Skin Care For Cancer Patients & Survivors

If you have, or are now going through cancer treatments you know what havoc it reeks on your skin.  I remember my skin literally peeling off when I tried to shower. In fact, at one point my mother took me to a spa as a treat. The plan was to get my hair cut and eye brows waxed. For some reason no one mentioned to the salon that I was undergoing radiation and chemo therapy. Because I looked like a cancer patient the esthetician asked me a very important questions, "do you have cancer and if so are you undergoing treatment?" 

Well the answer was of course yes and that's when I realized what a huge disaster I had just avoided. If I had gone through with the eye brow waxing I would have lost all the skin along with any eyebrow hairs I had. Read more about this on my former post: Note To Self: Do NOT Wax Eyebrows When Getting Chemo.

So what should you be doing to take care of skin during and after cancer treatments?  Skin can become very dry after treatments and that means the focus should be on hydrating the largest organ in your body.  There are several ways to keep skin hydrated so as to avoid lines, wrinkles and that sickly yellow skin color.

1) Drink plenty of water and eat raw fruits and vegetables high in anti oxidants

2) Try 100% chemical and preservative free moisturizers like Dr. Beckers 

3) Avoid invasive or harsh facial services and replace them with light massages.

4) Use products that are similar to your skins own natural oils. Squalane moisturizers are great as they the finest, most delicate moisturizers available in the world.

If you have any tips or suggestions please leave a comment

Cool Giveaway & Need Opinons

So as many of you know I now work for a fantastic new skin care company, Natural Skin Shop  Right now I am working on building their Facebook Fanpage and I must say its looking pretty awesome.  I would love to hear your opinions and suggestions if you have time to swing by and check it out.  As a bonus.....there is a really awesome giveaway to promote the Fanpage. Natural Skin Shop will be giving away 2 full Vitamin C Treatment Kits to two lucky fans.  Just go to their blog or Fanpage to find out the details!

Working Girl

I am very excited to announce that I got a great new job as the Social Media Director for Smashyn. This does not mean I will no longer be doing Spirit Jump. In fact my new job is a perfect match for what I have been doing for the past year, using social media to grow my nonprofit. Now I can use all the skills I have gained to help a great company grow.

If you would like to watch me work check out these social media platforms and please leave comments and ask questions. 

And a HUGE thank you goes out to all of you who have supported me through so much. You all have helped me move forward with my life and I see great things coming!

I spoke at NTEN & you can benefit

Just last week I had the honor to speak at NTEN with Melissa Jones Social Media Specialist for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Barb Alvarado who is Architect For Humanity’s Developmental Director. All three of us spoke on PayPal’s panel about how to use social media to fundraise.

The room was packed full of people who wanted to learn how to use social media to benefit their organization. There were representatives from very small grassroots nonprofits and also large ones who have been existence for decades.  One thing they all shared, a desire to join the social media wave.

As most of my readers know I have successfully used social media to start and grow a nonprofit, Spirit Jump. With no start up money, sponsors or experience in marketing I had to figure out how to make my dream work. Social media was just the right fit for me and my organization and I want to help others learn how to use this great new tool to help their non-profit or for-profit.

Here are a few tips shared during the panel:

1- Keep your voice consistent in social media. Try to only have 1 person who tweets & updates to keep your organizations voice consistent.

2- Engage your audience: ask and answer questions, post results and new programs, have polls. Think of creative ways to keep your supporters engaged in your organization.

3- Create and follow policy for negative feedback. If someone leaves a negative comment or tweets something not so favorable about your organization what will you do. Its easier to have a policy set in place before anything happens.  Hopefully you won't have to implement your policy but with millions of people having access and the ability to voice their opinions you're likely to face some criticism.

4- Social media is NOT the Holy Grail. Lots of people talk about how wonderful social media is and how it can do great things for your organization. But remember it's not a quick fix.  The implementation of your social media campaign will take time.  Don't forgo conventional efforts.

These are only a few tips but they should help tremendously.  Let me know if you would like more by leaving a comment.

Great News!

I have some really exciting news!

This past Tuesday I went to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for my PET scan. I have been having PET scans since April 2007. At first I went every three months then recently graduated to every 6 months. Well.....this one started like every other PET. I couldn't eat or drink 6 hours prior.  I woke up that morning at 6:30 and grabbed a cab to Dana Farber. I arrived right around 7am and signed in getting my beautiful hospital bracelet.  They took me back right away as I was the first appointment of the day.  As usual I sat down in my chair and prepared for the doctor to inject me with the radioactive stuff.  After about an hour I was taken to the machine where they scanned me for about 45 minutes.

Much later that day I went to see the doctor who orders my PET scans. After small talk she congratulates me on my graduation. Graduation!?! I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. My Doc. must have seen the perplexed look on my face because she blurted out...."You are done with PET scans"

I had absolutely not a clue that this was even an option. As many cancer patients know we are often kept in the dark. Apparently my doctors had ordered PET scans for me much longer than normal. Because of the extreme situations of my diagnosis they wanted to be absolutely sure everything was okay. But, after three years of totally clear scans the doctors have ordered that I no longer need them.  I will still need to see my doctors for physical exams every six months but the dreaded PETs are over.

Im excited and nervous at the same time. I have been fortunate. Its strange to have had such a gruesome diagnosis, difficult time with treatments and almost a 2 year recover afterwards. But now I am doing so well. I am happy but am always acutely aware of my body and ready to start fighting if the cancer returns.

Here is an inside look at my PET Scan

Spirit Airlines Solves A Crisis And Starts A New One

Okay this post is pretty off my normal topic but I really want to share. As many of you know I travel a lot whether for health reasons or speaking engagements. Over the past year I have flown Spirit, okay so now you know where this is going I'm sure! Just today I received an email from the CEO of Spirit Airlines titled: Message from Spirit Airlines CEO about the carry-on crisis

Oh my there is a crisis!! When I hear crisis I think Haiti, homelessness and cancer so I thought, this must be important, yes im being snarky. If you didn't receive one of these calls for action here is the original email:

To our valued customers,

We have all seen how carry-on baggage has gotten out of control.  Longer security lines and boarding process, injuries due to overcrowded overhead bins, delayed flights and passenger frustration has become commonplace.

At Spirit, we are always looking for new ways to save you money and improve the customer experience.  We recently announced our latest innovation, which is designed to relieve the carry-on crisis, saving you time and money.

Our solution to the carry-on crisis:

1-Lowered fares
2-Lower checked bag fees
3-Give everyone a free personal item allowance
4-Allow customers to carry on an additional bag for a fee and give them
priority boarding so they have time and space to stow their extra bag
Everyone Wins!

1-We expect total prices to be lower
2-Security lines will move faster
3-The boarding process will be smoother
4-Deplaning will be faster
5-Passenger and employee safety is improved with less over-stuffed bins

I was absolutely appalled by this email. Not only am I not pleased with being told I will have to pay $45 to bring a small carry on bag but I am pretty pissed that im being told its for my own good and the safety of those around the world.  So annoyed am I that I decided to write an email to Spirit and encourage others to do the same:  Here is what I wrote

I write today to express my absolute disgust about your decision to charge for carry on baggage.  What bothers me the most is the email that was recently sent out claiming there was a "Carry On Crisis" With so many real crisis in our world today this was an obvious, and disturbing, ploy to act like your company is doing something to improve our world. Clearly your only focus is to make more money and do less work.

1- Lower Fares? By lower fares do you mean it will "appear" to be lower but in reality after you nickel and dime us your fares are not lower they are higher than better airlines!

2-Lowered Checked Bag Fees?? Lower than what? You are now charging us for literally everything how could you act like you are doing your customers a favor by "lowering" checked bag fees. How about not charging for the first bag to encourage customers who want to wait in lines to check a bag for free. Instead you find a way to make more money then claim you are lowering fees! You must think your customers are really stupid!

3- Give Everyone a Free Personal Item Allowance? Are you serious with this one!?! So you are telling us that you will allow your customers to bring a purse with them without charging, well thank you so much. As of today we already have the ability to bring personal items on every airline including Spirit. How is it that you are so graciously giving us something we already have? Again, you must think we are all a bunch of bumbling fools.

4 Allow customers to carry on an additional bag for a fee and give them priority boarding so they have time and space to stow their extra bag? Would this not be FIRST CLASS?? If people want to pay extra for the comfort and ease of boarding first they purchase a first class ticket which already costs more money. We dont want to pay to bring on an extra bag when we can do it for free now and on other airlines. Again, you take us for fools and have very little respect or insight when it comes to your customers.

The best part of the letter is the section entitled: Everyone Wins! The only winner, in the short term at least, would be Spirit Airlines and their pockets. But, as you will soon discover, your customers are not fools and will not stand for this.  To insinuate that by not charging for carry on bags people around the world have been injured is ABSURD to say the least. Your attempt at telling us that you have solved a crisis and that its in our best interest and for our good is insulting and frankly out of line. Furthermore, I would like to address your "penny fares" which in reality cost around $80, if you can even find these fares for your destination, not including the charges for carry on or checked bags, a beverage, pillow etc.... this according to your most recent clarification email.

Prior to receiving your "Carry On Crisis" email I was an avid flier of Spirit. In fact I have flow on your airline over 10 times in 2009 and 4 times in 2010. I have recommended your airline, purchased a $9 fare for my father and have had nothing but nice things to say. But this my friend goes too far. Out of principle alone I will not fly Spirit in the future. In fact I think my pocket book will thank me.  You should be embarrassed!  Your current customers are much smarter than you give them credit for and if you haven't already realized, its your customer who keeps Spirit Airlines afloat.

~Meaghan Edelstein

A New Way To Fight Cancer

Social media & cancer is a topic I have written on before. In one of my earlier posts: Social Media & Social Good I wrote about how social media played a vital role during my personal recovery. Blogging, Facebook and Twitter were all outlets I used to find other fighters, ask questions of survivors and express myself during a very scary and difficult time.

Just yesterday I received my spring issue of Cure Magazine and inside found the following article: Social Media & Cancer: Finding Friends & Support.  This article is fantastic and conveys the same message I have shared: social media provides a unique opportunity for those battling cancer.  Its not just about researching your disease. You can connect with friends and family to keep them updated, receive messages of love and support from people around the world, ask questions of those who have had similar experiences and find resources to help you through a variety of problems.

Social media isn't just about promoting your business, sharing photos and telling people what you are doing. Because of social media hundreds of thousands of people, strangers even, are able to help each other battle a scary and powerful disease. Its a way to create an army of knowledge, support and information.

If you know someone facing cancer who is not using social media as part of their "treatment" please share the article and let them know about this new, unique, tool for fighting cancer.

How To Use Social Media For Social Good

Social media for social good has been a pretty hot topic.  If you are on Twitter, Facebook or Blog you can't go one day without hearing something about online cause marketing. But what does all this mean and how do you use this new wave of marketing to help your favorite charity?

1- Twitter: Make sure you follow your charity on Twitter.  Many nonprofits will tweet out requests, updates and answer questions.  Twitter is a great platform for you to connect quickly and directly with the charity you have been supporting from afar. If your favorite charity isn't on Twitter contact them and suggest that they start using Twitter. Some awesome charities on Twitter right now that you can follow are:

2-Facebook: Many charities have Fanpages on Facebook where they post pictures, videos, questions, and requests.  You are able to respond directly to these posts and communicate with other supporters of the cause. Fanpages create a unique way to learn more about the cause you support, work together with fellow supporters and voice your support and concerns in a public forum. Check out these great Fanpages:

Facebook and Twitter are only two social media platforms where can find your favorite causes.  Most charities also have Blogs, Linkedin and websites.  Take advantage of these wonderful ways to communicate with your favorite causes.