Five for Friday: The Breast Cancer Awareness Edition & Colonial Candle Giveaway

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and as women in our 40s that has significant meaning for us in particular. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older). But it’s not all bad news. Over the past few decades breast cancer cure rates and treatment options have gained strides and there’s an ever increasing network of support and resources for the women, and men, affected by breast cancer. Here are five helpful websites and organizations that support prevention and finding a cure:

1.  NBCAM – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

2. Prevent Cancer Foundation Prevent Cancer Foundation strives to reduce cancer mortality rates by focusing individual behaviors, public policy and discussion, and research on prevention and early detection.

3. Men Against Breast CancerMen Against Breast Cancer educates and empowers men to be effective caregivers to those impacted by cancer.

4. The American Cancer Society – Comprehensive breast cancer pages on The American Cancer Society site offer information on understanding pathology reports, signs, symptoms and mammogram reminders.

5. Avon Foundation: Breast Cancer Crusade – Since 1992, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has worked to help prevent, treat and ultimately eradicate breast cancer. With more than $780 million raised and donated to breast cancer programs around the world through 2012, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. This year Colonial Candle is teaming with the Avon Foundation to support research to find a cure. 10% of the proceeds from sales of Colonial Candle’s Pretty in Pink candles will be donated to the Avon Foundation. Pretty in Pink is a 16 oz. 3-wick oval jar candle. The fragrance is a soft floral blend of gardenia and jasmine topped with fresh greens.The candles retail for $25 and are available online.

To help spread the word about available breast cancer awareness resources and about Colonial Candle’s Pretty in Pink promotion, Women at Forty is giving away two of these beautiful candles. To enter the drawing, simply hit like on the Facebook , Twitter or any of the share buttons below or repost directly from our Facebook page. Only one candle per household/family.

Edit: Please leave  your first name & last initial in the comment section at the bottom of the post so I can properly track your entry. The FB like button isn’t including the proper info (but please, keep liking too) – Thanks!

Thanks for reading and sharing. Let’s keep working towards prevention and finding a cure!

Not Just About Cancer: A survivor’s story

Editor’s Note: I first posted Laurie’s story last year during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I thought her courageous story was one that should be shared with as many women as possible. I’m re-posting it this year as encouragement for anyone diagnosed with, or being treated for, breast cancer. In her blog, Not Just About Cancer Laurie talks candidly about “what happens when you are 38 years old, write for a living and are diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.”  She wrote this post on August 3, 2007, an hour before she turned forty… Continue reading Not Just About Cancer: A survivor’s story

Five – plus one – for Friday: The “Pink Ribbon” Edition – 6 ways you can help

pink ribbon international mug“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamond

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  A few stats about breast cancer – Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women and about 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history. Now the promising news – regular self exams can save your life, and a new study shows that breast self exams can lower the death risk for women in their 40s. Today 76% of women with breast cancer have a survival rate of 10 or more years. But we still have a long way to go. Here are 6 ways you can help yourself and others in the fight against breast cancer.

1. Cancer knows no geographic boundariesPink Ribbon International helps create worldwide awareness for breast cancer and provides information, resources and support for patients, caregivers, family and providers. In an effort to spread the word, The Pink Ribbon blog encourages entries from those impacted by breast cancer. As a welcome present to new blog participants, they’re randomly giving away Pink Ribbon International Mugs to blog participants. But you don’t have to be a blog entrant to get one. Visit their online store to purchase Pink Ribbon International products and donate to a worthy cause. (Image: The Pink Ribbon International Mug)

Continue reading Five – plus one – for Friday: The “Pink Ribbon” Edition – 6 ways you can help

bittersweet milestone…

224 I first read Laurie’s story on Blogher after she’d responded to The Women at Forty’s Five Questions challenge. I immediately visited her blog, Not Just About Cancer where she talks candidly about “What happens when you are 38 years old, write for a living and are diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.” Laurie’s graciously agreed to share one of her posts with Women at Forty. It was written on August 3, 2007, an hour before she turned forty…

bittersweet milestone

In an hour, I will be forty.

The celebrating began in early July and I have been very, very spoiled.

Life is good and I have more reason for hope than I have had in a long time.

But I would be lying if I did not admit that this birthday is a bit tinged with sadness.

My life, at forty, does not look the way I thought it would. Cancer has irrevocably changed me and the choices I will make. My expectations and aspirations will never again be what they once were.

So, yes, I’m a little sad.

But I have, thus far, defied medical expectations and I am determined that I will continue to do so.

I have a beautiful family and a community of friends who have, in turn, exceeded my expectations of love and friendship.

I am feeling more creative, inspired and confident than I have since childhood.

And it feels like more good things are just around the corner.

I need to indulge this sadness, to give it voice, and as I write, it dissipates.

Tomorrow, we head to one of my favourite places in the world, where I will be reunited with my nine-year old, who I have not seen in almost two weeks (he has been hanging out with his cousins).

I have missed him more than he has missed me (which is as it should be) but I can’t wait Continue reading bittersweet milestone…

Maria’s Story: Why we need healthcare reform

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Women at Forty is asking readers to submit their true stories of challenge and triumph.  In today’s feature, guest blogger Rachel Dachel tells the touching story of a wife, mother and friend who fought cancer and her insurance company, and won.

breast cancer awareness Healthcare Reform is a national hot button topic; it has been for more than 15 years, as First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made universal healthcare her priority and signature platform. Unfortunately, neither reform nor universal care materialized, so healthcare in America has continued on “as is.” Insanity can be defined as “continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different outcome.” It sounds as though America fits the description—at least as far as healthcare in this country is concerned.

For too many people, healthcare is more than just something being debated in town hall meetings and on cable news shows; it hits close to home. Not just acquiring coverage, but also having medical coverage and actually obtaining treatment and having it paid for in as timely and stress-free a manner as possible. Illness threatens the lives of millions of Americans and sadly, uncaring bureaucrats and greedy insurance corporations have threatened their sanity, faith and financial future while deciding if the cost of saving a life fits into the profit margin. Such was the case with my best friend, Maria.

Maria and I met at work in the late 90s. We worked for a company that was known for providing excellent benefits to its employees and their families. Insurance had covered the birth of her three children as well as the nicks, scrapes and broken bones that came along with rambunctious boys. Her healthcare coverage was part of why Maria remained with the company and always lauded it. Well, until she really needed it. Continue reading Maria’s Story: Why we need healthcare reform