Tag Archives: cancer

Your Good Deed for the Month

Hey everyone, we know you’re all good people but in the spirit of greatness, please consider our plea. A close friend of ours has a dog that means everything to her. When your family lives on the other side of the country and you move to LA because you have a great job, you can’t take much with you. (Trust me, I know what it’s like to be far from home… many of us do.) Fortunately, for all of us pet lovers, we only need one thing (or in our case, four) to come home to at the end of the day. 

Dog breeds are sort of irrelevant. Basenjis can yodel and stand on two legs, standard poodles can swim really well, and french bulldogs can fly away with their ears, but all breeds really are sweethearts when they’re raised in a loving and caring home. Taza is a big, older, sweet rottweiler mix who needs a little help right now. See, when we’re not feeling well and can’t perform up to par at work, we know how to take care of ourselves. We go to the doctor, get an x-ray, and often can take care of what is wrong before it becomes a serious issue. The thing is, as humans, we really are at the top of the food chain, but you don’t have to look at it like that.

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Lung Leavin’ Day 2015 (Mesothelioma Awareness)

September 26th, 2014 was Mesothelioma Awareness Day and we published one of our favorite articles of the year just two days before. You can read it here. To sum it up, Mesothelioma is a form of cancer cause by exposure to asbestos. It is extremely difficult to know if you have been exposed and those who are diagnosed typically are told they have 1-2 years left to live.

A friends of ours, Heather, has a tremendous survival story that will make even the toughest individuals feel vulnerable. At the same time, it is equally empowering and it shows you that all you can do is stand up to your fears… and CRUSH them!

February 2nd, 2015 is Lung Leavin’ Day. It marks the anniversary of when Heather had her lung removed to survive her battle with cancer. It is her tradition with those who are close to her to write their fears on plates and smash them into a fire under the night sky. We welcome you to join that initiative to stand strong, face your fears, and continue to raise awareness for not only cancer but specific forms such as Mesothelioma. 

If you can’t afford to break plates or are concerned for the environment, please click on the following link and participate through this amazingly designed page. (It’s so awesome I can’t get over it.) Type your fears onto a plate and break the plate in the fire. This is a great way to face your fears in 2015 and become the strongest you have ever been. Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, email your friends… it costs nothing and is a great activity for an even greater cause. 

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Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2014

Awareness. It truly can save lives, especially when that awareness is related to something that is preventable. If everyone knew exactly what poison ivy looked like, do you think the cases of poison ivy would go down? I would say so. What about for something worse… like cancer? If you were aware of how to prevent cancer, would you take the means to do so for yourself? I most certainly would try. And this all brings us back to the title of this post and that one word that might not look so familiar, mesothelioma

We’ll make this clear, mesothelioma is a very dangerous form of cancer that attacks a similarly named lining of your body cavity. It tries to, usually successfully, hurt a part of the inside of your body… obviously, you don’t want that to happen. What causes it? Exposure to asbestos. What is asbestos? You might know already or at least you’ve heard the word, but asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally on our planet, and it is a known carcinogen.

To put that into perspective, aspartame, which has a very negative public opinion due to its presence as an artificial sweetener in so many processed foods, is declared as a non-carcinogen on www.cancer.org. That was even after studies and lab experiments. (I still don’t consume aspartame because I’m not convinced, yet.) What about arsenic… would you ingest it if you had a choice? You shouldn’t. Asbestos, however, is still used in construction projects throughout the world; developing and developed countries use it in homes, schools, industrial, and commercial buildings. So… how do you know if you’ve been exposed; what are the symptoms?

Here is the scariest part. Mesothelioma sits dormant in your body for 20-50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Every year, nearly 3,000 new cases are diagnosed. Their average time given to live… 10 months. Although, it’s most common in individuals 50-70 years old, there have been of cases for those in younger generations. The three types that have been identified are in the lining of the lunges (80% of all cases), abdominal lining, and heart lining. All crucial parts of the body and all extremely painful, I’m sure. 

So, what’s the point of me writing this post? Why exactly is FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2014 the 10th Annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day? Because your awareness can save your life or someone else’s life. Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos in most products in 1989, by 1991 the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it and most products containing asbestos are still made today. Try to avoid them and try to avoid buildings that were constructed with asbestos.

My personal input to this is that asbestos is easily a billion (maybe even trillion) dollar industry, and people aren’t willing to let that go. Money has significant control over the government and we know that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Court of Appeals was bought for that decision to overturn the ban because the money in a few pockets is worth so much more to those individuals than the lives of nearly 10,000 Americans a year who die because of asbestos related diseases. 

Become knowledgeable, spread awareness, avoid asbestos, fight the use of asbestos, and save lives. It could be someone you never met, it could be someone you love, it could be you. And stay hungry and fit!

No-Shave November: The Unofficial History

This may be entirely true or entirely false but take from it what you will. This is what the month of November means to me. (Besides all the awesomeness of a seasonal Autumn, Thanksgiving, and being the month before the best Holiday season.) In recent years you may have heard of “No Shave November” or “Movember.” This is my take on the two; you, of course, can take what you want from my take!

Probably about six years ago, I heard about an event that was taking place at the University of Maryland and some other large schools. It was a fundraising effort throughout the month of November to raise awareness. As nearly everyone knows October is national breast cancer awareness month, but there is no designated month for male cancers even though it takes the lives of many a men every year. In order to make November the unofficial men’s cancer awareness month, all men were asked to grow all of their hair throughout the month: on their head, on their face, etc.

photo (22)

Beard as of today…Nymeria is beating me by a lot

Throughout the month, the sudden growth of facial hair on people who typically would not grow it (like myself) drew much attention and allowed those participating to explain the cause. Thus, the awareness for men’s cancers and prevention grew. Knowledge is important and if people are not aware of problems then there is a very small chance anything will ever be changed or improved. The other important part of the month comes December 1st.

On the first of December, all the men that have been growing their hair need to get a shave and a cut and a wax, if necessary. Participating barbers and hair dressers in certain locations agreed to work with a cancer-curing related charity. They would give free shaves and haircuts all day at no cost to their business. All of the men who were serviced by them would pay the same amount they would normally be charged, and perhaps a little extra donation, and that money would go directly to the charity. Let’s say a barber took 3 guys an hour for 8 hours. That would be 24 cuts and shaves. That might normally cost about 25 dollars a person, which would then turn into a $600 or more donation.

Before we got there

A while ago, but some scruff!

 

If you think about how many men and barbers could participate in this, then you could really start to earn a lot of money. And this is something that could be done outside of the United States. It could make millions for cancer research, etc. Obviously not everyone knows about it and a lot of those who do know about it do not participate for various reasons. Here is a briefer explanation of Movember and how it has affected this event.

After a few years, as everything does with men who want to act cool and tough, guys decided to start turning this into a contest. They wanted to increase their ego and feel like the bigger man, so groups of friends and coworkers would say “let’s see who can grow the fullest and biggest beard in a month.” For some time, this was a great way to get more people to participate but eventually, it turned into just a contest. A lot of these groups of guys never knew why no shave November started. They were participating in the contest but not donating or raising money for the charities. What could have been a blessing for the event turned into a curse.

y so sirius

y so sirius

Out of this spirit of competition more recently came Movember.  Disclaimer: I do not like or dislike “hipsters.” It is not a style of life that I would ever support and I find it extremely shallow but if people’s goal is to be hip, then let them be hip… as long as they don’t bother me. So why did I say all that about hipsters? Well, it was the hipsters who took no shave November, knowingly or ignorantly, and turned it into a greater contest. They decided to see who could grow the coolest and most outlandish mustache in one month. This continued to take away from the true meaning of the original effort. It grew in popularity, but not in a good way. Movember has spread to be more popular than no-shave November but a positive force was generated from this birth.

Now, men who are participating in Movember (which I never will) have people sponsor their mustaches and they gain donations throughout the month. I can’t say these donations are going to the right place, but if they do then that is a good cause and there has been some restoration to the true goal. So for anyone who is doing or has done Movember or No Shave November because it is the cool thing to do and you want to be hip and trendy, do it for the right reason and gain some money for cancer research or don’t do it at all. And there you have it, the unofficial history of No Shave November.

BONUS KITTY PIC

But ummm look how cute I am

But ummm look how cute I am