Sunday, November 14, 2010

Love.Life.

Hello all! I apologize for not writing in here soon...I have been busy loving my life. I think things have progressively gotten better! I love my life! I am so happy and I'm just so happy and thankful that it looks like 2010 will end on a positive note...in more than one way!

I got assigned a chemo angel and I'm thrilled! Her name is Kathleen and she lives in Baltimore, MD. She's 31, married and has Hodgkin's Lymphoma...it has actually come back since she had it in 2005. She desperately wants to have kids so her Doctor and her are taking every pre-caution that she can still have kids after her chemo treatments. She was pregnant earlier this year with twins, but mis-carried them both! How sad! So my job is to send her a package/note once a week. I have already mailed off 2 packages and I hope she likes them. At least I know it will put a smile on her face. I mean who doesn't like a package in the mail?? I know I was super excited...it's like Christmas! Ha! I know I will probably run out of ideas on what to send her so if anyone has any ideas or has some cool things I should send her, feel free to let me know! I think this time of year will be easy with it being the holidays and all and yes, she does celebrate Christmas! Yippee! Hopefully I can get a new friend out of the deal too!

I went to my OB/GYN appointment 2 weeks ago for my yearly check-up. I was due earlier this year but I couldn't go because I was sick. If you remember this was the doctor that I first went to see when all of this started happening...the swollenness...etc. So, he was excited to see me and we had a nice chat. I gave him the results of my latest CT scan and labwork and he was thrilled! Thankfully all my tests with him came back normal! I'm good for another year. The only other thing doctor related I have to do this year is go to the dentist! I'm trying out a new dentist too right down the street from my house. I hope I like him and have no cavities!

So things still continue to make my happy. I am so thankful to just be healthy and alive right now. This Thanksgiving means a lot to me. I am really looking forward to a great day with my family.

My Mom sent me this email yesterday and I thought I would include it in my post! Beware! My cancer made the list...yikes...#7!

I'm off to the Cardinal game today and I'm really looking forward to a big W. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and I'll report back and let you know how much turkey I ate...

Love you all--Erin

The top 10 Deadliest Cancers:

Here's a look at the 10 cancers that killed the most people in the United States between 2003 and 2007, the most recent data available, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

1. Lung and bronchial cancer: 792,495 lives
Lung and bronchial cancer is the top killer cancer in the United States. Smoking and use of tobacco products are the major causes of it, and it strikes most often between the ages of 55 and 65, according to the NCI. There are two major types: non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common, and small cell lung cancer, which spreads more quickly. More than 157,000 people are expected to die of lung and bronchial cancer in 2010.

2. Colon and rectal cancer:268,783 lives
Colon cancer grows in the tissues of the colon, whereas rectal cancer grows in the last few inches of the large intestine near the anus, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most cases begin as clumps of small, benign cells called polyps that over time become cancerous. Screening is recommended to find the polyps before they become cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic. Colorectal cancer is expected to kill more than 51,000 people in 2010.

3. Breast cancer: 206,983 lives
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the United States, after skin cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also occur in men – there were nearly 2,000 male cases between 2003 and 2008. The cancer usually forms in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple or the glands that produce the milk in women. Nearly 40,000 people are expected to die from breast cancer in 2010, according to the NCI.

4. Pancreatic cancer: 162,878 lives
Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of the pancreas, which aids digestion and metabolism regulation. Detection and early intervention are difficult because it often progressives stealthily and rapidly, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pancreatic cancer is expected to claim nearly 37,000 lives in 2010, according to the NCI.

5. Prostate cancer: 144,926 lives
This cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung and bronchial cancer, according to the NCI. Prostate cancer usually starts to grow slowly in the prostate gland, which produces the seminal fluid to transport sperm. Some types remain confined to the gland, and are easier to treat, but others are more aggressive and spread quickly, according to the Mayo Clinic. Prostate cancer is expected to kill about 32,000 men in 2010, according to the NCI.

6. Leukemia: 108,740 lives
There are many types of leukemia, but all affect the blood-forming tissues of the body, such as the bone marrow and the lymphatic system, and result in an overproduction of abnormal white blood cells, according to the NCI. Leukemia types are classified by how fast they progress and which cells they affect; a type called acute myelogenous leukemia killed the most people – 41,714 – between 2003 and 2007. Nearly 22,000 people are expected to die from leukemia in 2010.

7. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: 104,407 lives
This cancer affects the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and is characterized by larger lymph nodes, fever and weight loss. There are several types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and they are categorized by whether the cancer is fast- or slow-growing and which type of lymphocytes are affected, according to the NCI. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is deadlier than Hodgkin lymphoma, and is expected to kill more than 20,000 people in 2010. THANKFULLY I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE 20,000 PEOPLE!!!

8. Liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer: 79,773 lives
Liver cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer around the world, but is uncommon in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, its rates in America are rising. Most liver cancer that occurs in the U.S. begins elsewhere and then spreads to the liver. A closely related cancer is intrahepatic bile duct cancer, which occurs in the duct that carries bile from the liver to the small intestine. Nearly 19,000 Americans are expected to die from liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in 2010, according to the NCI.

9. Ovarian cancer: 73,638 lives
Ovarian cancer was the No. 4 cause of cancer death in women between 2003 and 2007, according to the NCI. The median age of women diagnosed with it is 63. The cancer is easier to treat but harder to detect in its early stages, but recent research has brought light to early symptoms that may aid in diagnosis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Those symptoms include abdominal discomfort, urgency to urinate and pelvic pain. Nearly 14,000 women are expected to die of ovarian cancer in 2010, according to the NCI.

10. Esophageal cancer: 66,659 lives
This cancer starts in the cells that line the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) and usually occurs in the lower part of the esophagus, according to the Mayo Clinic. More men than women died from esophageal cancer between 2003 and 2007, according to the NCI. It is expected to kill 14,500 people in 2010.

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