What is scarier than Halloween?

Dear future Pinksters,

What is scarier than Halloween? If you are a woman, hearing the words: You have breast cancer.

This can be shock to you even if you are expecting it. I know. I knew the minute I looked in my bathroom mirror on October 19, 2011 that the indentation under the nipple on my left breast and the tiny lump just below and to the right of it was breast cancer. My ‘gut instinct,’ Holy Ghost, God whispered this truth to me.

The lump could not be felt or seen when I was laying down. Most doctors do breast examinations when their patients are laying down. Every doctor, nurse and radiation technician asked me to show them where the lump was. The mammogram indicated that this lump was half the size of a pea. It showed up as a tiny speck.

Yet, when I heard those words from my oncology surgeon on November 22nd, (two days before Thanksgiving), I was shocked! I sobbed-even though I already knew.

Thankfully, my gut instinct was correct. Thankfully, my doctors believed me and moved forward full speed ahead with additional testing. One of them told me that the lump I found was mobile and that there was only a 2% chance that it was cancer.

I believe most of you are aware that regardless of whether you are in the statistic of 2% of the population or 99% of the population, for you, that statistic will always be: 100%.

Thankfully, I listened to the ‘little voice’ inside my head that told me NOT to wait.

For those of you who are reading these words, I am pleading with you to trust your gut instincts. Do your monthly self-exams regularly. Look in the mirror when you get out of the shower. Know what is normal for you! Nobody should know your body better than you do!

Enjoy your day,

Chris

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Passion for Living

Dear future Pinksters,

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Anonymous

Do you have a passion for living? Are you living the life of your dreams? If not, why not? What’s stopping you?

Some researchers have said that less than 10% of our population is able to retire when they want to and live the life of their dreams?

Most people fear two things: Public speaking and death-in that order! I don’t believe people fear death as much as they fear living. I say this because too many of us don’t truly start living until we are faced with circumstances that could easily end our lives.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the day that I began my very personal breast cancer journey. I could easily have been dead within six months if my cancer had not been caught early.

Prior to my diagnosis, I felt like I was going through the motions. My two oldest sons were in college-two thousand miles away. My youngest son was a Senior in High School. I had been working for a local charity from the comfort of my home for almost nine years. I lived to work, attend church and make sure my husband and son didn’t starve.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer gave me a purpose for living-if I survived it.

To celebrate the seventh anniversary of my breast cancer journey, I would like to share the following video.

How did you discover your passion for living? What is it? How are you sharing it with the world and the people you love?

My gift to you today is the Introduction and Chapter 1-Passion from 47 Shades of Pink. I launched it today. The subtitle is: Improve your quality of life, reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. If you like what you read and are hungry to read the ‘rest of the story,’ you can find it here.

PDF 47 Shades Introduction and Chapter 1

Front Cover 47 Shades of Pink October 1 2018

 

Enjoy your evening!

Chris

October is about being aware of more than breasts

International Squirrel Awareness month

Dear Pinksters,

Are you aware that the month of October is: International Squirrel Awareness and Appreciation month? I bet you thought I was going to say: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, didn’t you?

I would sincerely love it if everyone were as aware of the significance of squirrels more than they are the significance of breast cancer.

I am sure many of you are aware that 12% (that equals 1 in every 8 women) will hear the words: You have breast cancer. I am sure you are also aware that breast cancer doesn’t just affect the women, but the people that they love as well. I am aware that everyone knows at least eight women.

Are you aware that 15% of the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have at least one first-degree relative that has also been diagnosed? By first-degree relative, I mean their mother or sister.

Are you aware that ALL of have cancer cells within our bodies and that they can be ‘turned on’ or ‘turned off’? Google: Epigenetics and see for yourself.

Are you aware that at least 70% of ALL diseases ARE preventable when we make lasting lifestyle changes that work for us? Google: Epigenetics and lifestyle to see for yourself.

Are you aware that 1% of all men will be diagnosed with breast cancer? My neighbor has two former male co-workers that were diagnosed. I am the first woman that she knows personally that received that diagnosis.

For those of us who have been effected by breast cancer, I can assure you that we are aware of breast cancer the other eleven months of the year as well. For most of us, our physical scares are a constant reminder of what we have lost. Our emotional scars can become visible without any forewarning. Many women are dealing with lingering side-effects of chemo-therapy, radiation and lymphedema. (This does not include the side-effects that come from taking medications to prevent a recurrence.)

This is too many women and their loved ones who have had to choose between their quality of life or their quantity of life.

Even though finding a cure for cancer would be great, I believe it would be far more cost-effective to PREVENT this disease from occurring in the first place!

I am inspired by the following quote by this second century B.C. philosopher named, Huang Di Nei Jing:

“Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure disease AFTER it has appeared is like digging a well when one is already thirsty or forging weapons AFTER the war has already begun.”

If you are feeling inspired after reading this blog post, I would like to invite you to ‘try on’a FREE, one hour health consultation to see how I can help you improve your quality of life and reduce or prevent breast cancer by at least 70%.

Click here to schedule your appointment today. (It can be done over the phone at a time that is convenient for you.)

Enjoy your day!

Chris

P.S. Take some time today to be aware of and appreciate the squirrels who cross your path.

33 Tips to improve your relationships

33 Tips to improve your relationships

Dear Pinksters!

Today’s Feel Good Friday post is a celebration of my 33rd Wedding Anniversary!

The #1 question most couples get asked is: What is the secret to a long and happy marriage?

I have known several couples that have been married for a long time. I am not sure that their relationship has been a happy one. I believe in the cliché: You should marry your best friend. (Notice that I did NOT say: Marry your ‘breast friend.’) 

I did. Has it been easy? No! Have both of us been happy all the time during those years: No! However, we have done our best to implement most of the tips I am sharing with you today.

I will have to share a quote from Nicholas Cage to illustrate what I mean by this piece of advice:

If a guy only wants you Nicholas Cage

I thought I would take some time today to share my tried and mostly true tips for improving your relationships-regardless of whether you are married or not.

I am only going to use the word: Always twice during this list. The rest you are free to ‘try on’ if you feel so inclined.

  1. ALWAYS REMEMBER WHY YOU FELL IN LOVE!

  2. Be authentic.

  3. Be apologetic.

  4. Accept imperfections.

  5. Aspire to improve.

  6. Be accessible.

  7. Be attentive to the things that matter the most to your significant other.

  8. Be cheerful!

  9. Admit when you made a mistake.

  10. Be aware of your tone of voice. (Sarcastic comments don’t work when they are used all the time…)

  11. Have a sense of humor!

  12. Attend church together.

  13. Eat at least one meal/day together. (If your spouse travels, use Facetime or another form of electronic media to stay connected.)

  14. Ask questions.

  15. LISTEN!

  16. Be faithful.

  17. Be a Cheerleader!

  18. Acknowledge their positive qualities and actions.

  19. Praise each other to your friends, family members, and co-workers.

  20. Express gratitude!

  21. Have separate hobbies or interests.

  22. Go for walks or bike rides together.

  23. Be accountable to each other. (Let each other know when you arrive at your destination when you are a part.)

  24. Surprise each other with little gifts on a day that isn’t their Birthday, Anniversary, or Christmas.

  25. Mail them a card or thank you note instead of sending a text.

  26. Disconnect from your electronic devices at least once/week.

  27. SMILE!

  28. Keep each other informed of activities that you want to attend together.

  29. Volunteer to work on a project together.

  30. Express an interest in things that are important to your spouse that you might not be especially fond of.

  31. Continue to date your spouse AFTER you get married. (This could mean putting your children to bed early and watching a movie that you checked out from the library.)

  32. Revisit the place where you had your first date as often as possible. My husband and I visit the park near us at least once/year. On our first date, I dared him to walk 9 miles on the bike trail with me. I have not, nor will I ever do that again!

  33. ALWAYS start a criticism by filling in these blanks: When you________I feel_______(This will open the door to a discussion and avoid most disagreements. The other person won’t feel like they are being accused or attacked for something that they might not have been completely aware of!)

Would you like to learn how you can receive personalized coaching on ways that you can improve the important relationships in your life? If so, fill out the form on my: Work with Chris page to receive a FREE, no obligation health consultation.) Click here:

Are there any tips you would like to share that have helped you improve your own relationships? If so, please share them in the comments. Thank you!

Enjoy your day!

Chris

Pink doesn’t have to stink

pink sunsetSupport holding hands


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Dear Pinksters!

Today’s post is about: Support groups. As I was waiting in the waiting room waiting to see my surgical oncologist for the first time, I got involved in a conversation with one of her patient’s who was also…waiting. 

She gave me some advice that I will always remember. She said that if I received a breast cancer diagnosis that the best thing that I could do is tell everybody I knew. There is no such thing as having ‘too much support.’ That was in November of 2011. She was right. Studies have shown that people who participate in support groups survive longer and are generally healthier emotionally. 

I am blessed to be a member of three support groups for women.

1. The Relief Society which is the largest support group for women who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

2. The breast cancer sisterhood. A few months after my diagnosis, I received an email from the nurse who assisted with the biopsies that led to my breast cancer diagnosis. At the time, I was riding an emotional roller-coaster and it was pretty close to the bottom. I ‘phoned a friend,’ a sister survivor and asked her what they would tell me at a support group that I didn’t already know. She said: It’s not what they will tell you, it is HOW they will tell you! They speak your language because they have been where you are and they understand better than your friends who have not had that experience. She was right. 

3. I became an active member of an incredible Facebook support group called: Flat and Fabulous. WE are a group of almost two thousand women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and had mastectomies. Most of us chose NOT to have reconstructive surgery. Some women had reconstructive surgery and for various reasons chose to deconstruct. Our primary purpose is to empower women to become fabulous after having so much of our iden-titty taken away.  If you would like to watch a fun video about the ‘benefits of being boob-less, check out my Toastmasters Award-Winning video by clicking here.

Thanks to support groups, pink no longer stinks! If you need help, find a support group near you, on Facebook or send me a message. You don’t have to travel this journey alone.

There are a lot of support groups for people who are sick, I would like to see more support groups created for people who want to stay well. That is one of the many reasons I am choosing to focus on disease prevention. I want the Pinkster support group to offer you easy ways to create a healthy lifestyle that will work for you!

Have you attended support groups? Have you felt supported? Please share your experience in the comments. Thank you very much AND…

Enjoy your day!

Chris

 

Rash Decisions

Rash Decisions…(This article was originally posted in Book Fun ezine January 2018 with Carol Graham on page 100.)

Can you imagine what it would feel like to be bitten by a flea? If you have had that experience, then you know how it compares to your average mosquito bite. It is very intense! At least with those itches, over-the-counter creams will give you some relief.

Can you imagine the how intense the itching of a flea bite would be if you multiplied it by 100? How about a 1,000? What if the only thing you could do to get relief would be to soak in cool bath water with Epsom salts and possibly some lavender essential oil? Can you imagine doing this at two o’clock every morning for a month or more?

What if you couldn’t tolerate anything touching your skin except for cotton? Your days of wearing yoga pants and exercising would be officially over!

How would you feel if you had to miss Birthday parties, Halloween, attending church or spending time with your family and friends? Would you feel like a prisoner in your home?

I had this experience last year. My rash journey began on September 16, 2016. The itching began at my waist and spread to eighty per cent of my body within two months. The more I itched, the more I scratched. The more I scratched, the more my rash spread. It was a vicious cycle! I felt helpless. On several occasions, I wanted to die!

A few well-meaning friends suggested that I see a doctor about my rash. I adamantly refused! Making the ‘rash decision’ to search for the cause seemed to be a more rational idea. I know from personal experience that when you find the cause of something, you also find the solution. It just takes longer. Much longer…

A very close friend mentioned that stress could be a possible cause. I started thinking about the stressful situations that I had recently experienced.

The first one was: My step-mother passed away on August 1st. After her death, I discovered that she had destroyed every memory my dad had had of everybody that had been a part of his life, except her. I was devastated! ALL of my childhood pictures and pictures taken at family reunions were gone!

The second very stressful circumstance that had occurred was that I had made an attempt to quit my dead-end day job before I had a secure income in place. I took a leap of faith. I figuratively-fell among the rocks!

The third circumstance was that I had had a major argument with a very close family member. I knew that we needed to take a time-out from each other, but it was very difficult!

Would these situations stress you out?

The five year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis was coming up. This was a major milestone! I should have been thrilled to have survived. I should have been celebrating! Instead, I was facing something far more challenging.

In December of 2011, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy-(without reconstructive surgery) for breast cancer. Since I couldn’t tolerate anything touching my skin, I can count it as a blessing that I no longer had to wear a bra or deal with boob sweat anymore…

I was afraid to eat anything for fear that it would make my rash worse or give me a migraine. The good news: I lost ten pounds within six weeks. (The ten pounds that I had been trying to lose for a few years. The ten pounds that people told me I would never lose because I was past the age of fifty. The ten pounds…)

It was at this point that I began to realize that my emotions might be triggering some of the itching. Avoiding my ‘normal trigger foods’ seemed to help a little bit too. I put the following quote on my refrigerator door: Nothing tastes as good as not itching feels!

Prayer and meditation also took the edge off.

The week before Thanksgiving, I finally found relief to the incessant itching in the form of a webinar series about auto-immune diseases and digestive issues.

I believe there was a series of seven webinars on seven separate days. As soon as I finished watching the webinar on the third day, I was feeling hopeful that I had found the solution. The solution that would finally put an end to the constant itching!

As soon as my husband came home from work, I made the ‘rash decision’ to go shopping…alone. When I came home, I began cooking the foods that I was very hopeful would put an end to the itching. Within a few days, the itching started to subside for an hour or so. When my skin did itch, it wasn’t as bad.

Thanksgiving was quickly approaching. All three of our sons would be home. I really wanted to join the fun with my family and extended family. I had to create a plan…

On Thanksgiving morning, one of my sons and his wife arrived about an hour before we had to leave. I asked him to give me a Priesthood blessing. I knew that I would need the comfort and reassurance that this blessing would bring.

I had made our traditional sweet rolls for dinner. I brought cabbage soup for me. (Will it come as a surprise to you to know that nobody wanted any of my cabbage soup?) I was able to eat a lot of turkey and a small slice of chocolate pie.

My itching was kept to a minimum and didn’t start until we were almost home. I was very thankful that I did not make the ‘rash decision’ to stay home. I was very thankful that I was able to enjoy the holiday with my family.

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Fast forward to New Year’s Eve. I had been doing a pretty good job following ‘my diet’ and managing my emotions. I felt like I deserved a treat.

When I made the ‘rash decision’ to visit my favorite donut shop: Spud Nuts, (donuts made out of potato bread,) my husband thought I was crazy, but I insisted. When I finished eating and savoring every delicious bite of my chocolate vanilla cream Spud Nut, the realization came over me that…

Good news! God loves me! My rash did not get worse and I did not experience any other negative side effects from it.

Better news! The rash that had previously covered eighty per cent of my body was down to less than ten per cent. It took less time to heal the rash than it did for it to spread. As an added bonus: I also lost a total of twenty-two pounds! I was back to my goal weight. A weight that I had not seen for at least ten years!

The best news of all came in the form of an unexpected answer to one of my prayers. I had been wanting to go back to school and change careers. I was in the early stages of doing that research when my rash broke out.

When I discovered that I could help my body heal itself by making dietary and lifestyle changes, I was convinced that I had found the perfect opportunity. A close friend of mine encouraged me to attend a school that teaches that concept.

Within a very short period of time, I discovered that one of the doctors in the webinar series that I had watched in November was a guest lecturer in the school that I had made the ‘rash decision’ to attend.

I know that we can not gain a testimony of God’s purpose for us until we pass the tests that He has given us. In the Bible, Romans 8:28 (KJV), it says: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We read in The Book of Mormon, Ether 12:6: I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

I am now very much on my way to becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Becoming a health coach will give me the perfect opportunity to help people save money on the cost of their health care and help them learn how to heal their own bodies by making dietary and lifestyle changes that will work for them.

Thankfully, choosing to attend this school is not proving to have been a very ‘rash decision!’

If you would like to choose a FREE one hour consultation, I promise you won’t be making a ‘rash decision’ to see how I can help you heal your body too! Click here.

Feel Good Friday! What Determines Your Identity?

Dear Sisters!

Happy Good Friday! Welcome to Spring!

You may recall that I have four purposes for creating this blog. They are: Passion! Since I made the decision to become a health coach, (I have changed that purpose-just a little bit.) Identity! Natural! Keeping it simple!

Identity is still a very important part of my purpose and your purpose for living.

Today I am going to talk about: Identity!

What determines your identity?

Is your identity determined by the number of friends that you have on Social Media or the one friend that you can call when you are in need?

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Is your identity determined by the growth of the money in your bank account? Or the growth of your confidence and skills? 

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Is your identity determined by the number of hours you work every day? Or the number of people whose lives you touch in some small, way?

Is your identity determined by the size of your bra? Or the size of your heart?

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With this Good Friday post, I believe that the most important thing that determines our identity is the fact that our our Savior, created us in His own image. I believe that ALL of us are His children. I love the hymn that our Primary children sing: I am a Child of God. To listen to it, click here.

I believe that God created the earth and everything in it for our good and benefit. The tree’s, the flower’s and the weed’s.

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There is a hymn titled: God Loved Us So He Sent His Son. To listen to it, click here.  I pray that we will remember Him and the price He paid for us during this beautiful Easter weekend and all year long.

Although today is no longer Easter, but late July, I believe these messages are still relevant. Do you? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Enjoy your day!

Chris

P.S. If you would like to have some fun, watch my Top 10 list on the subject of what I believe definitely does NOT determine our identity…