Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mammograms? Are they really safe?

I know this will be quite a controversial subject for some of you out there and especially those who either believe in conventional treatment of cancer and/or have been treated with chemotherapy and radiation and have recovered. Mammograms are not safe.  This procedure exposes you to unnecessary radiation.  This is an evil in itself.  The radiation one is exposed to during a mammogram is approximately 150 times the amount of radiation used for a single chest xray.  Any amount of radiation is capable of contributing to cancer and heart disease, the very thing one tries to avoid by having a screening mammogram done every year or two. Think about how much radiation you are going to be exposed to over the years by having a mammogram annually or even biennial. Breast cancer has usually been present for about 8 years by the time it is detected on a mammogram.  Imagine having a tumor that you're not aware of it and making it even worse by exposing it to radiation regularly?  The compression of your breasts can also spread malignant cells by rupturing small blood vessels in or around small undetected breast cancers.  

False Positive Mammograms

Mistakenly diagnosed cancers are common in premenopausal and post-menopausal women who are on estrogen replacement therapy resulting in other unnecessary procedures such as needle or surgical biopsies.  The anxiety associated with a mistaken diagnosis is very stressful.  About 20 years ago I underwent a surgical biopsy because I had an irregular lump in my breast (I was only in my early thirties).  Thank God it wasn't cancer but the stress I had to deal with while waiting for the surgery and the surgery itself was very difficult.  

There are also false negative results associated with mammograms.  Missed cancers are particularly common in premenopausal women  due to the dense and highly glandular structure of the breast. Missed cancers are also common in post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy.  

Interval cancers are cancers arising in between mammograms that were either not there or too small to detect.  This false positive mammogram result lulls a woman into a false sense of security for another year.  These are sometimes aggressive cancers which aren't caught until possibly the next mammogram.   

Breast self examination is a much better alternative.  Monthly exam with no radiation.  Better detection.  

Breast Self Examination (BSE) is a Safe Alternative

We know our own breast tissue better than anyone else.  Examining your own breasts regularly will help in the early detection of breast cancer and will also avoid the harmful radiation from mammograms.  90% of women who develop breast carcinoma have found the tumors themselves.  

Self breast exams should be done about 3 - 5 days after your period starts. Your breasts are not as tender or lumpy during this time of month.  If you have gone through menopause, do your exam on the same day every month.

First, lie on your back. It is easier to examine all breast tissue if you are lying down.

Place your right hand behind your head. With the middle fingers of your left hand, gently yet firmly press down using small motions to examine the entire right breast.

Next, sit or stand. Feel your armpit, because breast tissue goes into that area.

Gently squeeze the nipple, checking for discharge. Repeat the process on the left breast.

Next, stand in front of a mirror with your arms by your side.

Look at your breasts directly and in the mirror. Look for changes in skin texture, such as dimpling, puckering, indentations, or skin that looks like an orange peel. Also note the shape and contour of each breast. Check to see if the nipple turns inward.

Do the same with your arms raised above your head.

Most women have some lumps. Your goal is to find anything new or different. 

In Closing

I know my opinion regarding mammograms is wildly unpopular in the majority of the medical profession but I have found that conventional medicine is not always the best route.  My bohemian attitude comes from my experiences.  The best way to deal with health issues is to prevent them in the first place.  A proper diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats, less white in your diet (white bread, white sugar, white flour, etc.) and zero processed foods is the key to promoting good health.  

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician.  This is my opinion only (of course I feel like this is good information).  Please do your own research and draw your own conclusions from the research you conduct.  If you want to read more in-depth material, click on the links below.  The above information is just a summary.

Dangers & Unreliability of Mammography
A Study on Effectiveness of Screening Mammograms
Mammograms: What for, exactly?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Difficult Days

When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually. ~Job 1:5

When I'm going through a difficult time in life, I usually think of Job and then I don't feel as bad anymore.  Mind you, I still feel bad but in contrast to what Job went through it is nothing.  If you have ever read the book of Job then you know how faithful he was to God even through the most painful and difficult times in his life; even through losing his children to death.  The scripture above shows how faithful he was by sacrificing burnt offerings for possible sins that might have been committed for himself and also on behalf of his children (just in case his family might have sinned); how loving is that!  I love the part where he says "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts."  He was so concerned for the salvation of his family.  

We no longer have to offer burnt offerings as a sacrifice for sin anymore, thank the Lord!  Jesus was our sacrifice!  He paid for our sins by the sacrifice of His life!  We do, however, have to make the decision for ourselves whether or not we will serve Him.  That is our choice and it's a serious one.  We can't make that decision for any of our family members.  Oh how I wish I could for those in my family who are not serving Him.  It makes me so sad and grieves me deeply.  I can relate to Job in  regard to that!  Deciding to serve Jesus Christ is THE most important decision you will ever make in your life.  Either decision you choose will have a major effect on your life!  Choose wisely and choose Him!

Jesus offers us rest for our souls...find true and everlasting peace and rest in Him today!  

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Mark 11:28-30

In Christ,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

The Lord is so very faithful.  If your faith has ever wavered thinking that something is impossible or seems impossible, this is just an example of God's hand working in ways that seemed impossible in light of the circumstances.  Praise Jesus for the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from an Iranian prison.  I know his wife and children are so happy to be reunited with him after 3 long years.   Who would have thought he would have EVER been released from a death sentence? This is most certainly a praise report and nothing less than a divine miracle!!!

If you're struggling with something right now that you think God has forgotten, something that you you know is His will according to His Holy Word, then let this give you encouragement.  Continue to seek God in your particular situation and stay in His will by being obedient to the Word.  Our Lord is the Lord of all!!!

Read the article here:  Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Released

In Christ,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fresh Brewed Sundays: The Lord is Compassionate

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. ~Psalm 103:8-10

I love to keep a list of scriptures that I really love or that speak to me during different times in my life.  This is one of them.  I am so thankful that I have a God who is so compassionate and gracious to me and that grants me forgiveness when I stumble.  I appreciate His lovingkindness and His mercies and I do feel them every single morning when I wake up.  I can't express how thankful I am of Him and what He did for us on the cross.  

Those who continue on a pattern of sin in their lives, God will not always strive with them.  Please pray for those people in your life who you know need salvation.  Pray for them every day or whenever you think about them.  It saddens my heart to see people who live continually in sin.  I pray for God to open their eyes to it and see the damage it is causing them now and especially for all eternity.  When I hear of someone who passes away I always wonder if that person knew Jesus Christ as their Saviour.  

When will our last breath be taken?  That we do not know.  Only the Lord knows and it can come suddenly and without warning.  Think about all the recent tragedies in the United States and in the rest of the world, the ones that happened suddenly.  I'm sure those people thought they had more time.   Do you know the Lord and do you live for Him?  I am thankful if you answered yes.  If you answered no, do you want to know Him and live for Him?  If so, realize that you are a sinner and that you need God.  Call on the Lord and repent of your sins, which means being remorseful and turning from your sins, no longer living the way you did before.  Seek Him by reading your Bible and praying.  I hope you made that decision.  I am so thankful to God if you did.  It will be the most life-changing decision you  have ever made.  :)

"Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. ~Isaiah 55:6"

In Christ,

Friday, September 7, 2012

My New Quest and Paperless Paper Towels

My first and foremost quest is, of course, following God's will for my life.  That will always be of the utmost importance to me.  Recently I have become unemployed (within the last 6 months) after working 30+ years my husband, Chuck, and I decided I would stay home. I wish I had done this years ago when my  children were growing up but I didn't.  I just always thought we needed the extra income (and we did) but if I had known some of the things I do now I could have saved myself a ton of money and stayed home with my chidren. :(    

Little by little I have been purging things from my life that are not necessary or are things that I realized are of little value to me.  These are things that I don't miss that I thought I would.  I'll write about those later.  I have also learned ways of reducing our expenses and I still have a few things on my list to reduce the expenses. 

Recently I saw the cutest idea on A Blossoming Life about paperless paper towels. I thought it was the cutest idea ever and would also save me a TON of money.  Mind you, I could probably use dish towels, wash cloths or any other absorbent fabric by itself but I just like pretty things so this works for me.  It also gave me some time with my granddaughter, Morgan, so I could teach her to sew.  She absolutely loved it!  So I decided to take the leap and try to make them. 

I had a pretty cotton shower curtain that had been sitting in my linen closet that I hadn't used for a couple of years and it worked perfect for one side of the unpaper towels.  We used a couple of old worn out towels and used the parts of it that didn't have holes for the other side.  We also bought a couple of inexpensive towels at the thrift store to complete our project.  

Paperless Paper Towel Tutorial:

Materials needed (I just used what I had):

12 pieces of 11" x 11" squares of both cotton fabric and terry fabric
Thread of your choice
Velcro (this step is optional. But if you use it don't use iron-on)


Cut out the fabric as evenly as possible.  I cut one and kept it as a template for the rest.

Pin the right sides together and sew around all the edges using a 1/4" seam but leave a small gap at the end big enough for you to turn the fabric inside out when finished stitching.

She looks so serious!  :)  <3
Now turn the fabric right side out and iron the material flat.  Pin the gapped area closed and sew around all the edges approximately 1/4".  Now you can run a stitch through the center of the material from one corner to the opposite corner to keep the material from having all that open space in the center (I had her draw where she wanted to stitch first). This was Morgan's favorite part because she was able to be creative with her squiggly line.  :)  

Now, sew on the velcro.  Sew one piece of the same velcro on 2 corners of the same side, then sew the opposite velcro on the other side of the material on the opposite side (see picture).  We originally bought iron-on velcro but after washing, some of the velcro came off so we sewed them on. If you don't want to attach your towels together for the appearance of a roll of paper towels, you can omit the velcro and just stack them some place in a kitchen drawer or a pretty basket.  

Anyway, see how neat this is!  We love them and I can't say enough about how much the bonding time with Morgan meant to me.  Now she wants a sewing machine of her own.  :)

The towels are much prettier in person (at least that's what my niece told me).  My photography skills are greatly lacking!  :)

Take care and try this project.  It was fun and easy!

In Christ,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Joy of the Redeemed

Isaiah 35 is a beautiful passage in the Bible (click on the link to read it).  It gives great hope and peace to those who know Him, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Life can be burdensome at times to the extent that it seems there is no real peace to look forward to but this chapter gives hope to the hopeless, future rest for the weary and quenches the thirst of the soul.  It reminds me of a young man I know who asked me why God allowed so many terrible things to happen in his life.  He was filled with turmoil and was suicidal.  He didn't believe there was a God but truly wanted to believe.  I explained to him that knowing the Lord Jesus and serving Him doesn't bring riches and a perfect life here on earth as so many people have told him in the past.  This is something that hinders many from following Jesus or causes their faith to be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:18-19).  There are numerous prosperity preachers and teachers in our pulpits that teach this and make many believe this is so when scripture clearly tells us different.  Jesus walked this earth and felt pain and sadness.  We are not going to have a perfect life on earth but we do have a different type of peace, the peace that only knowing the Lord can bring.  We have the peace to know that God is always there, He never changes and we can depend on Him to always be the same and keep His promises to us.  One of those promises is that He has gone away to prepare a place for us:

  • “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. ~John 14:1-3
What a wonderful future we have to look forward to.  It gives me great peace in knowing this but also lots of sadness to watch so many people living their lives like there isn't a God.  My heart aches because of this.  We, as Christians, need to be the true examples of Christ.  Read your Bible for yourselves and study it to show yourself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15).  Be steady in your walk and lead others to Christ.  We don't know the day the Lord will return and we certainly want our loved ones to be ready.

In Christ,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Psalm 51

Psalm 51 is a passage in the Bible that I think should be read every day, at least by me.  It helps me to realize that no matter how broken we are spiritually, if we are serious about repentance then God is always there to forgive and to bring us back into a closer walk with Him.  I thank God for His Word that cleanses and brings remembrance of things I need to repent of.

Read Psalm 51 today.  Psalm 51