Tag Archives: american heart association

Self determination

27 Mar

Pink Ink


Heart Walk 2013 finish line

Heart Walk 2013 finish line

Heart Month has come and gone! Did it impact you in any way?  What did YOU do to challenge yourself or others to be heart healthy?  It was a tough month, but I made it!

My goal, as motivated by Star Jones, was to do 28 days of fitness!  I mapped out my plan, got a calendar, some weights, saw a trainer and got to work.  It was harder than I expected!  Who wants to exercise for 28 days straight?  Not me!  But I was determined to try.  If Stuart Scott could work out right after chemo, I could at least try!  It got a little complicated when I started getting transfusions…often!  But despite a February of 6 transfusions, and 3 chemo treatments, I finished!

I completed 24 of 28 days of exercise!

It may not seem like a lot, but it required commitment and determination.  There were days that I lifted light weights before being hooked up to a machine.  Other days when I rolled out of bed, walked, then, rolled right back into bed!

Why did I do it?

  • Most times, I felt better after exercising.  Isn’t that what all the doctors tell you will happen?
  • I have metastasized cancer in my lungs.  I need to increase my “lung strength” through exercise.
  • I wanted to set a good example for my daughter, and prove to myself that I could do it.
  • Heart disease KILLS!

The best thing to come out of this, is that I continue to exercise!  However,  I have scaled back my ambition.  I now work toward 5 days a week of exercise. That is still tough!  But the doctors say that is a good goal and possible to maintain.

Just because Heart Month is officially over, doesn’t mean you should go back to old habits!  The 1st part of this month had me in the hospital 3x in 1 week getting transfusions. I was worn out! Over it!  But, this weekend I participated in the local Heart Walk! Determination!  It was great to see FAMILIES walking together. My daughter is in her 3rd week of trying to be a vegetarian! A 10 year old who is willing, albeit begrudgingly, to try new veggies! I couldn’t be happier!

What else can you do?

If you are in the Phoenix area, join me and other Go Red Ambassadors at the 2013 Red Dress Cocktail Party on April 3, 2013.  Check out www.2013reddresscocktailparty.eventbrite.com  for more details.

Not in Arizona? No problem! Contact your local American Heart Association and help us continue to educate others about heart disease.

Or, just eat right, and work out! You can do it!

Remember, it’s an exercise in…SELF determination!

Meet a celebrity!

26 Sep

We have been friends together

in sunshine and shade

Caroline Norton

Pink Ink…

Star Jones had open-heart surgery in 2010. In August, Rosie O’Donnell had a heart attack.  In September, Michael Clark Duncan passed away from a heart attack.   As a result of their celebrity, you may have learned a little bit more about heart disease or heart health.

I learned more about heart disease because of my friend.

Meet Maria.

Go Red Luncheon

Maria and I became friends in 1997.  Over the years, we have lived in the same city. Once for two years, and most recently, for three.  But our friendship has remained constant. Her value in my family’s life during my breast cancer journey cannot be measured.

But want a reason to learn about heart health? Here you go.

Maria’s Mom passed away at 53 from a heart attack, with no physical warning.  In fact, she visited her doctor a week before her death.

Maria’s Grandmother died at 30 from a heart attack.

Maria’s Aunt died at 42 of a heart attack.

Maria’s Uncle died at 55 from a heart attack.

Maria’s Dad had a heart attack at 63, and stroke just a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, he lived.

Maria tracks her heart palpitations on occasion, with a monitor.

This is not just one family’s story.   It is the story of our community.  High blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight issues, diabetes, and medicines to treat various health issues contributed in some way to each of her loved ones’ deaths.  Do any of those issues sound familiar?  If you don’t know anyone with these symptoms, you are indeed blessed.

Maria became committed early on to living a full life, by learning her risks, and by educating others.  It is because of Maria SHARING HER STORY that I am now an American Heart Association Ambassador.  Maria often gives speeches on heart health, and hosts an annual heart health party in February. Recently, she said the most frustrating thing for her is that people like to live in a bubble.  Friends refuse to take control of their own lives.  We both marvel at how people still think heart disease is for “old people”.  Maria’s one wish is that young people realize we can live, and eat differently from our parents.

Agreed. Heart Disease doesn’t have to be a part of our lives. So do something.  Control your risk factors:

  • Manage your blood pressure.
  • Reduce your cholesterol intake.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Walk. Run. Take the stairs. MOVE!
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Watch your blood sugar level if you have diabetes.

The best part of taking control of your risk factors is that it is free!  Heart Health is a lifestyle.  Maria is a shining example.  She is teaching her daughter to break the cycle. It really is something to see an 11 year old checking the labels. Not for calories, but for carbs, sugar and salt content.  That’s what I’m talking about!

To my chagrin, it is often necessary for celebrities to “create buzz” in order for people to pay attention to an issue.  Well, Maria is my celebrity! I’m paying attention. How about you?

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