Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Blogger: Follow-up to "The Big C"

So after I published "The Big C" I received an e-mail from David Haas asking if I was receptive to a guest post. Guest Post! My little blog had a guest post request! Cool. David submitted what he had in mind it is a great fit. I hope you enjoy.  Here goes:

Exercise Improves Energy and Body Image of Cancer Patients and Survivors

Several years ago, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) assembled 13 researchers with expertise in the areas of cancer, fitness, obesity and exercise training. The researchers formulated fitness guidelines for cancer patients, and individuals who complete cancer treatment. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise published the guidelines in July 2010.

Most people understand the benefits of regular exercise, including lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, enhanced cardiovascular improved body image and better self-esteem. However, when a person receives a cancer diagnosis and treatment, it may take some time for the individual to get over the initial shock.

In time, these individuals face more challenges, which make it difficult to get the necessary exercise. Often, fatigue keeps cancer survivors in a weakened state—lasting as long as five years after completion of treatment.

Focus of the Guidelines

The lead author of the study, Dr. Kathryn Schmitz of the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, points to heavily documented cases that show improvements in fatigue and overall physical functioning. Dr.

Rachel Ballard-Barash, of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences said, the data confirming the relationship between exercise and an improved lifestyle, for active cancer patients and individuals who have completed treatment, “is incredibly strong.”

Another co-authored of the guidelines, Dr. Kerry professor and Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, at the University of Alberta, states in a 2008 study, lack of physical activities by cancer survivors increase the recurrence risk of cancer.

The researchers emphasize objectives and targets for people with cancers, which have adequate evidence for making recommendations, including colon, gynecologic, prostate, mesothelioma and breast cancer. For cancer patients who require surgery, which significantly changes their appearance—neck or head cancer, according to Dr. Schmitz, “There’s good evidence in the literature that physical activity can improve body image and that may be one mechanism through which exercise can improve quality of life.”

Work With Your Doctor

Cancer patients and survivors must consult with their doctor to develop a fitness routine that works for them. For example, a male who have completed the required therapy for prostate cancer, need a routine that considers his increase risk to fractures. Performing resistance training and aerobic exercises under the supervision of your doctor ensures the safe and proper volume, intensity and progression of your fitness program.

David Haas
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Guest Blogger -

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Read this today in N.T. Wright's book, "Simply Christian."

I know that for many of my readers that very word "church" will carry the overtones of large, dark buildings, pompous religious pronouncements, false solemnity, and rank hypocrisy. But there is not easy alternative I, too, feel the weight of that negative image. I battle with it professionally all the time.

But there is another side to it, a side which shows all the signs of the wind and fire, of the bird brooding over the waters and bringing new life. For many, "church" means just the opposite of that negative image. It's a place of welcome and laughter, of healing and hope, of friends and family and justice and new life. It's where the homeless drop in for a bowl of soup and the elderly stop by for a chat. It's where one group is working to help drug addicts and another is campaigning for global justice. It's where you'll find people learning to pray, coming to faith, struggling with temptation, finding new purpose, and getting in touch with a new power to carry out that purpose. It's where people bring their own small faith and discover, in getting together with others to worship the one true God, that the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. No church is like this all the time. But a remarkable number of churches of partly like that for quite a lot of the time.

Couldn't have said this any better than N.T. Wright did. Selah.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Nearly every day you and I learn about cancer, the Big "C" whether we like it or not. It attacks and claims those we love. I know it causes me to shake my fist, not necessarily at GOD, but at the disease itself. A scourge that is only too familiar, and painful, and sad. There is a happy ending to match every tragic ending.

Last week I was worried sick over a friend who'd been told that she had uterine cancer. Lisa had surgery two days ago and received a good report that her cancer had not spread to any surrounding organs. Her prognosis looks good.
This week one of my Greenwood clients said that the doctors told her she had new cancer. She's been healed once and is believing for a miracle again.
Uncle Herman Fickes--Prostate Cancer. Herman is my husband's uncle.
Chrissy Titus--passed away after a long battle with stage 4 stomach cancer. May she rest in peace. Chrissy fought long and hard and was a good woman who helped to raise several children, one of them being my adopted daughter Erin Titus.
Jerry Rushing beat cancer twice. He is a godly man, father and husband to Luanne. We're life-long friends and rejoice that he is still around.
Diane--my own mother is a breast cancer survivor. Radiation treatments were brutal for her. I love her bunches. I need her to be around for a long time.
Aunt Jean--cancer that resulted in a hysterectomy by age 30.
Grandma Garland--stomach and esophageal cancer. God bless her. We all miss her so much to this day!
Aunt Janet--rare blood cancer. Alive and well and her hair has grown back.
Susan Fritz--best hairdresser in all of Pennsylvania beat breast cancer and opted for mastectomy. Wow and seriously, I call her the Hair Goddess.
Cameron B, Shelly's husband. Police Officer, father of two. Gone. His life lives on but his loss leaves a gaping hole for the Crutcher family. I only met him once. To you Cam.
And one more, Dawn Stufflet's sister--Gone too young.

I am never going to be able to name all of the people I've known or know who have faced this disease but honestly some weeks it feels like it's always Cancer Awareness Week, ya know? I'm writing this to say, Cancer sucks, and it hurts and it is wonderful when prayer and chemo and radiation work in tandem. Miracles and stories of healing keep me going. So, here's to all of those, more than I can name who fought the fight, who are in the fight. You are heroes in my eyes.

If you want to add to this list, feel free to do so. I'd love to hear your stories of courage and triumph and tears. My heart goes out to you.

Until next time...Breathe and be thankful for breath and life and loved ones.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato & Spinach Quiche (Torta Rustica)

1 package refrigerated ready piecrusts (Pillsbury)
4 eggs
1 container (16 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces asiago cheese
1 tsp. coarsely crushed black peppercorns
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed & well drained
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tsp. dried basil

Preheat over to 425. Arrange one piecrust in 9-inch pie pan.
Lightly beat 1 egg over bottom of crust; set aside

In large bowl, combine remaining 3 eggs, ricotta, pepato and parmesan cheese and basil; mix until well blended. Stir in spinach, bread crumbs and tomatoes. Scrape mixture into prepared piecrust. Smooth top to make an even layer.
Place second piecrust over filling; brush remaining beated egg over top. Flute egg & seal.

Bake pie 15 minutes. Reduce over temp to 375*; bake 20 minutes longer, or until golden brown.

Cool pie in pan on wire rack at least 30 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Up at 6 am

My husband can tell you I'm not a morning person. Well, not a morning person in the sense that I long to rise at the crack of dawn and get my day going. No, I'm more of a lounge in bed person while my hubby puts on the coffee, takes his shower and does man stuff. However, if he turns on too many lights or bangs around a bit while he's getting ready, I'm DONE FOR!!! So, my mind immediately starts racing and the mental "to do list" begins....That's how this morning was. Alarm went off. Hubby hit the snooze button. 7 or 9 minutes later the alarm dings again. So, I laid in bed for a few sweet minutes and said hello to Jesus and thank him for another day of life. I pray for my friends who are struggling in many ways. I pray for my children, all 3 of them. The songs of Jesus Culture begin to make their way into the fiber of my being and I'm up. 6:45 am is early for me folks. But so far, it's been a productive morning. Blogging is just part of what I've got on tap for the day. Laundry has been loaded into the washer. Other load in the dryer. Bed is made. Dishes washed.
It's Wednesday and that means it's my Meals on Wheels delivery day. Ministry opportunity day. 67 degrees and sunny and I have the awesome privilege of spending time with some Greenwood shut-ins and an elderly widower whose great-grand daughter died tragically three weeks ago. All I'm doing is handing out food and giving a few hugs and some loving. But it's a great way to spend my morning and it makes me realize that early mornings sometimes turn into the best kind of days. Until next time...breathe.