Monday, May 21, 2012

Exciting news @ The Pink Ribbon Shop!

Today is our "official" announcement about The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research at MD Anderson!  If you didn't get our promotional email, here's what was said:

EXCITING NEWS from The Pink Ribbon Shop!

I’ve mentioned our “partnership” with MD Anderson Cancer Center for several months now on my blog, but I’ve disclosed no details.  We’ve added our new $1.00 Funding the Cure with THE PINK RIBBON ROUNDUP silicone bracelet to our website with no special fanfare.  And we’ve created The Pink Ribbon Roundup donation page on our site as well.  Now it’s time to officially announce how all these pieces fit together!

Established in 2011, The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center was founded by The Pink Ribbon Shop to demonstrate our commitment to funding breast cancer research efforts. While we regularly donated to various organizations throughout any given year, we felt that we could make an even bigger impact by focusing on a single recipient. We are proud to support the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the nation's leading cancer center, with a commitment to donate a minimum of $20,000 in any four year period to their breast cancer research department. We are excited to report that in our Fund’s first 6 months, we have exceeded our own expectations by donating $10,000!

Your purchase of our exclusive pink ribbon "Funding the Cure with THE PINK RIBBON ROUNDUP" silicone wristbands allows us to donate the FULL PURCHASE PRICE of $1.00 each to The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center!  Monetary donations made on our Pink Ribbon Roundup page or our MD Anderson myGiving page are immediately directed to our Fund.  All monies in the Fund have been specifically designated for MD Anderson’s breast cancer research department.  Nowhere else!  There are no administrative costs or other fees deducted from your donation.  One hundred percent of the bracelet’s proceeds and 100% of monetary donations received goes toward breast cancer research activities at MD Anderson!

We’ve dubbed this whole bundle of good stuff The Pink Ribbon Roundup.  We are rounding up funds, Texas style, so a cure can be found!  With YOUR support of The Pink Ribbon Roundup program, The Pink Ribbon Shop is FUNDING THE CURE, one pink ribbon at a time, and helping MD Anderson Cancer Center make cancer history®!


          The Pink Ribbon Shop has always been up front about how much and to whom we donate.  We believe that we have a responsibility to our customers to be good stewards with what we take in as a business.  After years of hodge-podge, irregular giving to whomever we felt called to (all worthy causes, of course,) we were motivated to identify our true philanthropic mission.  That mission is FUNDING THE CURE by supporting breast cancer research efforts.  The establishment of The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center is simply a new approach to our charitable giving.  We also like to think of it as a way to multiply our company’s donations.  By allowing our customers to actively participate in our Pink Ribbon Roundup program, we can contribute even more toward finding a cure for breast cancer!  And you will have the peace of mind of knowing exactly how your donation or purchase will be utilized. 

So please keep us in mind for your breast cancer fundraiser events!
·       At $1.00 each, our Funding the Cure silicone bracelet bands are quite a bargain AND your entire dollar is a donation!
·       Donate to The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research.  Whether purchasing a bracelet or donating through The Pink Ribbon Roundup page or our myGiving MD Anderson page, your donation ONLY goes to breast cancer research!

What does this mean to ME?!  So much!!  I am hoping that having our Fund in place opens up a new world of possibilities for fundraising at The Pink Ribbon Shop.  I see local benefit events in our future.  I see manufacturers and suppliers creating pink ribbon products that benefit the Fund.  I see big corporations and organizations turning to The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research as a great place to donate.  I see individuals and businesses who are fed up with the current "big girls" in the breast cancer fundraising arena wanting to redirect their contributions to a more efficiently run establishment ... where their money goes right to breast cancer research activities and not some other questionable, potentially non-cancer-related activities.

If you think about it, just what is the pink ribbon campaign all about?  It's about awareness, sure.  In this day and age, you'd have to live in a box to not be "aware" of breast cancer!  It's also about education.  Everyone knows that breast cancer exists, but do they know about the importance of regular breast self exams and mammograms?  And lastly, and I think most importantly, it's about funding research so a cure can be found.  Let's face it, people!  A cure for breast cancer would mean the end of the pink ribbon campaign, and that couldn't make me happier!

So happy that my Pink Ribbon Shop is FUNDING THE CURE ...
One pink ribbon at a time!  Woohoo!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Slow growing cancer ... Yay?!?

A couple of weeks ago, I visited MD Anderson for my 3 month check.  Good news and bad news.  CT scans showed minimal growth of tumors.  However, the radiologist also looked back to 6 months ago and 9 months ago and even a year ago, and discovered that over the course of a year's time, the cancer in my lung, bones and liver is slowly but steadily progressing and growing.  That's the bad news!  The good news, which I have become pretty good at identifying and placing my hope in, no matter how small, is that I'm being taken off of Xeloda!   If you've followed my blog, you know that I've been taking Xeloda for the past year and a half and I've absolutely HATED it!!  I've been wishing to get off ... well part of me has been wishing that.  Obviously the reason is not a good thing!  I am fully aware that for Dr. Green to discontinue it, it's only because it's no longer working on my cancer.  Still, Xeloda has really limited me in many ways.  Such mixed feelings!  Should I BE this happy??  How twisted is this?

So what's next??  Dr. Green has said in the past that after Xeloda, the next move would be to a harsher chemo drug, Abraxane (think hair loss, nausea, etc.)  However, she is now recommending I move back to (anti)hormone therapy instead.  The way she described it, since chemo usually works best on fast-growing cells, perhaps that's not the best treatment for my cancer at this time, since it appears to be growing very slowly.  I had good results from anti-hormone tx in the past, and for long periods of time (6 years on Tamoxifen, 3 years on Femara.)  She mentioned previously that revisiting those kinds of drugs may be an option at some point.  Now is the time!  She is putting me back on Tamoxifen and Zolodex.  Yayyyy, no more Xeloda!  No more sore/tender hands and feet!  No more kids toothpaste and bland-tasting food!  No more needing assistance/tools to open cans and jars!  Perhaps I can start exercising again!  Hoping for quick and complete end to Xeloda's side effects!  And there's more ... not sure if I mentioned the nasty, heavy, & long-lasting periods I've been having since my cycles returned after stopping Zolodex 1 1/2 years ago.  Now I'm back on Zolodex, so hello menopause (again!)

Seriously, I am one messed up girl!!!  Who gets excited about menopause??

Also hoping that menopause doesn't bring with it the issues with "intimacy" that plagued me and Danny's relationship for over a year ... sighhhhh..........

Here's some actual good news on my cancer front:  my genetic testing (BRCA-1 & 2) came back NEGATIVE!  Good news for my sister, mom, & 3 girls!

So much going on here ... the ups and downs ... the rollercoaster that is being a stage IV breast cancer fighter!  Please people, support research efforts and find a cure for breast cancer!  Soon!!!