Would You Recognize Breast Cancer If You Found It?

So it is October again, breast cancer awareness month, what should we be aware of to alert us to take action for breast health? Would you know what cancer looked, or felt like if detected?

breastcancer awareness 2018

Health professionals recommend self breast exams and mammograms at 40 years of age for those with a family history, and those without this risk factor at 45 years of age annually for early detection as a main factor in survival. Early detection is a time point of minimal disease making treatment more successful. We should also be aware that heredity plays a role in early detection too; it’s a good idea knowing your risk factors through family predisposition through genetic testing. Some women carry the gene mutations that increase their risk for development of this disease.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that occurs when malignant cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. IBC is different from other forms of breast cancer because it commonly does not cause a lump or mass, spreading rapidly so early detection is crucial.

Breast cancer signs may appear as a red rash, nipple discharge, or shape changes in your breast, and of course lumps. Self exam helps you know your breast so any changes alert you quickly for the need to seek evaluation. Below take a look at pictures of symptoms from diagnosed breast cancer cases:

Nipple discharge from breast Cancer

Skin rash on breast diagnosed for cancer

Inverted nipple can also be an indication of breast cancer.

Pitting of skin for breast cancer diagnosis

Free mammogram is available through (NBCF) the National  Breast Cancer Foundation facility partners across the country. Participating facilities must have the capacity to provide treatment and follow-up care if there is an abnormal finding or if breast cancer is diagnosed. (https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/nbcf-programs/patient-services)

In Georgia participating facilities:  WELLSTAR 770 956 7827; LEWIS CANCER PAVILLION 912 352 1700; ST. JOSEPH/CANDLER TELFAIR PAVILLION 918 819 7000. 

Please take the time to learn self breast exams. As a son, brother and father I make sure to remind my family to be aware and take self-care in maintaining their wellness, be sure to pass it on, be well.

Our blog is not intended to take the place of medical advice by a professional. Seek medical advice always from a licensed professional.



You Have Cancer…How Did That Happen?

cancer picThe cancer statistics are staggering, 1,735,350 new cases will be diagnosed in 2018 with nearly fifty percent not surviving, crossing all socio-economic levels, ethnicities, age groups, health statuses for all different types of cancer. There exist blood cancers, solid tumors, skin, bone, major organs, body systems with treatment plans emerging to target just the disease and spare the body the injury indiscriminate chemotherapy can cause as the crown jewel treatment plan of attacking cancer cells for the last fifty years.

So you are going about your life and your doctor tells you, “you have cancer,” what the..? How can that be? I am a vegetarian, vegan, never smoked, drank, exercised, I am a professional heptathlon, a ten-year old, an infant, I meditate, supplement, read, subscribe to any healthy, holistic lifestyle necessary to avoid this disease. Was it something I did, didn’t do, or missed? How did I bring this on myself?

These are the million dollar questions. Cancer is defined in some instances as an autoimmune disease. Oversimplified, your body goes into automatic immune system destruction, it begins to destroy itself from within. It is interesting to note that science has proven we all make cancer cells every day, but while the immune system is in balance they do not go into overdrive and cause illness. Some extrinsic factors do cause disease such as diet, heredity, environmental toxins, along with exposures to carcinogens through occupations, processed food items; at a basic level there is always a root cause and deterrent.

The thing to notice is we all have knowledge of our body, stress is a health killer we have often heard. The immune system is susceptible to stress meaning its effectiveness drops when we are under constant unrelieved stress. Just imagine if it is that simple.

For instance in some blood cancers, the cells (white blood cells) that normally kill antigens that endanger the body contracting infection and inflammation turn on the body and overgrow in the bone marrow  crowding out red blood cells, causing other symptoms like, shortness of breath, heart issues, kidney failure, liver failure and even death. Solid tumors have genetic or hereditary markers, but too have triggers related to what are unknown causes.

The good news is there are natural remedies, foods, herbal formulations that balance the body. Knowledge of what to do in each individual case is your responsibility. It was amazing to learn from clinical research that turmeric (curcumin*) is said to helps to balance liver function for chemotherapy patients and making some cancers more susceptible to chemotherapuetic agents while protecting healthy cells, sparing further damage to the recipient’s body aiding in recovery as they strive to return their bodies to wellness. Beets are a miracle plant, helping with red blood cell production, immune system fortification and so many other natural benefits. Spurillinia has been connected to research designed to kill leukemia cells successfully on contact, along brazilian wasp venom reported killing cancer cells on contact, black seed oil is touted to kill every thing including death. With so many options what path should you take?

So when we hear we have cancer we begin the google search, reading plant-based diet cure, others vow never to use chemo, factoids emerge oxygen rich blood and alkaline blood prevents cancer yet we do this and some of us still succumb. The answer seems to be in knowing the connection between the mind and body, in essence balance between peace and dis-ease. There seems to be no universal answer to this epidemic or is there?

Reference: *Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 2016, 16, 128-135

The Art Of Letting Go…

dog in suitcaseWho of us have never gone through the experience of making major changes in our life? There are the many fears and doubts, along with questions like how, what, why now, is it the right time? 

Change is a constant in life, we develop physically early on from a very miniscule cell into various sizes and shapes as a human being. Our psyche develops into a personality filled with likes, dislikes and beliefs. It is often the belief system that causes us to limit how we accept change and any different circumstances necessary in our life for progression.

Is there really a formula for letting go and accepting new things? Sure is! And yes I am going to share them with you briefly. Whether it is a new job, relationship end, or departure of a loved one remembering the stages of letting go can help you move forward.

The thought of my adult son growing up and moving away to start his life presented mixed emotions. I have read about empty nesters and the “parties” they threw in celebration of adult children leaving home for the final time. They revel in the celebration of no more college payments, their auto insurance premiums returning to the earth’s atmosphere and you actually get to shut down the laundry service you have operated for umpteen years! When the day came I found myself sad, avoiding the thought and the ever present thought am I ready to let go?

So where do we begin? The list below is the formula:

  1.  First you decide it is time to start a new.
  2. Acceptance and acknowledging any discomfort changes will cause
  3. Don’t be a “blamer” it clouds your judgement and keeps you stuck
  4. Don’t hide from life
  5. Focus on the present look for joy in life
  6. Forgive yourself

The art of letting go is achieved through the practice of prescribed thoughts and behaviors  until becoming an acquired skill for use over and over again in life events. Maintaining spiritual balance and belief in positivity once the six stages are complete is the daily affirmation that change is not an end but a beginning.

Thank you to all  for taking time to read the blogs authored by me the ghost blogger for ISG. It has been my great privilege to share my thoughts, knowledge on wellness and encouragement along with humor with you. As I move to my next challenge the words above could not be more true. On to my new beginning and see you on the web! Thank you ISG for giving me the opportunity to write for you.


Fathers Angsts…

Well beautiful people it’s that time again, time to celebrate dear old dad and all we do!  I am not going to resist the urge to use some of those socks for father dayage-old jokes related to father’s day gifts. For instance, the one billionth tie or pair of socks I’ve received still gives me the elation of number one. Remember too they were not only gifted  only for father’s day but Christmas, birthday etcetera.


Had I become a mathematician I certainly would have truly  loved to compute the sum total of socks, ties, hardware store gift cards, sporting goods, tools, belts, saws, nail guns, hair removal tools, for use in hair removal from areas in the oddest of places. Who can forget soap on a rope, body oils, cologne, shaving kits and the like? Then there are the meals, breakfast, lunches, dinner, BBQ’s yep lots and lots of food! dad rocks father pic

When our children our young we are blessed with their creativity delivered straight from the heart in the purest expressions of their love through beautiful lumps of clay handprints or the universal ashtrays, heart shapes just endless, paper mache whatchamabobs, portraits of dear old dad or my body parts laid out in macaroni on a plate. Even framed portraits of colorful construction paper in a cut out “likeness” image of me, pipe cleaner masterpieces rivaled only by the great pyramid builders or  other artisans! Then the new wears off, and the onslaught of gift cards take-over with help from the other parent. Such lovelies as lawn mower attachments, new hammers with lovely fluffy ribbons, and the promise of “this is your day Dad!” I’m supposed to believe this day is for my rejuvenation?

Uh hmmfather's day gift card picm never have I witnessed a saw, saw by itself, or wall paper take itself down or even a drill sink a screw alone! Yes folks we have been sold a dream. Power tools and hardware gift cards do not say rest and relaxation at all! Then there are the, “you are great dad,” gifts that somehow still involve movement formally referred to as exercise! You guessed it,  work out gear, sneakers that say running, free weights that say lift me, work out videos because great now means I’m as big as a table saw from all the lunches and in need of reduction, remodeling, renovation or just plain old work.

Dear old dad continually is in quest for his easy chair, which by the way no one has ever seen it fit to gift me EVER. Yes dads we are the glue, the back bone of our little broods and the “yard man”, “fix it guy,” “pro athlete” and we would not have it any other way! It’s great to be needed and loved, a sock could never have meant more ever. Happy Father’s to all of you fortunate enough to receive socks and power tools!

Imani’s Secret Garden is a natural products company with loads of great gifts for any occasion. Visit us at www.imanissecretgarden.vpweb.com. Imani is a proud dad and grand-dad wishing you all wellness, love and happiness on this Father’s Day!


Anti-Inflammatory Diets: Fact or Fad?

Dreat read!

Phoebe, MD: Medicine & Poetry

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Inflammation. Foods that fight inflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets. It has no doubt become a buzzword in the world of nutrition and health these days. But while there’s little question that the food we eat is an important part of staying healthy, some of these diets are being promoted with very big health claims, among them the assertion that they can cure serious diseases. But does the actual science match up to these claims? And should you follow these dietary guidelines? And what exactly do these diets consist of? These are the questions that will be addressed in this post. 

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Breathe well and you will find your Middle Ground. I love to breathe! Its what attracted me to yoga and keeps me passionate about how yoga and mindfulness can transform us. Without breathing fully, our yoga practice becomes simply a workout. Rather than calming the mind and soothing the body it can have the opposite […]

via * Breathe Well and Live Well — Find Your Middle Ground


Perhaps you’ve been told you have “high blood pressure.” Or maybe you checked it yourself one day and noticed that it was 146/90. What now? Today I will discuss some ways in which you can improve your own blood pressure without taking medications. But before I do, let’s first answer an important question: What is hypertension and what’s the big deal?…

via 10 All-Natural Ways to Improve Your Blood Pressure — Musings of PuppyDoc