Lightning's Flower

Striking Down Breast Cancer Through Awareness

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With Love

They say time flies, 2 years to be exact. Not a day goes by I don’t think of you or miss your hugs, your laugh. I’ve heard people say laugh to keep from crying. I don’t know about that, but I know I think of your laugh to keep from crying. Your love of life and everything about it. Your love of those you love and your fight, it’s my constant reminder not to be selfish and sulk in the loss of you, but to fight, hold steadfast, and maintain the legacy and memory of you in every waking moment. I’ve been building in many ways, ways I know you are proud. Soon to come, I will be building upon this and making sure that your life, as you wanted, will help someone else.

So though another year has passed, your closeness has not lessened. That red bird every morning, outside the window, near the car, I see you Mommy, and I know you see us and are here every single step of the way.

Always in my heart, I love you and miss you so.


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Running- A heavy heart, not just a celebration

I ran in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure Saturday. The race was not like I remembered my first Komen race. That race had me tearing up from the supporters lined up cheering everyone along. This time, yes, there were people cheering, but I was kind of zoned out. As I ran I wasn’t sure what I was running for. I mean, I know I was running in support of breast cancer. I was running for Mommy and her memory. I was running for my family and my girls, so they wouldn’t experience anymore loss from breast cancer. I was running for a cure. But I wasn’t thinking about much of that while on the road. I was running to beat something. I don’t think it was breast cancer per se, but the anger of loss. Maybe it was the significance of breast cancer – in my life as well as the lives of so many. And maybe the celebratory vibe dulled me to the event. Someone’s shirt had a pin that said celebrate the survivors, support those battling, and honor those we lost. That’s the only thing that really stood out.

I support Susan Komen’s work advocating for funding for breast cancer research and keeping the issue in the spotlight. Nevertheless, I felt the event failed to capture how serious battling breast cancer is and the fact that some don’t survive. I do think its important to celebrate the survivors and those battling, but a moment of silence for those we have lost would have served as a needed reminder that we are still fighting and losing people in this battle.

The race ended in a wonderful reminder though, I finished and on the way out was signing the pink “In Celebration of” wall. I wrote “My Mom, Mable Rey – Always With Me.” As I walked away from the mall, Suavemente by Elvis Crespo started playing. My mom loved to break out her merengue hips, and sure enough she had been with me the whole run. She gave me a song to dance to as a reminder, “Yes, I’m always with you!”

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Triple Negative Treatment -trial offering some additional treatment options

There are tons of studies and trials and research regarding breast cancer. I find it important to share information for those going through a journey with breast cancer. Whether someone has been diagnosed themselves. Or has a family member or friend, we are all part of this journey. That’s why I had to share some information.

While fundraising for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day recently, I was connected with a wonderful woman who is participating in a trial for TNBC, which has been working well for her with zero side effects. Oncology Times has provided more information about the trial.

Please share with anyone who may be looking for treatment options. And thanks to Ms. R for sharing!

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TNBC Awareness Day


Today is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Last week I shared an article on Triple Negative Breast Cancer research. . Today is Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Triple Negative disproportionately effects Black, Latina, and younger women. I’m raising money, in partnership with the TNBC Foundation. The Save Your Bra Money Fundraiser is in honor of my mom. As anyone who knew her knew, she prided herself on being against the grain. In fact, she said it quite frequently, “Oh Magy, you know I like going against the grain- I don’t care about that!” This was her thought on bras as well. She rarely wore them. Even after her mastectomy, she rarely wore a bra and she said they were uncomfortable. Because of this, it was easy to see her missing breast through a shirt, but it didn’t really bother her. I remember when she was up here, a woman she met at treatment gave her a breast for her bra. She was very appreciative of the gesture, but said “Oh I can’t wear this, it’s too heavy!”

Every woman battling breast cancer deals with her physical changes in her own way. No bra was her way pre-breast cancer. She decided she wouldn’t let that change. So Save Your Bra Money and donate today!


Tackling a Racial gap- The war on black women –

We’ve heard a lot of talk about the war on women, and without delving into that long discussion I want to point out to you a war and racial gap that needs attention. A recent New York Times article, Tackling A Racial Gap in Breast Cancer Survival talks about the significantly higher likelihood that black women will be diagnosed with late stage breast cancer and succumb to the disease. A number of factors are relevant, including the likelihood of Triple Negative, which I have spoken about before. But also, economics, lack of regular medical care, etc. The article was particularly close to home, as my husband is from Memphis, we have lived there and still have a large number of our family living there.

So again, we must be informed and educated. We need to take an active role in the health of our family members. Ask questions, offer a ride to an appointment, sit in with an aunt or parent or grandparent so that you are able to support and offer additional ears. But be mindful of your community and not silent and scared. We owe it to ourselves to be educated and fearless.

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Still Changing

I have been feeling in a mode of change.  I am sure everyone has, as that is usually the product of the new year.  We all take on a “I’m making some changes!”  mantra.  I am usually one of those who dives into at least 10 new things with excessive fervor.  My husband warns me every year to pace myself and to take baby steps.  I listen, I truly do, but I don’t know if I can honestly say I heed his advice.  So here we are at the beginning of 2014.  In We Need Some Order Around Here, I mentioned I needed to organize it all, still haven’t done that other than taking over a notebook of my mom’s, which has 6 different color sections and she wrote on the first few pages of each section.  I guess my confusing method of order comes naturally.  Anyways, I proceed to use the notebook for project planning, but her notes are spread through as well as the scribble here and there of my daughter, who is quite a writer in the making.  I’m convinced she will be the new “Faulkner” the literary minds think of, with William taking a back seat. 

Anyhow, I have been looking through a lot of photos and noticing some of my mom’s changes.  I think photos make it a bit more noticeable since she was staying with us, I couldn’t tell from the day to day.  Nevertheless, it makes me think of how we tend to go through life and not always notice the little changes and ask the simple questions.  My aunt recently passed away, and though she was a Libra like my mom, they were very different types of Libra’s.  But they both were very giving people.  My method of mourning and missing people has changed.  I don’t feel so sad that they are gone, I rather think of the memories I have.  In fact, I remember a lot of things that just sit dormant.  Like the last time I called my aunt at work, which I can’t remember when I had before then it had been so long.  I called to talk to her about something and wanted to talk to my mom, but couldn’t so I thought to call her.  She wasn’t at work, so I called at home and talked to her and my grandmother.  I don’t even remember if it was about what I was thinking about, but it was nice to just chit chat. 

My husband has taken a few videos on his IPhone in slow motion.  It is very weird to see life moving slowing, almost like a movie.  It is also a clear reminder that time does not move so slowing.  So with the new year, think of how you can change to live and celebrate life and those around you.  Sit and notice with intention, and make it a habit.   Time moves too fast not to.


We Need Some Order Around Here

Being a mom has made it very clear to me that order isn’t such a bad thing. I have found that the only way I can get through a weekly trip to the grocery store is with a weekly meal plan and an organized grocery list. With three kids, getting in and out in 30 minutes is a must. I tend to find different things of interest to read or do or anything while I’m on the hunt for something else. I know I’m not the only one, so as I sit thinking how to organize all of this, I ask for advice. It has been told to me that “asking” is not one of my strengths. I would agree. I recall my mom being a super asker, well at least on opinions.

Which brings me back to lists. I’m looking for great ways to get it together. We have a huge wall calendar, which works wonders for me. I also have my to do lists. The to do today and the to do soon lists. They help too. I also have all these things bookmarked, my version of post it’s on my phone. But I need something to pull it together.

As I look I will share, but what are your ways of keeping things streamlined and in order. I honestly believe the new year it the best time to revamp. If you don’t like what you have switch it up!


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My Best Year Yet

My dad got me a book some years back called Your Best Year Yet. I used it for about two and a half years. The half because I did it a bit too quickly , not so reflective. Well he gave it to me last year. He knew the year had been difficult even prior to Mommy passing. Adding that was enough to push anyone over the edge. But the year also had a lot of positives in it that shouldn’t be forgotten, most importantly finding out we had a new angel on the way. Well I planned to review the ten step process of evaluating the year, but time got away. Well at least consciously, subconsciously I think I just didn’t want to reflect. Reflecting is hard and often painful work.

Well, this year I am up for the challenge. I got the book out so I could reflect and challenge myself. I know I had a lot of goals for the year. My husband always writes 3 goals for every family member and we look at them the end of the year. I was not satisfied with my progress on mine, but I do think I had a productive year. So I will sit and reflect.

How has your year been. Any method that works is great, but in order to get better we have to think about what we have done well, but just as important, if not more, we must think about what we did not do so well. Whether it was a failure or an area needing improvement, we need to reflect in order to grow. It also helps clear baggage. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but my mom felt her cancer was in part a manifestation of holding things in.

I challenge you to reflect on your year, plan the next year, and release some of your baggage in the process.


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Everything needs time to recharge. We do every night. Winter is a reminder of nature recharging by going dormant or into hibernation for a while. The oak trees in front of our house have lost their leaves, but they will be full in the spring. Since we don’t actually hibernate, and too many of us don’t get enough sleep, we need to try various ways to help our bodies recharge.

The body is absolutely fascinating! As a mom, I have been amazed by all the work a body does to grow, birth, and nurture a baby. If you pay attention to your body, you will see more of what it can do. When you eat well, your body will become noticeably sluggish if you eat something unhealthy or abnormal. I always get sleepy, as my body signals it has to focus on digesting and needs me to “get out of the way”.

Our bodies can run efficiently and smoothly when we assist it in its natural functions. Make sure you rest, so your body can clean up and remove old and deteriorating cells. Science has long documented the importance of sleep. Infants and children sleep so much because as they grow so rapidly, their bodies have a lot of work learning, processing, and simply growing. Studies continue to examine the relation of sleep and cell repair, especially cancer, which are defective cells. We also need to feed our machine correctly. We don’t put sugar in our gas tanks (unless it’s a biofuel or you are doing it to be mean). So why do we put poor quality foods into our bodies. Now I do it also, so I probably could answer that with some excuse, but the point is we should try to do better and be better.

I’m planning what I want to focus on next year. Health and wellness are at the top of my list. Think of what you are doing to help your body and mind recharge.