Archive for March, 2015

Team member on the Injured List
March 28, 2015

My husband is part of Team Haralee.Com Sleepwear. He ships out the orders every day. He folds and wraps and inspects the garments before they are put into inventory and he maintains the inventory. He is an integral part of the team that makes our company run smoothly.

 Haralee and Shelby at work

Three weeks ago he took a fall. He was pulling some heavy scrap metal out of his pickup bed with a chain and the chain broke and he flew backwards. He broke his ankle and fractured his leg. He had surgery on the ankle and is in a cast and will be in a boot with crutches for another month or more. Physical therapy will follow and hopefully by late June he will literally be back on his feet!

   Shel and Lou Convelesing

Not only are we a team in our business but in our marriage too. I exclusively pay the bills and he exclusively maintains the vehicles, other than that it is a combined effort. We share household duties like cleaning, cooking, yard work, laundry, errand running and grocery shopping.

You never realize until it is gone how much a helpful spouse helps! I am picking up his job at the company and at home. I am also his nursemaid because he cannot put any weight on his foot and it actually hurts him when it is not elevated.

I have had to change several plans because it is his right foot so he cannot drive himself to appointments. We are just hoping it is a bump in the road to plans, and recovery will be full for summer.

 Shelby's Fracture and Louie

The cats are doing a good job of keeping him company.

Anyone have tips for a good rehabilitation?

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Tattoo Popularity
March 14, 2015

Like many cities, my hometown of Portland Oregon is full of tattooed people. Tattoos are an art form and I try to appreciate it.

I can break down tattoos into age groups. This is not to say that tattoo style popularity can be seen in all ages but these are just my observations.

The 50 -60 year olds have small tattoos. Women sport a tatt on their ankle or shoulder or maybe above their breast. Their tattoo is maybe of a flower, a butterfly, or a bird. Men have one on their arm or their forearm or chest. Their tattoos are often a name or an animal.

The 40 year olds have tribal tattoos on their arms and legs. They also sport bands around their upper arms and ankles. This age group may also have some significant to them tattoo on the inside of their wrist or between their fingers. Many women have the tramp stamp. Both men and women may have their backs illustrated.

The 30 year olds have vibrant color tattoos. Women will have colorful bodice tatts. Men will have colorful arm sleeves. Legs, backs, necks and midriffs are all a canvas for some tattoo art.

The 20 year olds seem to embrace writing more than images or abstracts for their form of tattoo expression. If you find yourself reading someone’s skin I would guess he or she is a 20 something. Most of the writing is in cursive.

I have had to ask people what their tattoo reads because the penmanship is lousy.

Sometimes the person is pleased to read to me their tattoo. Recently I encountered my grocery checker with full sleeves, finger tats and a script across her bodice. When I asked her what her bodice said she told me it was a long poem. I have to hypothesize that it starts at her neck where it is visible to the public and continues down her torso.

What has been your experience reading or looking at skin art? Do you have a tattoo that you share with the world? Jewish friends, how do you feel about tattoos in Hebrew?

Advancements in Breast Cancer
March 7, 2015

 advancements3

Yearly my oncologist’s group puts on an evening lecture recapping new and exciting news from the San Antonio breast cancer symposium. For the last few years my company has had a table there giving out brochures about our sleepwear. It truly is a wonderful event and I am lucky to be a part of an oncology practice willing to outreach to their patients this way. Did I mention there is food and it is free?

Before the lecture starts there is time to socialize, go around to all the tables and eat. I engage with the men and women who stop at my table. Not only am I a vendor but a survivor. These are my people!

After talking with many people I am reminded of some misconceptions. Here are a few myths that even women in the midst of treatments believe or their families believe.         

 Breast cancer is genetic

NOPE. Less than 10% of all breast cancers are genetic.

If you have a mastectomy you never have to worry about reoccurrence

NOPE. All it takes is one rogue gene no matter how much tissue is removed. Cancer happens.

Mammograms are expensive or not necessary

NOPE. Under health care reform, a routine mammogram screening is FREE and will pick up most abnormalities of women with out dense breasts. Imaging offices are open 6 days a week and often from 6 AM to 8PM. There is no excuse to not get a yearly mammogram if you are over 40. They save lives!

Here are a couple of advancement take-aways from the lecture:

                             Immunotherapy treatments are showing promise for breast cancer. It targets the immune system not the tumor. The tumor may take time to respond and often get worse before it gets better but it is another tool in the oncologist’s arsenal.

                             Adjuvant Hormone Therapy Duration is benefiting from the research on 5-10 years of patients taking tamoxifen and or aromatase inhibitors. Promising reoccurrence and mortality rates are seen up to 15 years after the patient has completed her program. The balance of toxicity versus benefit of extended therapy use is the tipping point.

So there you have it. Did you learn an interesting fact? Have you scheduled your mammogram?