Tag Archives: life in the cancer lane

Support breast cancer survivors and caregivers on #GivingTuesday

26 Nov

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Greetings,

As the holiday giving season kicks into full swing, please remember the Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc., and the important work we do to support breast cancer survivors and their caregivers.

Through fundraising efforts, events, survivor essentials (including Barb’s Bag® of Care & Comfort for chemotherapy patients), productions of Life in the Cancer Lane™ and financial support of other organizations, allies and partners, the Foundation:

  • raises awareness of breast cancer and heart disease
  • supports breast cancer and heart disease research
  • works for better detection, diagnosis and cures for breast cancer and heart disease
  • supports those diagnosed with breast cancer and heart disease and their families

Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc., is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Please give to support our flagship initiative, Barb’s Bag®, free chemo comfort and care bags.

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The Breast Institute at JFK Medical Center, Palm Beach, FL

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Does your employer match your charitable 501(c)(3) contributions? If so, click here to find out how to set up Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc. in your employer’s system to maximize your contribution.

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

¦ Visit PWCF ¦ Visit #GivingTuesday ¦

Remembering our founder, Barbra Watson-Riley

7 Nov

Remembering Barbra Watson-Riley

Memorial PhotoAfter a courageous and vibrant life “in the cancer lane”, the journey of our Pinkwellchick®, aka Barbra Watson-Riley, ended on November 7, 2013. She gave an amazingly valiant and dignified fight and triumphs over death by leaving the world the legacy of her play highlighting survivor stories, Life in the Cancer Lane. It was truly a miracle for her to witness her life’s work come to life on stage just weeks before she transitioned.

We will always remember her life and, through the Pinkwellchick Foundation, Inc., Barb’s Bag® and LIFE in the CANCER LANE©, her legacy of service, strength, and commitment to the health and well-being of women; especially those living with breast cancer and heart disease and their caregivers.

Reflecting on Barbra’s journey … in her own words

[Read more about Barbra Watson-Riley …]

Donate NOW to support survivors & caregivers!

Barb’s Bag® of chemo care and comfort … meals … prescription support … cleaning, childcare & counseling services … transportation, lodging and MORE!

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Reserve NOW!: Exclusive Performance of LIFE in the CANCER LANE by WBTT (Sarasota, FL)

11 Sep

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LIFE in the CANCER LANE

By Barbra Watson-Riley

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(c) 2014 T. Evans Herberger Theater (AZ)

Saturday October 1 at 7:30 PM

Followed by intimate discussion with playwright’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Watson, & PWCF Board Chair, Tonya Evans

**PWCF LIFE in the CANCER LANE Directors in attendance**

Sunday October 2 at 2:00 PM

Followed by discussion with cancer specialists


Admission FREE- reservation required

Download the LITCL Production Flyer

With honesty, heart and humor, this powerful story is told from the real-life accounts of survivors and their caregivers, examining life after diagnosis and what happens when these women are thrown head first into “the Cancer Lane.” Whether it’s the side effects of chemo or the loss of hair and friends, the play examines the twists, turns and bumps in the road along the breast cancer journey.

This performance is produced by Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and licensed by Pinkwellchick, Foundation, Inc., in connection with

BAG IT for the CAUSE 2016


[RESERVE YOUR SEATS]

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
1646 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236

(941) 366-1505

Chemotherapy: What it is, what it does and what to expect

1 Sep

This year’s Pinkwellchick© breast cancer service project is …

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Volunteers in six cities across the country will gather on Saturday, September 26th to assemble and to distribute Barb’s Bag™ of Care and Comfort to women diagnosed with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

The contents of the bag are intended to provide these women with items proven beneficial and comforting during chemotherapy treatments, like a warm blanket & plush socks (it’s COLD in treatment rooms!), a personal pillow (why not have your own), a Pinkwellchick® journal, hypoallergenic lotion, puzzle books, soothing candies, relaxing potpourri and more.

The Barb’s Bag™ also comes with an EXCLUSIVE streaming video access code to view the poignant, funny and informative play LIFE in the CANCER LANE by our founder, the late Barbra Watson-Riley.

Gift Barb’s Bag™ to a woman in need now.

Gift a bag, bless a life!

We choose to focus on bringing care, comfort and relief to women during chemo because it is such a critical but challenging step in the journey to overcome breast cancer. You may know some general information about chemotherapy (aka chemo). But just what IS it? Why and when is it used? And what are the side effects? Read on.

Source: The American Cancer Society

Chemotherapy for breast cancer

Chemotherapy (chemo) is treatment with cancer-killing drugs that may be given intravenously (injected into a vein) or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Chemo is given in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a recovery period. Treatment usually lasts for several months.

When is chemotherapy used?

There are several situations in which chemo may be recommended.

After surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy): When therapy is given to patients with no evidence of cancer after surgery, it is called adjuvant therapy. Surgery is used to remove all of the cancer that can be seen, but adjuvant therapy is used to kill any cancer cells that may have been left behind or spread but can’t be seen, even on imaging tests. If these cells are allowed to grow, they can establish new tumors in other places in the body. Adjuvant therapy after breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer coming back. Radiation, chemo, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy can all be used as adjuvant treatments.

Before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy): Neoadjuvant therapy is like adjuvant therapy, except you get the treatments (or at least start them) before surgery instead of after. In terms of survival and the cancer coming back, there is no difference between getting chemo before or after surgery. But neoadjuvant chemo does have two benefits. More info

For advanced breast cancer: Chemo can also be used as the main treatment for women whose cancer has spread outside the breast and underarm area, either when it is diagnosed or after initial treatments. The length of treatment depends on whether the cancer shrinks, how much it shrinks, and how well you tolerate treatment.

How is chemotherapy given?

In most cases (especially adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment), chemo is most effective when combinations of more than one drug are used. Many combinations are being used, and it’s not clear that any single combination is clearly the best. Clinical studies continue to compare today’s most effective treatments against something that may be better.

The most common chemo drugs used for early breast cancer include the anthracyclines (such as doxorubicin/Adriamycin® and epirubicin/Ellence®) and the taxanes (such as paclitaxel/Taxol® and docetaxel/Taxotere®). These may be used in combination with certain other drugs, like fluorouracil (5-FU), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), and carboplatin. More info

Possible side effects

Chemo drugs work by attacking cells that are dividing quickly, which is why they work against cancer cells. But other cells in the body, like those in the bone marrow, the lining of the mouth and intestines, and the hair follicles, also divide quickly. These cells are also likely to be affected by chemo, which can lead to side effects. Some women have many side effects; others may only have few.

Chemo side effects depend on the type of drugs, the amount taken, and the length of treatment. Some of the most common possible side effects include:

  • Hair loss and nail changes
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood cell counts

Chemo can affect the blood forming cells of the bone marrow, which can lead to:

  • Increased chance of infections (from low white blood cell counts)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (from low blood platelet counts)
  • Fatigue (from low red blood cell counts and other reasons)

These side effects usually last a short time and go away after treatment is finished. It’s important to tell your health care team if you have any side effects, as there are often ways to lessen them. For example, drugs can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

Other side effects are also possible. Some of these are more common with certain chemo drugs. Your cancer care team will tell you about the possible side effects of the specific drugs you are getting. More info

Gift Barb’s Bag™ to a woman in need now.

Gift a bag, bless a life!

How can you get involved to support Bag It™ for the Cause?

SponsorDonateVolunteer.

“Medical Minute” by Barbra Watson-Riley: Real Talk about chemotherapy side effects

8 Jul

What everyone recently diagnosed with breast cancer (and their family & friends) should know about the side effects of chemotherapy.

[Repost from inkwellchicks.com written by Barbra Watson-Riley (12/4/2011) in her “cancer real talk” style]

 

 

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“You are supposed to be sick, and here you are profiling”, said one of my “LINKed in Friendship” sisters, as we walked out of the Fashion Show yesterday. “I’m not ‘sick”, I replied. “But you are”, she insisted as she grabbed my hand.
20 minutes later, different woman comes and pulls me aside b/f our chapter meeting. “I am so glad to see you! Your treatment must not be that bad.” I smiled and responded, “When it hits me, it knocks me down. But today I am good.” To this she also grabbed my hand and said, “I don’t believe you get knocked down. You just look great”. All I could say was “thanks” and went straight to the bathroom and washed my hands! Germs!

How to reconcile this? I am so happy that folks think I look good! I don’t consider myself sick. But since I evidently…

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