October is breast cancer awareness month. My mom has been battling stage 4 breast cancer for 4 years and I have been with her every step of the way. Throughout these last four years we have learned a lot about the disease, so I thought I should share 4 of the more interesting facts we know about breast cancer and ways to cope. I am in no means a doctor, but I hope it helps anyone who is sick or someone who is helping a loved one fight this terrible disease.
Is there an interesting fact you know about breast cancer that you would like to add to the list?
There are different types of breast cancer and some of them can’t be found on a mammogram. My mom has lobular breast cancer which wasn’t found on her mammograms. She had a mammogram every year because my grandmother passed from breast cancer, so she made sure to have an examination done on a regular basis. About 10% of invasive breast cancers are lobular breast cancers. We found out she had cancer because it has metastasized to other parts of her body making her very, very sick.
Lobular breast cancer is very sneaky. It likes to metastasize to parts of the body that are hard to get to or see. My mom’s cancer has recently metastasized to the orbital area behind her left eye. We recently heard a story about a woman who has been living with breast cancer for 11 years with it metastasizing to different places all over her body, sometimes more than once, but she has been able to survive because of chemo, radiation, hormone replacements and her will to live.
There are several treatments making it easier and easier to live with breast cancer. When my mom was first diagnosed with cancer she did a nasty round of chemo for about 6 months. She had to get chemo once a month for 6 months and it made her very sick, but after the chemo she was able to take hormone replacements. She was on the first combination of hormone replacements for almost two years before they stopped working and she felt great! There are many different hormone replacement therapies to help patients live with breast cancer. One of the drawbacks is after you use one and it stops working you can’t go back to it, so you have to move onto the next combination and keep going until you have no more combinations to try. My mom has had another dose of a different type of chemo and has tried other hormones these last two years, but nothing has worked better than then first combination.
More and more foundations for breast cancer and other diseases are being formed. My mom and I just found out about a foundation for women who are battling breast cancer in our area called Image Reborn. This foundation provides no-cost healing retreats to women diagnosed with breast cancer to empower them to live fully beyond breast cancer. It is a great way to meet people who are going through what you are going through and gain support from each other all while having fun.
Many people have asked us how we keep going and we tell them we try to stay positive everyday. Some days are harder than others, but the important thing is to think of everything we have to be grateful for. My mom was told she had 9 months to live from the first doctor, but she is here 4 years later and plans to keep fighting.
Last week a couple of my friends attended the Gala for the Image Reborn Foundation and couldn’t stop talking about wonderful the charity is. The Image Reborn’s Living Beyond Breast Cancer program offers retreats designed and facilitated by a highly professional staff with backgrounds and experience in addressing the special concerns of women with breast cancer. The program includes a women’s support group, education, nutrition, exercise, journaling, massage therapy and rejuvenation time all at no cost. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer four years ago, so I was elated to hear about the program and couldn’t wait to tell her. She signed up immediately and is already planning on attending one of the events. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I find it so amazing there is a program like this for woman who are surviving or have survived breast cancer. When you are living with a disease like cancer is it so important to look forward to something and a retreat like this gives people something to be excited about. If you would like to learn more about Image Reborn please visitImage Reborn.
I was surprised my mom and I didn’t know this program was available because it is in our own backyard. I would love to hear what other programs you know about for women who are surviving or have survived breast cancer?
Have you heard of the egg crack challenge? In honor of Will Hauver, a 22 year old who passed away due to complications from an illness, people are cracking raw eggs over their head. This all started when Will began the “Diabetes Egg Crack on the Head Challenge” six months before his death. In response to to the ALS Bucket Challenge Will posted a viral video with him cracking an egg on his head instead of pouring ice water over himself to spread awareness for Diabetes. His friends plan to keep his memory alive by asking others to spread awareness of Juvenile Diabetes by cracking eggs on their heads, so while you are coloring eggs this weekend keep a couple out of the boiling water so you can crack one over your head for Juvenile Diabetes. If you are vegan or you don’t want to crack a real egg over your head you can fill a plastic egg with something slimy and crack it instead.
One of my favorite jewelry designers, Julie Miles just came out with a new collection called Infinite Love and any of these pieces would be a perfect Valentines Day gift for anyone in your life. Julie says, “The infinity symbol resonates deeply with me because I am a Stage 4 Cancer Survivor. This simple symbol gives me divine hope and inspiration for the endless possibilities in my life. It reminds me that my being is both part of the finite world we understand and also the mysterious infinite realm we struggle to understand yet which we intuitively know exists. It helps me maintain a sense of spiritual love, peace of mind, love of humanity and empowerment in all that I do. Even on those darkest days of the fight for my LIFE, I was reminded by those loops that there is no beginning and end in life, just a vast, sacred continuum of love and energy that radiates forever.”
Sales from each bracelet go directly to a cancer patient in need of financial help for treatment. Support this worthy cause by purchasing an Infinite Love bracelet at just $30.00 or $150.00 for sterling silver. You can purchase them by visiting or calling Grace Clothiers in Park City, UT.
To share the love this Valentine’s Day Julie and I teamed up to give away 6 infinity bracelets! To enter: 1. Follow both @juliemiles4 and @iamerinevans on Instagram and tag three friends on this photo. Every friend tagged after 3 is an additional entry. 2. Since the infinity bracelet is a sign of hope and inspiration take a photo of what inspires you and make sure to tag #infinityLOVEbracelet. Winner announced on Monday, February 16th. We can’t wait to see what inspires all of you and good luck!
The Sundance Film Festival begins this week in Park City, UT. I have attended the festival every year for the last 8 years and every year is different. I have met several people and have had amazing experiences each year. Last year I was asked to host a show called Festival After Dark for the local television channel in Park City. I hadn’t had much experience on camera, so I was a little scared to do it, but I was also very excited, so I knew it was the right thing to do. It ended up being one of the best experiences I have ever had and gave me the confidence to start this website. Below is an example of what we did last year and next week I will post a packing list for those of you who are coming to Park City for the festival. If you have any questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them.
I had the pleasure of attending a trunk show for Julie Miles. I met Julie during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and fell in love with her jewelry as well as Julie herself. She uses fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystals in almost every one of her designs, but has also started to add various precious stones
Julie created the Julie Miles label in 2001 and it has kept growing ever since. The label began when Julie was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The odds were against her, but she didn’t give up. While undergoing chemotherapy treatments she found making jewelry to be therapeutic and started Julie Miles designs. Julie says, “The Julie Miles Label is a brand with a passion for bending the rules of fashion and style. At it’s core is the premise of women blazing their own trails, and dressing in a spirit that defies convention that scoffs at the robotic styles offered by institutional brands.”
She survived cancer and enjoys traveling the world to showcase her new jewelry designs. When I met Julie I instantly had a connection with her. I own one of her necklaces and whenever I wear it I can feel the love and positive energy Julie put into making it. I now consider Julie a friend and I find her to be a true inspiration to people everywhere. You can view additional pieces by Julie or learn about her upcoming trunk shows by visiting her website at: http://www.juliemiles.com/.