to me by Chronic Chic, thank you so much for the support! Fighting cancer is a tough journey. Telling others about our journey is even more difficult so I thank you on behalf of all the brave people who have shared their stories on GTB FIGHTS CANCER!

On behalf of GTB Fights Cancer I am giving this award to the following blogs:

She posted her fathers story on GTB Fights cancer. I encourage you to visit her blog and read her story on GTB Fights Cancer

Healthy Lindsay She posted her story on GTB Fights cancer as well. Please stop by and read her about her journey with Sarcoma

Our Piece of Quiet Stephanie posted her husband's story on GTB Fights cancer. Please stop by her blog and come by GTB Fights Cancer to read about her husbands journey with Lymphoma

The second Award I was given is the Kreativ Blogger. DysFUNctional Mom gave me the award, thank you!!!

I have to tell you some things that make me happy so here it goes:

-Being A Cancer Survivor (I have to be thankful every day for my triumph)
-Friends (I would be nothing without them)
-Bryan (He is such a great boyfriend and supporter)
-The Ocean (so soothing and therapeutic)
-Mia (She is such a good doggie and friend)

Here are the blogs I am passing this along to:

Avery Tales
: I just love this blog and the woman behind it!

Queen Bee Creations: Anissa is so creative and she designed our blog at Get The Bean

Nobody-But-Yourself: Heather's blog is beautiful, I just love the layout!! She is a blogaholic like me and a great write :)

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit... I always enjoy reading this blog!

And the final Award I was given from Angie over at Nana's Box

“This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy]. These blogs are all charming and they aim to show the marvels of friendship. Let’s give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text."

Don't you just love these spanish awards that are going around? =)

Since this award is for charming and unselfish people I pass it onto the following blogs. Make sure stop by and say Hello! Tell them Meaghan sent ya!

Yeah, sure, you betcha
Diapers and Deadlines
Tattooed Minivan Mom
Me and The Blue Skies

Pay It Forward Giveaway

I just won an amazing prize prize from Grand Pooba! I entered into her Pay It Forward contest last week and won :) Part of the Pay It Forward contest rules says I must Pay It Forward by doing my own giveaway! So here it is:

I am giving away 1 lb of gourmet coffee from my new online coffee shop Get The Bean...you get to pick the flavor. Just so there is no confusion this is a totally separate giveaway from the one going on at our Get The Bean Blog. If you want to enter that giveaway you have to do it on that blog...This one is just for the Pay It Forward contest!

Here are the rules:

* To enter the contest you need to leave a comment on this blog entry telling me one act of kindness that you have done for someone else, or that someone else has done for you.

* To enter a second time you need to mention this giveaway on your blog and then leave a comment here just to state that you did so. This will give you a better chance at winning!

* You have until Friday morning (Oct. 31th) at 11:00 am Eastern Time to enter the contest at which point a winner will be selected at random from the commentors.

* If you are the winner, you must then send me your mailing information and promise to "Pay It Forward" and have a giveaway of your own.

* Anonymous commenters (Those without a Google and/or Blog account) can play too as long as you give your name and either post your email address with your comment or email it to me at megse5@netscape.net

Cervical Cancer Health Care Update!

I got a text from my sister, Arbra over at Just Call Me Sleep Deprived, yesterday. She told me that I needed to check something out and so I did. I am so happy to see that there are advancements going on with regards to cervical cancer. Being a cervical cancer survivor who went misdiagnosed and mistreated I do everything I can to help other women learn how to advocate for themselves. However, thats a hard thing to do when there are few options. Well, here is a new one and it sounds pretty great!

There is a new MRI that is being used to diagnose Cervical Cancer. Just like other cancer Cervical Cancer has different stages. The higher in the alphebet and the lower the number better. Mine, unfortunately was neither, 3b not a good number. The sooner cervical cancer is caught the better chance one has of surviving it and doing so with less secondary damage. Being able to have children, not getting early menopause, avoiding painful treatments etc...all just some of the benefits of catching cervical cancer early.

Many people are misinformed regarding cervical cancer and how bad it is. I remember, not long ago, when I told somone I had cervical cancer their response was: "well thats not one of the bad ones thank god" WRONG! If you are reading this PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Cervical Cancer is the #2 cancer killer of women behing Breast!! Its treatments are more severe than breast (both are horrible by the way) Radiation to your cervix means radiation to your bladder, digestive system, colon etc....that means all those organs are damaged. Many women who receive radiation for cervical cancer come out of it having to use colposcopy bags, nephrostomy bags, tools to keep the vaginal entry open (scar tissue closes it up), going through menopause, being unable to have kids and the list goes on.

Do NOT let Cervical Cancer happen to YOU OR YOUR DAUGHTER!! Please read this article and learn about an easy way to get early detection for Cervical Cancer.

Things I Think You Should Know About

I have a lot of cool and informative links on my blog. If you haven't looked through them please do. Recently I added some new ones and i wanted to tell you about them.

This is GREAT. When the owners of this company launched Spell 2 years ago, they made a conscious decision to bring the cosmetics industry along with them on creating products that removed the chemicals that research began to show may be causing cancer. "May be" was enough for them. They worked to develop their line without the use of Parabens/Phthalates and VOC's.Today, they produce some extremely popular items such as our minera foundations, skin care line and lip/eye products, that have been reviewed publicly as even better than the major players.It can be done, and it is! They are beginning a new campaign this year with our Regional Sales Director (West Coast). To continue the fight and are proud to be now supporting the cause/cure.

**** So the wonderful creators of SPELLS COSMETICS sent me some goodies....WOW...thats all I can say. I got a box of awesome cosmetics from them today and you MUST get some! They sent me shimmery lip gloss, beautiful powder colors, Wet and Set Kit and I got a Spell Rewards Club Card (gives you 20% off every order). You have to check out there online store and blog. And as a bonus they donate 10% of the proceeds of each kit to the Breast Cancer Research Fund!

Frame Of Mind This site has beautiful cards for framing. I contacted the owners of the site and asked them about inspirational cards for survivors & patients. The cards they directed me to are absolutely beautiful. I think these would make a wonderful gift for the fighter in your life. Also, they are very reasonably priced.

Nana's Box This is a wonderful site and such a great gift for the cancer fighter in your life. I recently got one for my friend. Unfortunately she passed away before I was able to give it to her. The box was beyond beautiful and the inspirational cards inside were perfect. I know she would have loved it if she had the chance!

Hope you enjoy these sights!


If you read my last post you saw that I have a professor who is battling cancer. I regret to tell you that today she died. This has come as a total shock. I am devastated! When I got to school today someone asked me if I had ever had Professor Aleong., if I knew her. Of course I said yes I did and that yes I knew she was sick. You see Stephanie was a very private woman. This is why I never mentioned her name or went into details about her on my blog. Not many people even knew she had cancer. So when a fellow student approached me and asked if I knew Professor Aleong I figured they just figured out she had cancer. I was wrong! The student frankly told me, "she died".

Panick, that was the first emotion I had. Absolute, utter panick. Then I started hyperventilating. I totally lost it, in front of everyone. You see Stephanie was the first person I met who was battling cancer. She was young like me, a lawyer, a fighter. As many of you know cancer can be a very lonely experience. You may be surrouneded by friends and family who love you but they don't, they can't understand what it is like to be a cancer fighter.

Stephanie was someone i looked up to, she inspired me. led me through a difficult time and was so full of life. She recently sent me an email and in the end she said: "I will beat this, I just know I will" Whe I read this I felt she would too. How could she not she was so strong, much stronger than me and I beat my battle.

Just yesterday I brought the Hope Box that Angie made at Nana's box to her secretary. She was going to mail it out to Stephanie today. I don't know what else to say I am just so sad!

Great Cancer Patient Gift Idea

Okay so im totally stealing this awesome idea. I cannot take credit for it but when I heard it I had to share. One of my professors is battling melanoma. She is brilliant, passionate, young and someone who has helped me through my journey. I don't want to get into too many details because she is a private person but just know that this is a huge tragedy in my life. I think about her daily and she is always in my prayers.

Well one gift that was given to her was a "Laugh Basket". What an awesome idea. Everyone gathered together and picked out their favorite Comedies, put them into a basket and brought it to her. I wish I thought of this myself. When I was battling my dear friend Shaken Fruit gave me a super awesome stand up comedy DVD. It was the first time I had laughed that hard since I was diagnosed.

Laughing actually has great healing power Giving the gift of laughter means you are doing more than showing your love and support, you are helping the person get healthier.

"Laughter activates the chemistry of the will to live and increases our capacity to fight disease. Laughing relaxes the body and reduces problems associated with high blood pressure, strokes, arthritis, and ulcers. Some research suggests that laughter may also reduce the risk of heart disease. Historically, research has shown that distressing emotions (depression, anger, anxiety, and stress) are all related to heart disease. A study done at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at stressful situations helps mitigate the damaging physical effects of distressing emotions."

So, if you know someone who is feeling down or is sick give them the gift of laughter, give them the "laugh basket"

Dont forget to get in on my GiveAway
Check out our new Gift Baskets at Get The Bean

Another Person Lost to Cancer

I just got an email from a fellow law student regarding one of our faculty. I was so sad when I read it and am hoping to help them. If anyone is interested in donating please contact me @ megse5@netscape.net

Dear Students,

Many of you may know Catherine Zografos, the secretary in the Career Development Office. I regret to inform you that this past weekend, her son, John Baum, passed away due to cancer that had spread throughout his body. Unfortunately, Catherine does not have the $1,850 to pay for her son’s cremation and there are no payment plans available—they require the money to be paid in full, up front. So, the Career Development office is accepting donations to help Catherine in this difficult time. Whether you know Catherine or would simply like to help another in a time of need, any amount donated is greatly appreciated. If you are able to, please bring your donation (cash or check made payable to “Cash”) to the Career Development office. Sharon Booth will be collecting the donations in her office.

Catherine is SO grateful to everyone who has supported her during this incredibly challenging time. She said that she never knew how many people cared about her, and that was something that made this time easier for her. We all are part of the Shepard Broad family and your generosity and compassion are truly appreciated.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Meet Mia

I can't believe its taken me this long to introduce you to my buddy Mia. She has been by my side throughout my entire cancer journey, minus my hiatus to Mass. When I was first sick she was my only companion. As many of you know from reading my earlier posts I was misdiagnosed for several months. I lived my life with a huge tumor, horrible bleeding and the worst pain imaginable. Because I was so sick I spent most of those two months in bed. I actually went a week and a half without sleeping one second. I watched lots of tv and spent lots of time with Mia. She was always there by my side. Its lonely when you are sick and no one wants to accept it so they stay away. Its lonely when you lay awake night after night. But I was never alone I always had Mia.

When I was flown up to Massachusetts Mia couldn't come and I missed her terribly. She was one of the reasons I rushed back to Florida. Animals are so wonderful for healing. They can spend time with you without judgment, questions, fear or anxiety. Just plain peacefulness. So I wanted to formally introduce you to my little baby Mia who loves me unconditionally and who helped me through a very difficult time!

Also: Have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet? We pick a new winner every Friday for the month of October. The winner gets 1 lb of coffee from our coffee shop.

And: If you are interested in getting money for the cancer charity of your choice for an entire year visit our GTB Fights Cancer Blog.

Catching up...I won an AWARD

Today I am finally going to catch up with this week. I have been crazy busy launching Get The Bean setting up our Giveaway putting up new stories for our fundraiser and studying for an Income Tax final I have on Wednesday. Oh yea and I did my first cancer walk! So now I am catching up with some of my the fun stuff I've been holding off on.

First things first...I WON AN AWARD!! Thank you a million to AVERY TALES for giving me the award! If you haven't checked out her blog you must. She is an amazing woman and mother. Please take a minute to go read her blog.

Here are the RULES for the Award:

*Mention the blog that gave you the reward and comment on there blog to let them know that you have posted there award. You also have to list 6 things you VALUE and 6 things you Don't VALUE. Lastly, you have to pass the award onto 6 other friends!
Six Things I Value:

  1. Support: without support I could do nothing. I didn't appreciate support until i was forced to rely on it. Now I understand that I am nothing without it. I have to say that SITS ladies are such wonderful supporters. Of course my family, friends and wonderful boyfriend!
  2. Prayer: before I was diagnosed with cancer I didn't give prayer that much value. However, when I was in the hospital with only a 20% chance of surviving thousands of people who didn't even know me prayed for me. This saved my life I am certain of it!
  3. Health: again something I didnt think about too much before I got sick. I put my health at the bottom of my to do list because I thought it would always be there. You MUST always value health because without you have nothing.
  4. Fun: You always need to have fun in your life. No matter how busy you are there has to be time for fun. Laughing is so wonderful for your health. If you have kids you have to teach them to have fun too! Its too easy to get lost in boredom or self pity.
  5. Anika: my little baby niece. She has brought so much joy into my life.
  6. Future: no matter how bad things get there is always tomorrow. When life is tough just think about what wonderful things can come in time.
Six Things I DO NOT value:

  1. Greed: In these times I have been forced to notice that there is too much greed in our country.
  2. Passive Aggressiveness: I absolutely hate passive aggressive people and refuse to allow them into my life
  3. Mean Comments: I don't get it. If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. I do not mind constructive criticism but hate just plane meanness
  4. Lies: Again, something I just do not get. I can handle the truth so don't waste my time with lies
  5. Jealousy: This is just a bad trate to have but one I think we all struggle with. I work on it daily.
  6. Having my feelings hurt: You would think I was a super strong gal after everything I have been through but I'm actually crazy sensitive....working on that too!
So now comes the best part where I get to give the award to 6 awesome blogs I love. I would like to give one to Avery Tale but I think that is against the rules. But here is a should out to her again: LOVING AVERY TALES

  1. Anissa over at Queen Bee She recently designed a couple of buttons for me and they are beyond cool. I emailed her and she responded so quickly, made the buttons and had them up within a couple hours! She is awesome and by the way....totally inexpensive. If I had know how inexpensive I would have had buttons made way sooner :)
  2. Nana's Box This is an awesome blog! She makes wonderful boxes for cancer patients. She made me one for my friend who is battling right now. I just got it in the mail and it is so beyond awesome!! Its hand made, gorgeous and there are tons of amazing quotes inside the box. Here is one of my favorites:
I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind
Some come form ahead and some come from behind
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me!
-Dr. Seuss
3. Yea, Yea Sure Youbetcha My new blogging buddy and she is great! Been a wonderful supporter and I love her blog. And, she has the cutest kitty Stella. Definitely check her out.

4. My Sister Arbra at Just Call Me Sleep Deprived She recently started blogging after watching me have all the fun. Her site is new but great. She writes honestly about her experience as a new mom and the struggles she is having with getting little Anika to sleep. Please stop by and say hi to her and maybe share some words of wisdom

5. ElleBee over at Musings of a Working Diva she has been a wonderful supporter of my new site and is anxiously awaiting our Cancer Charity. I just got our Get The Bean phone and took it to school with me. All of a sudden it rang!!! I didn't know what to do, totally wasn't expecting it. I answerd: Get The Bean How Can I Help You. On the other end was Ella who had such kind words for me :) Please check out her blog.

6. Pennies in My Pocket Just a great site. In times of economic troubles its wonderful to have a blog like hers that shares ways we can save $$ If you are interested in spending less money on great items you have to go to her blog!

Please check out my other blogs if you have a chance:

To enter our coffee GiveAway cick on the button (thanks Anissa!)


To Read our all the wonderful Cancer Stories or Share yours click the button below:


Visit Get The Bean:


Life Time is having a Breast Cancer Marathon

Just thought I would share that Lifetime is having a big Breast Cancer marathon on all day today. Here is the schedule if you are interested: Lifetime BC Marathon

P.S As promised that is one of the pictures from the cancer walk I did today :)

My Very First Cancer Walk

Today I participated in my very first Cancer Walk, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. I had a fabulous time! There were so many men and women there supporting a great cause. I wish there was something like that for Cervical Cancer! I know that just as many men and woman would show up because Cervical Cancer is something that affects us all.

I had never been to a cancer walk before. For those of you who haven't either let me tell you how cool it was. There was the walk but there was so much more! I got a full body massage, FAN-FRICKING-TASTIC! They had SPA giveaways, tons of fresh fruit, Cancer Survivor T-Shirts...All sorts of cool stuff.

I met tons of amazing women and we all swapped our courageous story. It was a very moving experience for me. To be honest it was a little difficult too. It was a little bit of a slap in my face saying -"YOU HAD CANCER" Obviously I know I had cancer but sometimes the reality of it really hits me. Its a strange feeling, hard to explain, but im sure im not the only one.

If you haven't participated in a cancer walk you must! Its so much more inspirational, fun and educational that I thought....I'll put pics up as soon as I figure out my new phone :)

Also...Be sure to enter into our COFFEE GIVEAWAY! We will be drawing a new winner every Friday! If you don't drink coffee there are herbal and chai teas as well.

If you have a cancer story and want a chance to get $$ for the charity of your choice for an entire year go to our GTB Fights Cancer Blog

We have new buttons for both sites so please add them onto your blog :)

As always thanks for all the support!


Get The Bean is now officially open for business !! Now you can visit our site and place orders. We have all sorts of great things on our site. Estate, Signature, Flavored & Peaberry coffees. We have more than just coffee. We have wonderful herbal teas, chai tea and fruit tea smoothies. There's even more than that but i'll let you check it out.

Our site as a super cool club as well. If you become a member you get free stuff and great discounts. We have an awesome fundraising plan as well. Hope you get a chance to visit the website and explore.

Here is the best part- to launch our website we are doing a great GIVEAWAY! For the month of October we are going to giveaway 1 bag of coffee EVERY WEEK!


1. Go to our website www.getthebean.com
2. Pick your favorite item
3. Leave a comment on www.getthebean.blogspot.com (if you leave the comment here it wont count towards the giveaway)
4. Post about it on your blog to get an extra 5 entries (if you post about this giveaway leave your blog url so we can check it out)
5. For an extra entry Digg us
6. For an extra entry Stumble us

Every Friday we will pick a new winner and send them a 16 oz bag of gourmet coffee, whole bean or ground!

I have Some EXCITING news!!!

Okay I have some very exciting news. I started a new blog called G.T.B Fights Cancer...What is this you might ask??? Twist my arm and maybe I'll tell ya....

Uncle uncle you win ill spill the beans. This is pretty cool, at least I think so. My boyfriend and I started a business called GET THE BEAN. We are selling awesome gourmet coffee :) Why coffee you may ask, because I LOVE it more than anything in the world. Seriously I do. I distinctly remember laying in my hospital bed day dreaming about being able to drink coffee again. So, we decided since we love it so much lets sell it.

What else does Meaghan love??? RAISING CANCER AWARENESS! Its kinda weird to think about because before I got sick I could never have imagined I would dedicate myself to this. I digress. Anyway I decided to combine the two things that make me happy these days, coffee and cancer awareness.

The GTB Fights Cancer blog is connected to our coffee website. Right now our coffee website is not up. We expect it will be in the next couple of days. When it is we are going to do a HUGE giveaway and then we will do giveaways every week. But that is in addition to our fundraising. If you want to check out our fundraising and find out how you can get $$$ from our coffee business to donate to the Cancer Charity of your choice stop by the new blog. We have instructions as well as my story. AND...we already have one story up!

Please check it out and let me know what you think!


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Boy Do I Have Something Unique For You

Okay I'm not sure if you are going to love this or hate it. For sure you are going to think this is a little weird, I know I do. While driving to school yesterday I heard about it on NPR and thought, "how can I not share this with my friends"

Today at 4pm you can actually watch a hysterectomy being performed. Apparently there is this new Robot-Assisted Hysterectomy. This new way of performing a hysterectomy is minimally invasive and provides quicker recovery for patients. South Miami Baptist uses this procedure and has decided to allow the world watch.

I thought this was pretty appropriate for my site because many women who have cervical cancer get hysterectomies. I did not have a hysterectomy however many of the women I have met and talked with have. The hysterectomy is a very invasive surgery and recovery can be long and painful. This new procedure could dramatically change all that.

If you would like to read more about the Robot-Assisted Hysterectomy click: HERE

If you want to watch the recorded webcast of the procedure \click: HERE

I will be watching and would love to hear what others who watch think. If you think this is just too out there let me know, I'm still on the fence on that one but how can i not just take a peak ;)


The SITStas have been amazing! I am fairly new to the blogging community but thanks to SITS I have been learning quickly. As many of you know I was diagnosed with 3b cervical cancer in 2007 when I was 28. Now I am 30 and cancer free- WOOHOO! SITS has really helped me spread cancer awareness. I have been able to help other women through this blog by getting my blog recognized. Nana's Box featured my story on her Nonprofit blog, SITS featured me as a saucy blog and so many others commented on my posts! With the help of all these wonderful bloggers I have been able to bring awareness to a disease that affects so many women. THANKS SITSAS!!

Here are only a few of the many Blogs I follow:

Just Call Me Sleep Deprived
Nana's Box
Pennies in My Pocket
Avery Tales
The Fam Five
4 Pampered Paws
Putting the Fun in DysFUNctional
Queen Bee Creations
Dear Alison
Keeper of The Skies Wife

I wish I could list everyone! You have all been so supportive and I appreciate all the wonderful comments :) Also, thank you all for sharing your stories with me!

What In The World Are Secondary Effects???

I'm always talking about secondary effects. You might be asking what exactly is that? Its different for each cancer fighter. They are the effects of our treatments, not the cancer itself. Chemo, radiation, medications, surgeries etc...may cure us or stop the cancer from progressing but they do their own damage.

Cancer patients often have a love hate relationship with their treatments. On one hand the treatment may save our lives but on the other hand they do a doozy on our bodies too. Everyone is aware of Chemo causing people to throw up and radiation causing burns but there's more.

For me my radiation has left me with many problems. My bladder is burnt and so I am in constant pain in that "area". Going to the bathroom is always painful. When I get the urge to pee I have to go that minute, no holding it for me. Digesting food is also extremely painful. There are many foods I can no longer eat because my digestive system was burnt from radiation.

Chemo left me with occassional ringing in my ears. Its not all the time but when it comes its extremely frustrating. For a while the Chemo also left me with what is called "chemo fog". I did not lose my hair but Chemo definitely made me extremely sick while I was getting treatments.

Its important for people to understand that even though treatment may be over the cancer fighter still fights. The cancer may be gone but many times the treatments that saved our lives still leave us with battles.

If you are a cancer survivor and have your own secondary effects please leave a post sharing them. We need to tell the world so they understand what it is like for us!


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In Memory of Fellow Fighter Katie

This is a very important guest post written by a wonderful woman, Fran. Fran's daughter lost her battle against pancreatic cancer and since she has done everything in her power to raise awareness. I met Fran's son-in-law while on the television show Miami Ink. You can watch his clip to learn more about her story. Please take the time read her post and comment!

Pancreatic Cancer and Melanoma Connection

For sometime now there has been research showing that people with melanoma are also predisposed to pancreatic cancer. Our daughter, Katie, was diagnosed with melanoma in March of 2004. Her husband had noticed an unusual mole on her back after returning from their honeymoon in Hawaii. He said the mole was not there in Hawaii in November. Her dermatologist thought it was just a mole but after removing and testing, they scheduled her for surgery within 4 days! She underwent surgery and the site of the mole on her back was removed as well as lymph nodes under her arm. She had a scar shaped like a curved capital E on her back .. the curve about 12 inches long, the short line about 4 inches long. Many people do not know the difference between melanoma and basal cell skin cancer. There is a WORLD of difference. One should research the differences. Melanoma moves fast!! We were told that the cancer had not spread and we rejoiced. No one told us there had been research connecting people with melanoma to a predisposition to other types of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer. Melanoma and pancreatic cancer are two of the most deadly cancers. About September 20th of 2006, Katie was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. She was pregnant finally and we had all been so happy for her and her husband... indeed all her family and friends had been so happy and excited. She lost their baby girl on October 11, 2006 and she died November 25, 2006. TWO months... she lived two months following her diagnosis. She was 32 years old. You can read her story at on Care Pages . Her page is listed as "katieshug". You can reverse the posts by her husband to see the sad, quick and deadly progression. But perhaps reading her story will be of help to someone else.

Pancreatic cancer is a silent killer. By the time it is diagnosed, it usually is stage IV.

Below are a few references to the connection between pancreatic cancer and melanoma. There are many more less technical ones to be found by search engines such as google, etc. Some of the articles say it is rare, others say it is quite common. We thought it extremely rare for a 32 year old to have BOTH in less than three years before we started to hear of the connection. I think the connection is more common than even the doctors previously thought.
If you or anyone in your family has had melanoma, please check out this connection now and be aware of it!

Melanoma: Risks, Early Detection and Prevention

Familial malignant melanoma families are characterized by 2 or more affected first-degree relatives (parent, sibling, or child). Affected members in these families may develop more than one primary melanoma and/or pancreatic cancer.

Hereditary Melanoma: prevalence of risk factors in a group of patients in Southern Brazil

Phenotypically, the families and individuals with mutations in CDKN2A may present the condition in various forms: multiple cases of melanoma in the family, multiple primary melanomas in an individual and the presence of melanoma and other neoplasias (especially cancer of the pancreas and tumors of the central nervous system) in the same family. The prevalence of mutations in CDKN2A in the general population is not known.

The Genetics of Pancreatic Cancer

Familial atypical multiple mole melanoma and pancreatic cancer (FAMMM-PC). FAMMM-PC is also known as melanoma-pancreatic cancer syndrome. People with FAMMM-PC have up to a 17% risk of developing pancreatic cancer. FAMMM-PC is associated with mutations in the CDKN2A gene. People who have mutations in the CDKN2A gene also have about a 70% risk of developing melanoma during their lifetime.

The CDKN2A (also called p16 and MST1) gene is a tumor suppressor gene. Genetic testing for mutations in CDKN2A is available, but testing is currently not recommended outside of clinical trials.


This is a great blog that has really helped me spread cancer awareness. I have been able to help other women through this blog by getting my blog recognized. Please check it out! Some other great blogs I have found through this site are:

Just Call Me Sleep Deprived
Nana's Box
Pennies in My Pocket
Avery Tales
The Fam Five