Chemotherapy Recommended Items: It’s ALL about the BROWS!

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As a chemotherapy patient, you never realize how important your eyebrows are until they are gone.  To be honest, I was surprised that I missed my eyebrows more than my eyelashes.  I tried fake lashes a few times for major events, but not for everyday wear.  I was not allowed to go to a Lash Bar to have fake lashes put on due to the risk of germs and infection.

As for my eyebrows, there was something I could do, dray my own!  I went to Sephora with my mom and one of the makeup artists showed me how to use an eyebrow pencil correctly.  I had never used an eyebrow pencil before, so I was a little anxious.  She recommended that I use a slanted eyebrow pencil.  She recommended Benefit.  This product is easy to use.  If you do make a mistake, you can use the Benefit highlighting pencil to “clean up” your mistake.  A piece of advice is to use your hands to feel where your eyebrow bone is and use the eyebrow pencil in that area.   Continue reading “Chemotherapy Recommended Items: It’s ALL about the BROWS!”

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Ground Hog Day

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The word HOPE has different meanings for different people.  The website LoveHope.co offers HOPE to those that strive to overcome their physical, emotional, and social obstacles.  I was excited when LoveHope.co reached out to me on Instagram and asked me to write about MY STORY on their web page.  

Today is February 2nd:  Groundhog Day, a day that I will never forget and a day that I do not  want to repeat.  In the movie, Groundhog Day, the main character’s day is repeated over and over again.  This is the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  My husband and I waiting for my obgyn to give us the results from my biopsy.  Once she told us the results, time was frozen and tears began to flow.  The rest of what she said was a blur.  My husband and I were so disoriented after the appointment, we could not find the parking garage where our cars were located.  I remember calling my mom and telling her “I have breast cancer…”  My husband and I drove to a nearby parking lot to leave my car because I was not able to drive because I was crying so much.  When we go home I was exhausted, so I laid down on the couch and slept.

The next day was Friday and I took off of work. I texted my principal and assistant principal to let them know why I took the day off.  I went into my school and waved to my principal (she was talking to a parent) and I grabbed my laptop and left quickly.  I am not sure why I needed my laptop so badly or why I even went to work to get it…  I know that I did not look good that day, I looked very pale and had not make-up on.   My husband and I headed to my first doctor’s appointment with a breast surgeon.  

When I was diagnosed with cancer, it immediately became the main focus of my being.  The surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and countless doctors appointments.  I wanted to share my story with others, so I started writing a blog called Anchored in HOPE.  My blog became my outlet and I also kept my friends and family members informed as to how my breast cancer journey was going.  I also started a business, Charmed Causes.  Charmed Causes, specializes in hand-made, premium Wine Charms and Key Chains “with a cause”.  I created the products to inspire HOPE to all, one charm at a time.  

When I think of the person that I WAS on Ground Hog Day in 2017 and the person I am NOW on Ground Hog Day in 2019, I AM NOT the same person.  I thank God for everyday that I wake up and for being cancer-free.  My outlook on life is focused on positivity and NEVER GIVING UP HOPE!

Anchored in HOPE, 

JW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chemotherapy Recommended Item: Dry as a Cactus

cactus

Chemotherapy made my mouth very, very dry.  A product that helped my dry mouth was Biotene Moisturizing Oral Rinse. I used Biotene in the morning and at night.  I also carried a travel size bottle of Biotene that was a mouth spray in my purse.  Continue reading “Chemotherapy Recommended Item: Dry as a Cactus”

Chemotherapy Recommended Items: Sight for Sore Eyes

eyes

My eyes were dry and itchy during chemotherapy.  My eye doctor recommended Refresh Optive Lubricant Eye Drops for my dry eyes. She also recommended Zaditor for my itchy eyes.  The products helped my eyes tremendously.   Continue reading “Chemotherapy Recommended Items: Sight for Sore Eyes”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗- Edition 38

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Dear Friends and Family,

Wow, it has been a long time since I have written!  I have been very busy living and loving life.  Things have definitely not gone back to the way they used to be, but I am adjusting to the “new normal”.  My last cancer treatment, radiation, was a little over a year ago.  I remember that day vividly, celebrating with my friends and family in the lobby of the hospital and RINGING THE BELL!  

I recently met with my oncologist and radiation oncologist and they said that my scans are clear!  I was so nervous leading up to those appointments because you always have the fear that the cancer will return or metastasize.  I was more than relieved when I found out the results on the same day and did not have to wait.

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗- Edition 38”

Chemotherapy Recommended Item: Nail Time

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This was my last pedicure before I started chemotherapy. My last pedicure helped prepare me for what was to come, even though there were so many unknowns with how my body would react to chemotherapy.

I received Taxol as part of my chemotherapy treatment.  My oncologist recommended that I soaked my nails in vinegar and water daily.  I used equal parts vinegar and water.  I also was not allowed to get a manicure or pedicure due to possible infection of my nails.  I did not have any problems with my fingernails falling off from Taxol.   Continue reading “Chemotherapy Recommended Item: Nail Time”

Jen’s Story – Anchored in Hope

My post went “live” on i Go Pink: The Breast Cancer Charities of America this week!  i Go Pink sent me a beauty bag filled with makeup and other makeup related items while I  was receiving chemotherapy.  Please read my post below!

Jen’s Story – Anchored In Hope

group-photo-dogs.png The Anchor has meant many things to me throughout various points in my life.  In college, I joined a sorority and our symbol was the Anchor. The Anchor was adopted by Delta Gamma in 1877 and stands for the age-old symbol of HOPE.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. I focused my energy on spreading HOPE and remaining positive throughout my cancer journey by starting a blog called Anchored In Hope.  Writing posts on my blog was a way for me to express myself and communicate to my support system. I was very fortunate to have such a strong support system that showered me with love and friendship throughout my treatment, and I wanted to be able to give that to others!

Cancer is disease that nobody wants to experience in their lifetime.  Everybody knows somebody that has been affected by cancer.  When YOU are the person diagnosed with cancer your outlook on life changes FOREVER.

I received my baseline mammogram and cancer diagnosis shortly after my close friend and college roommate was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same age.  On Groundhog Day, February 2, 2017, my obstetrician-gynecologist told me the three words that you never want to hear “You have cancer.”  My husband and I just sat there in dismay.  I began to cry but not because I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I cried because I wanted to be a mom so badly.  My husband and I were trying to start a family and had been so far unsuccessful. Earlier, I had two miscarriages and found out that I had endometriosis. And now I knew that cancer treatments could result in infertility.

Telling my mom that I was diagnosed with breast cancer was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.  She went to multiple appointments with me for further testing when I was told that my mammogram was abnormal, so when I told her I had breast cancer, she was not totally caught off guard.  There is not a handbook created that tells you how to handle your cancer diagnosis or how to tell people.  You must do what you feel comfortable with.

My dog, Maverick, could sense that something was wrong with me.  It amazes me how intuitive he is.  My husband took this picture the day I received my breast cancer diagnosis.

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I went to many doctors and received many opinions regarding my treatment plan.  I believed that the more information I received would help me choose the best treatment plan for me.  Treatment plans are not “one size fits all”.  My friend’s treatment plan was different than mine, even though we were going to the same facility to receive treatment.  We leaned on each other throughout our treatments which made our friendship stronger.

Navigating life after cancer has honestly been the toughest part of my journey.  Your calendar is no longer booked with various doctor’s appointments and treatment is not your main priority.  I enjoy having more free time, but it isn’t the same as it was before. I attend follow-up appointments and take medication to prevent cancer from reoccurring.  I am a totally different person than I was before my cancer diagnosis.  I have a different outlook on life and know how precious life is.  My HOPE is to remain cancer-free and to be a mom someday…

Anchored in HOPE,

JW