Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
Posted by Richard Lawry at 8:00 PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. The event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to quit and stay quit.
In many towns and communities, local volunteers support quitters, publicize this anti-smoking event, and press for laws that control tobacco use and discourage teens from starting.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:
Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
Online quit groups
Nicotine replacement products
Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
Encouragement and support from friends and family members
Using 2 or more of these measures to help you quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.
Telephone stop-smoking hotlines are an easy-to-use resource, and they are available in all 50 states. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 to find telephone counseling or other support in your area.
Support is out there, but the most recent information suggests that fewer than 1 in 3 smokers reports having tried any of the recommended therapies during their last quit attempt.
Posted by Richard Lawry at 1:33 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2012
The Hope Floats - Wal-mart 67 Relay For Life team held a innovative and interesting fundraiser on October 20, 2012. When people made donations to the team their name was written on the bottom of a rubber duck. The ducks were then taken to the middle of the pond at Rich Mountain Community College and set adrift.
When the ducks were set adrift, Lady, a black lab, was sent into the water to retrieve a duck. The name on the first duck retrieved received a 40" flat screen HD TV, the second a Nook e-reader and the third a rocking chair.
It was a breezy day, and when all of the rubber ducks had been blown to shore, the kids present had a great time collecting the rubber ducks from the lake.
It was a great fundraiser and over 2200.00 was raised for Relay For Life.
Posted by Richard Lawry at 10:00 AM
Friday, October 19, 2012
Family is an integral part of who so many of us are. But for many it goes much deeper and defines who we are. A statement that can be said for this week's Citizen, Brandi Myers Sachs. And family is who has inspired one of her greatest passions...an active outspoken champion of the Polk County Relay For Life. "It was devastating," says Myers through tears when she remembers getting the call that her Aunt Peggy had pancreatic cancer. Her aunt underwent treatments but lost her battle within only a few short months of diagnosis. Brandi had known of others with cancer but had never had the devastating illness strike so bitterly close to home and says she regrets now taking so long to become involved in helping to find a cure.
Brandi moved to Mena with her parents Don and Judye Myers along with brothers Cotye and Justin when she was just two. Don had been sent on "assignment" by his father to open a Sonic Drive-In. And that he did. The Myers Sonic Drive-In became a cornerstone business on the corner of Cherry and Hwy 71 as well as part of at least two generations of teenagers' memories that made the drive-in a regular weekend and after-school hangout spot. In 2000, the family made a very tough decision to discontinue their Sonic franchise and the restaurant became Myers Cruizzers Drive-In. "It was a really big decision for my Dad but he believed as long as we continued to give good service we'd be fine." Brandi said the business barely experienced a hiccup and the customers continued to turn-in day after day.
Now the three siblings share the responsibility of running the same drive-in that was such a big part their own childhood. Brandi graduated from Mena High School in 1991 and married her husband, David, in 1996. The couple have two children, Ridge age 14, and Brickie, age 10. "My life didn't begin untill I had them," sand Brandi.
Just as passionate as her advocacy for cancer, Brandi wants her children to have the same childhood she had where her parents instilled the values and beliefs she still carries today. "You want to raise them right...raise them so they know how to make the right choices."
Brandi also enjoys photography but even in her hobby it is in her appreciation for family that she finds fulfillment. When asked what she found the most fulffilling about her photography, she said immediately and simply, "preserving those memories for the families."
Quite satisfied raising her family in the same hometown where she was raised, Brandi enjoys working at the drive-in, being a wife and a mom. When asked where she saw herself in ten years, she said, "well, I hope as happy and as blessed as I have been the last ten!"
Posted by Richard Lawry at 9:10 PM
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
- Exactly what kind of cancer do I have? All cancers start with an uncontrolled growth of cells in the body, but different kinds of cancer behave very differently. They may grow at different rates and respond to different treatments – and not just because they affect different parts of the body. There can also be sub-types of breast cancer, for example, that behave differently from other sub-types of breast cancer. Learning your exact diagnosis and the l name of your cancer is the first step in understanding your diagnosis and helping others understand it, too.
- What stage is my cancer, and what does that mean? Staging is a concise way to describe the size of a particular cancer growth and also how far the cancer may have spread beyond where it started. Cancers can range from stage I to stage IV, with stage I describing the smallest tumors located in only one area of the body and stage IV describing larger growths or cancer that has spread. The stage is very important in making decisions about the best treatment, for example a stage I breast cancer will be treated very differently from a stage IV breast cancer. Knowing the stage also can help your doctor talk to you about how likely you are to respond to treatment and survive the cancer. Ask your doctor to explain what stage cancer you have and why it was staged that way. You may need to have some additional tests or even surgery for doctors to fully stage your cancer.
- What are my treatment choices? There may be more than one way to treat your cancer. Learning about the effectiveness, potential side effects, and long-term outcomes of different cancer treatments can help you make the best decision about the next steps in your care. Ask what the goal of the treatment is: Are you working to get rid of the cancer, keep it from spreading, or simply relieve some symptoms? Also ask what the long-term effects of potential treatments might be. Some treatments can permanently affect your fertility or other bodily functions or increase your risk of a second cancer in the future.
- What will life be like during treatment? Knowing what to expect on a day-to-day basis during treatment can help you feel more calm and prepared as you move forward. Ask about the basics, such as where your treatment will take place, how long it will last, and how often you will need to go. Also ask how the treatment might impact your daily activities: Will you still be able to attend work or school? Drive a car? Travel? Get an idea of how the treatment might impact your body, too. Will it be painful or cause physical side effects such as hair loss or fatigue? If you get details in advance, you can make a plan for how you will cope with these factors if and when they happen.
- How much will it cost? Although money may be the last thing you want to talk about, cancer will likely impact your finances as well as your body. After talking with your doctor about treatment options, talk with your insurance company or the financial office of your hospital or clinic to get a clear idea of how much your care will cost. Ask about the costs of any treatment and about the costs of medicines or any home care services you may need. If you need help paying for your care, ask to talk with a social worker who may be able to guide you to resources to help you.
Posted by Richard Lawry at 7:32 AM
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Doctors know that when found early rather than late, breast cancer is much easier to treat, and the chance of survival is significantly greater. The Society has helped translate this knowledge into action that has improved and saved many lives by increasing public awareness of breast cancer, developing screening guidelines, and providing clinician education programs. For years, the Society has recommended that women begin screening at age 40 with yearly mammography and clinical breast exam. Largely due to screening and improved treatments, the breast cancer death rate has decreased by over 30% since 1990 and will approach a 40% reduction by 2015.
Although screening mammography is very effective in reducing breast cancer deaths, it does have limitations. Mammography detects most but not all breast cancers early. A clinical examination and breast awareness are part of the screening process for women at average breast cancer risk. If you have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, genetic testing may be appropriate to determine if you have a gene mutation that places you and possibly a member of your family at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Additional imaging with ultrasound and/or MRI in addition to mammography may be recommended for those at high risk.
While we do not yet know how to prevent breast cancer, research supported by the Society suggests how a woman may reduce her breast cancer risk by:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight throughout life,
- Engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity, and
- Reducing alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day.
The Society passionately fights back against breast cancer through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer –the largest network of breast cancer events in the nation, uniting more than 270 communities to fund the fight. The walks are 3-5 miles and the walkers raised more than $60 million last year to find cures and save lives. In addition, through the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), our nonprofit, nonpartisan, advocacy affiliate, breast cancer remains a top priority for our nation’s lawmakers. Through ACS CAN, we support federal legislation that will increase access to treatment for breast cancer patients and quality of life for survivors. Moreover, ACS CAN has lobbied Congress for continued support the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). This program helps low income, uninsured, and underinsured women obtain access to screening and treatment and has provided over 10 million screening exams to four million women, finding more than 52,000 breast cancers. Finally, ACS CAN urges Congress to robustly fund breast cancer research that will improve prevention, detection, treatment, and survivorship.
The American Cancer Society has played a role in nearly every major breast cancer breakthrough in recent history and will continue the work until the disease is defeated.
Posted by Richard Lawry at 11:26 AM
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Posted by Richard Lawry at 8:15 PM
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Posted by Richard Lawry at 2:22 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Polk County Relay For Life makes a difference in community, for research
by Andy Philpot
Published in the May 24, 2012 issue of The Mena Star
As Relay For Life is now a well established tradition in Polk County, it serves many more purposes that meets the eye. Co-chairs of the local Relay For Life, Regina and Richie Lawry, can tell you that while the event itself is one weekend of the year, the efforts are a year -round effort. This year-round effort that the Lawrys have instilled into making Relay For Life as successful as possible in our communities, the same commitment is followed by a number of organizations, businesses, and individuals, who seek to raise as much money as possible for Relay For Life. This money in turn goes toward cancer research, which in turn leads to more treatments of the many cancers our friends and family encounter, which in turn leads to many more birthdays and reasons to celebrate.
Last year Polk County Relay For Life raised 66,000, which combined with the rest of the Relay For life events that took place in Arkansas, a total of $4.5 million was raised by Relay For Life events across the state in 2011. This total gets combined with all the other Relay For Life events that take place nation-wide, all of which are raised for the American Cancer Society to use toward cancer research. With the ultimate goal of one day eliminating the words "You Have Cancer" being spoken by doctors, it takes a collective effort to reach this goal.
Helping to emphasize the significance of every dollar that is raised in community Relays, two different testimonies were shared at this year's Polk County Relay For Life. Keisha Pittman, from Arkadelphia, shared her cancer battle testimony during the opening ceremonies of this year's Relay, and emphasized that every dollar amount is important toward the shared goal of defeating cancer. She spoke how community Relay For Life events in both big cities and smaller towns are all invaluable because they all go toward the common goal. The funds of Relay For Life are what helps make continued research and advancements in cancer treatments possible.
Deidra Porter, of Conway, shared her testimony just before the Luminaria ceremony, and how her cancer experience has her that much more an advocate for Relay For Life events throuought the devoted communities. Porter was diagnosed with cancer, and moments before she was to begin her first treatment, she learned she was pregnant. Like Pittman, Porter's testimony was both emotional and inspirational. Porter not only endured cancer and now can share her story with others, but she also has a healthy son that has endured the treatments. Sharing the exact sentiment of Pittman, Porter praised Relay For Life and how every dollar raised in important to the overall goal of seeking an end to cancer.
Pittman and Porter traveled to Mena to share their testimonies with the Polk County Relay For Life participants, and their stories are added to the always growing list of cancer survivors that do hear the words "You Have Cancer", but endure the battle and can proudly wear a purple shirt as they walk the Survivors Lap.
Relay For Life is held for the purpose of celebrating the survivors, remembering those we have lost, and giving hope that one day the world may be cancer free. Through the celebrating and remembering, the success gets passed along to the American Cancer society through the fundraising that happens all year long. With each Relay For life that takes place, it adds to the overall funding that can be used toward cancer research and treatments.
Relay For Life has been raising money for the American Cancer Society since 1985, when Gordy Klatt came up with a way to raise funds for his local American Cancer Society office in Tacoma, Washington, and show support of all his patients who had battled cancer. He did this by spending 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound. He ran more than 83 miles and his efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer. It has only gotten bigger and better from there.
Posted by Richard Lawry at 3:05 PM