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For Your Well Being: Filling Up

Mar. 20, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 6

Dear Friends,

On Monday morning this week, I woke up as a Queen. Did I marry a King over the weekend? No, I took the Queen course. Actually, the official course title is “Celebrating Women: Regarding Ecstasy and Power,” and it’s put on by PAX, the company that taught me all about men last year. Now this course is not about castles and crowns. It is about things like feminine forms of power, vision and spirit. It’s really all about consciousness. And, so, when I say I woke up as a Queen, I meant that I’m awakening – remembering who I am – and it is a process.

Now the resident King says he was already living with the Queen, followed by, “And when are you going to claim it?” Ouch. Good question . . . I’m working on it. To be continued…

Breast Cancer Issues

A couple of weekends ago, I attended the “Breast Cancer Issues™” conference here in Portland. It was presented by the Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with support from many community partners. In its tenth year, it was previously called the “Issues After Breast Cancer” conference. We’re not proud of it, but the facts are that Washington and Oregon have the highest rates of breast cancer in the United States. One of the things our local Komen affiliate does is produce educational and screening programs to make a difference in reversing this alarming statistic.

This year the organizers made a conscious change to go beyond issues after breast cancer and address risk reduction, quality of life and treatment options, as well as survivorship. I’d say it was a good move because they sold out with record attendance of almost 680 participants. In addition to the morning keynote speaker, there were five tracks to choose from for three breakout sessions, a lovely healthy lunch and exhibitors. Another change was the offering of CEU’s for nurses and medical social workers — an indication that healthcare professionals are partnering with the patients in their care.

We also received a notebook packed with information — local web and phone resources, support group listings, financial resources for survivors, breast cancer facts for 2008, and recommended reading for survivors. I was amazed by the quantity and quality of the information provided.

My friend, Pat, who attended with me, is an eleven-year survivor. She had attended many of the previous conferences and said this was the best ever. “All of the speakers were excellent. I got the answers I came for.” She attended a session on long term side effects of Tamoxifen, Aromatase Inhibitors and Herceptin, one on long-term side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, and a survivorship prescription for long-term health. I (not a survivor, but interested in the topics and speakers) attended sessions on optimal nutrition and exercise, intimacy after breast cancer, and secrets of survivorship.

Cost for the conference was $40 ($60 for CEU credits) pre-registered and $45 ($65) after the deadline. If you’re interested in learning more, you can go to the Komen Oregon website where many of the resources are listed. And here’s some information from the conference worth passing around: Breast Cancer MythBUSTers®.

Myth 1: Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.
Myth 2: Older women are less likely to get breast cancer than younger women.
Myth 3: Breast cancer is contagious.
Myth 4: All breast lumps are cancerous.
Myth 5: Antiperspirants or antiperspirants/deodorant combinations are a leading cause of breast cancer.
Myth 5: Nipple discharge indicates breast cancer.
Myth 6: Underwire bras cause breast cancer.
Myth 7: An Injury to the breast causes cancer.
Myth 8: Oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills) cause breast cancer.
Myth 9: Mammography is 100% accurate in early breast cancer detection.
Myth 10: Breast cancer always presents itself in the form of a lump
Myth 11: If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, she will lose her breast.
Myth 12: Older women diagnosed with breast cancer do not need “full” treatment.

Now is the time to book speakers for October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s also a very popular time for women’s health events in general. On our website, you can look up speakers under TOPICS, Breast Cancer, or EVENTS, Breast Cancer Events. In addition to the speakers you see there, I’ll be adding speakers from this conference. Look for the new speakers in future issues and on our website. For those of you looking for a celebrity draw, we’re excited to recommend Linda Ellerbee and Marcia Wallace, both television personalities, authors, and breast cancer survivors with stories, humor and perspectives that will draw large numbers and, as you always hope your speakers will, send them home inspired and full.

A Fill-Up, Please!

Now, I’m not talking about gasoline here – we know that’s going up, up, up — no matter where we live. What we learned about this weekend in regard to being a Queen, was very much about taking care of ourselves, so we can be our best selves in our own realms – for our Courts (people closest to us) and Villages. They called it filling up your tanks. We learned ways to determine our individual needs and take care of ourselves while inspiring people to be inspired by us. I don’t want to intimate any lofty ambitions here. Let it be known that the Queen is not perfect. She’s human, a real woman who is in touch with her power and no longer run by her ideal woman. And, I think that’s what it’s all about.

What struck me the most about the 48 other Queens in the classroom this past weekend, was how many women of all ages talked about being in transition – getting divorced, changing jobs, adopting foster children, having a first child, recovering from cancer, moving into freedom from commitments, and relationship issues in general – good and not-so-good. I also noticed that none of that showed on the surface. We all looked pretty calm and collected on the outside. You will probably never know what’s going on inside the hundreds of women attending your events. Do know that they’re there to invest in themselves, to fill up their tanks, get in touch with their power, and you are providing a haven and avenue for that to happen. That’s my goal, through The Speak Well Being Group, to send you speakers who speak to those universal needs.

Until next time, take care of yourself for your good health and those you love.

Yours truly,

PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.


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