For the past 1,000 days, I participated in Day Zero’s 101 Day Project, a unique challenge that inspires you to set and achieve your personal goals in life. My friend Caitlin had started one, and I was intrigued. At that point, I had been in five years’ remission from cancer and was basically a lump when it came to goal setting. The diagnosis had resulted in my having a hard time looking in the future, as I got in the mindset of “Well, anything can change quickly.” I thought that starting the list would be better than a so-called bucket list in inspiring me to look forward again. (And I’d just beaten cancer… why would I want to think about kicking the bucket?)
The challenge runs 1,001 days—I started September 12, 2010 and ended today, June 9, 2013. To count, tasks must be specific with a defined result that represents some amount of work on my part. Here’s a summary of my first list and what happened. Bolded items are ones that were completed. Not bad for my first try, with 54 of 101 goals achieved. I start Part II tomorrow, and will aim for 75 next.
Today, I hopped on the M4 bus to go to Penn Station. When I boarded, the MetroCard machine was broken, so the driver waved me on. Sweet, a free ride!
But this time, I didn’t immediately put my MetroCard back in my pocketbook. As I sat down toward the middle of the bus, the card went flying out of my hand. I looked on the floor, on the seat, and throughout my bag, but couldn’t find it. I then glanced under the window, and saw the card jammed between the seat and the wall.
It took extreme acrobatics to maintain a ladylike posture in a skirt while trying to dislodge my stuck MetroCard. An Asian woman said, “I’m small! I’ll help!” and climbed under the seat to try. No luck. Other passengers handed me random pens, pieces of plastic, and other apparatus from their purses in an effort to remove it. Despite everyone’s valiant efforts, I thought my MetroCard will likely remain a permanent fixture on bus #6626.
Tonight, I went for a massage, and as I got undressed for my appointment, guess what fell out of my bra? Yep, my MetroCard. Turns out that that the helpful Asian woman and I had been trying to vainly dislodge someone else’s lost MetroCard for 15 minutes. Now who’s the boob?
Influenster and Aveeno recently sent me a jar of of Aveeno Positively Radient Intensive Night Cream to try out.
It’s a cream that you smooth over your entire cleansed face and neck; the product claims to improve your skin’s tone, dullness, brown spots, texture, and blotchiness.
For the past few weeks, I replaced my regular night cream (Clinque Youth Surge Night) with the Aveeno Positively Radient Intensive Night Cream, which I used both in the evening and in the morning after washing my face. I wasn’t expecting it to work as well as my $50 cream, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I have combination skin—oily in some spots and dry and flaky in the other, so it’s important that a night cream isn’t too heavy, otherwise I’m prone to breaking out. Aveeno Positively Radient Intensive Night Cream delivered just the right amount of moisture, not leaving my face feeling like it was heavily lotioned. A little goes a long way, and I’m still not halfway through the jar. The other plus for me was the smell—it’s light and not very perfumey.
My skin has retained its brightness and tone, while my blotchiness is less noticeable. I find I don’t need to use as much makeup to cover up in the mornings. I don’t have any brown spots, so I’m not sure how it would have worked on them. I haven’t seen much difference in the texture of my skin, besides its feeling soft from the cream.
At a suggested retail price of $16.99, I’m considering switching from my more expensive night cream to the Aveeno, as it seems to have the same effect on my skin as the $50 jar of Clinique. I’m pretty happy with the results (and the money it’s saved me!).
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
This week, I returned from Stupid Cancer’s sixth annual OMG 2103 Cancer Summit for Young Adults, a nearly four-day conference for young adult cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, professionals, and advocates. It’s the fourth year in a row I’ve attended this amazing conference, which began in New York City but has been held in Las Vegas for the past two years. Before you think this is some boring oncology event, think again. Here are 10 reasons why you should attend an OMG Summit:
1) People understand what you’re going through – You can drop words like neutropenia, stenosis, and metastasis without people asking you what they mean. No one cares if you have to zonk out in the middle of the day or can’t drink. You’re not the only one having a hard time losing weight, growing hair, or trying to find your way again after cancer. We’ve all gone through a lot and can relate with each other, share what we’ve learned, and make the whole crazy cancer and survivorship ride a little easier for each other.
2) You won’t be judged or pitied – No one cares that you have one testicle, no nipples, a bald head, a red scar snaking across your chest, or walk with a cane. We all have our battle scars. And it’s nice to finally say, “I have/had cancer” without someone giving you the pitiful “Awww, you’re too young… my cat has cancer too” spiel.
3) You’ll learn something new – With 25 breakout sessions and 50 speakers covering myriad topics for patients, survivors, and caregivers, you’ll arm yourself with plenty of knowledge, no matter if you’re newly diagnosed or 10 years out of treatment. From sex to survivorship, environment to insurance, and fundraising to fertility, there’s something for everyone. Many of the sessions are repeated so you don’t miss out on vital information. The speakers are not only top healthcare professionals, but advocates, caregivers, and survivors. Click here to see the panelists from OMG 2013.
4) You’ll be entertained – This isn’t your grandfather’s oncology conference. One of the biggest problems adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and survivors have is age-appropriate support. But the OMG Summit changes all of that, delivering what could have been ho-hum information with straightforwardness and humor. For instance, OMG 2013 closed out with a comedic routine by Dr. Zubin “ZDoggMD” Damania, who in his own words mashes “medicine, music, and madness to educate and entertain.” We also watched the First Descents documentary Out Living It, played Re-Mission 2 at HopeLab‘s exhibitor booth, and watched as Stupid Cancer presented filmmaker Andrew Jenks of MTV’s “World of Jenks” with its Social Impact Award. And there was plenty of time to dance.
5) You’ll hear the latest on the AYA advocacy and research front – Top doctors, oncologists, healthcare pros, and non-profits are on hand to talk about rapidly changing AYA advocacy and research. (I have to say, I felt pretty darn smart coming out of sessions after learning about genomics and neurospychology.) Most sessions end with a Q&A period, allowing them to answer your burning questions on topics that run the gamut: treatments, late effects, sexuality, complementary medicine, carcinogens in the environment, and more. Plenary sessions focused on genetic breakthroughs and personalized medicine, as well as progress in AYA research and AYA clinics.
6) You’ll meet people working hard to make sure the AYA voice is heard – You’ll never meet a group of more dedicated folks than the employees and volunteers of Stupid Cancer and all of the non-profit and advocacy groups that attend and exhibit at the conference. With young adults accounting for 72,000 new cancer diagnoses each year, it’s critical that the medical community understands our needs from treatment to survivorship and beyond.
7) You’ll be inspired – There are so many inspiring people contributing to the AYA cancer community, from starting non-profits to running marathons and embroidering hats to granting cancer patients and survivors dream days. If you have no clue how to get involved, you’ll find plenty of ideas at the OMG Summit.
8) You’ll laugh and cry – Where else can you be telling someone a cancer joke one minute and then crying over shared experiences the next? Once and a while you’ll even get thrown a curveball, like a surprise marriage proposal. Plenty of tissues are provided. (And alcohol for those who need it.)
9) You’ll learn to get busy living again – The OMG Summit is not for people who want to stay in bed all day and cry, “Woe is me.” It’s about not letting cancer rule your life and giving it the bird. Sometimes you need a little help, and everyone in attendance is there to give you ideas and support to make that step.
10) You’ll make friends for life – If there’s anything positive that comes out of cancer, it’s the amazing, supporting, fun friends you make—a rapport that lasts well beyond the walls of the OMG Summit.
If you missed OMG 2013 this year, you can still attend the OMG2013/East one-day conference in New York City on September 28. It’s a bit more intimate that the annual event, but has the same, great purpose and people. Hope to see you there!
Crowdtap recently sent me a bottle and samples of DOT by Marc Jacobs to try out and share with my friends.
If you’re not familiar with DOT (and its super cute flower-butterfly-ladybug inspired bottle), it’s a light, sophisticated fragrance perfect for the spring and summer. Its top notes include red berries, dragon fruit, and honeysuckle, while the floral notes include jasmine, coconut water, and orange blossom. The dry down note are vanilla, driftwood, and musk.
Even though three particular scents may strike you as strong—jasmine, musk, and driftwood—the fragrance is hardly overpowering. It’s very sweet and flowery, and has elicited many positive comments when I wore it (particularly people asking where the flowers are located). The fruity notes are also sophisticated, avoiding that sickly-sweet drugstore or teenage perfume smell.
The bottle is a piece of artwork in itself, and adds a touch of whimsy to your collection–so much fun to look at and display!
If you’re looking for a fruity, yet decidedly grown-up perfume, definitely check out DOT by Marc Jacobs.
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