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Aloud. Spring 2014

Feeling down? Check out our tips on feeling better about yourself

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The Fault in Our Stars: Book Review! -Is it really worth all the hype? Read our review to find out!

Ashley shares her story of overcoming struggles and never giving up on her dreams!

Boys, Boys, Boys

Lydia, the K-9 cancer fighting warrior!


Contents Cover Stories Boys, Boys, Boys: Page 5 Feeling Better About Yourself: Page 8 Ashley’s Story: Pages 12-14 The Fault In Our Stars Book Review: Page 19 Lydia, The K-9 Cancer Fighting Warrior: Pages 20-21

Articles Comparing Yourself to Others: Page 4 Fashion: page 6 Hair Care: Page 7 Sweet Potato Fries: Page 9 Celebrity Cancer Survivor: Page 10 Raising Money: Page 16

Fun Stuff Gossip: Page 17 What’s Hot: Page 18 Word Search: Page 22 Crossword Puzzle: Page 23 Which Swimsuit are You, Quiz: Page 24 Would you like to submit your poetry, artwork, short story, or article to our magazine? Please email a copy to info@aloudmag.com Submit your questions about school, life, or whatever else to info@aloudmag.com to have us answer your questions. They may be chosen to be in our next issue!


Letter from the Editor!

Hey guys! This issue has a lot of information about self confidence and things like that because swimsuit season is upon us! I know it’s a tough time of the year for a lot of people because many of us are unhappy with at least one thing about our bodies. That’s why we thought it was important to give tips and tell different stories about overcoming self image issues. Instead of worrying about the way you look, I would encourage you to focus on being

healthy. About two months ago I began walking

and jogging because for some reason unbeknownst to me, I decided I want to run in a marathon this year. A side effect of the exercise I’ve been doing has led to a little toning but it isn’t why I jog. I jog because I want to run in a marathon just to try something new that I never thought I’d ever be able to do. That’s what motivates me to exercise after working all day. The reason diets fail is because people expect to see immediate results, but changing your body, the healthy way, takes a little time. So instead of focusing just on weight loss, find an activity you enjoy or something you

never thought you

could do. There are so many different activities you could try that it is crazy for you to not try something. You may be surprised what you might like. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be training for a marathon, I would have laughed in their face and told them the only thing I run to is the refrigerator. If I can do this after years of inactivity, then you to can find your thing. Last year, I decided to teach myself how to tap by learning from YouTube videos haha. At first people laughed, but once I kept it up and was practicing regularly, they started becoming genuinely interested in what made me want to learn how to tap in the first place. Sometimes people laugh at you because you’re trying something new and different, but really it’s because they are nervous and scared to try something different. A lot of people are concerned about what other people think of them, and that they may make fun of them because of what they want to try. Once they see you doing what you want to do, they will ask you questions too! So go out and be great! You just might surprise yourself. I know I sure did.

-Courtney


Random

Comparing yourself to others sucks, and here’s why Gaz Shirley, PacificCoastNews.com; Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage.com

Jennifer Lawrence with no makeup and with makeup

Summer is nearly here so we all know what that means: swimsuit season (and no school for a few months which is awesome). So as you do your shopping there will be some times when you’re trying different suits on that you will start to feel bad about your body. We all see the other girls looking fabulous in their bikinis and we think they look way better in theirs than we would ever look in one so we don’t wear a bathing suit we really like, or we don’t wear one at all and we end up being the girl in the t-shirt and shorts because we are too embarrassed to wear nothing but a swimsuit in public (I know because I was this girl, and still am at times). The women on our favorite T.V. shows don’t even look like that in real life, and neither do our favorite models, singers, or anyone else with a fully staffed makeup team at their disposal. I know the knowledge of this alone really only makes you feel a little better because we all see beautiful young women in real life all the time at stores and everywhere else we go so we do see them and know they exist, right? WRONG. The amount of time those people spend at the gym and the money they spend on makeup and the time they spend doing their hair and everything else they do, anyone could look like them if they put the same effort they put towards that stuff. Looks are really important to some people, and that’s great for them. But other people, such as myself, don’t really care that much about looks at all (so we get ready in 10 minutes. Tops). Everybody is different and we all have different priorities and values. And here’s a secret, you’re probably really good at something yourself, be it school, crafting, or public speaking, and that girl that you’re jealous of because she’s so beautiful is probably jealous of you for one of those amazing things that you’re good at. You may not believe me now, but trust me, the grass is always greener on the other side. So just be yourself. You’re awesome. Stop worrying about what everybody else is doing.


Boys, Boys, Boys Everyone has been there, regardless of having cancer or not: Will I ever date? Will the guy I like ever like me back? Ugh, Boys, Boys, Boys.

When I was going through chemo I gained a lot of weight because of the steroids and when I stopped them I did lose a portion of the weight I had gained, but not all of it. Also, everyone had seen me when I was bald and my nurse practitioner didn’t want me to put weave in my hair because she didn’t think it was strong enough to hold the weight and stress of it so I was still kind of frumpy with really short curly hair even after I was finished with my treatment. I was 16 and I hadn’t had a boyfriend, but all my friends did, and I felt like I was never going to have a boyfriend. I thought, this is it . I am going to be single for the rest of my life because no guy would ever find me attractive. Boy was I so wrong. My senior year I had a HUGE crush on this guy in one of my classes and I told him I liked him and I got rejected. I was heart broken, I must admit, but that gave me the confidence I needed to put myself out there. It was really awkward seeing him for the last couple months of school though. Thankfully I mustered up the courage at the end of the semester or our last school year together. This is a picture of me for my high school prom, and yes I did wear a suit and flats. It is also the first time I had weave since I was diagnosed back in 2004 (prom was 2008), and the first time I showed my arms because I was self-conscious about the stretch marks from when I gained weight and the scars on my arms from ringworm (long story, I had it really bad while doing chemo and it took a long time to treat).

By the time our prom came around I was adamant about wearing weave to prom. My braids was my signature throughout my whole life (I still rock them from time to time) and I figured I waited long enough. Once I had my braids back, I little more like my old self and I felt so beautiful that night. After that, I got some of my confidence back and I began dating. I also started getting some attention from guys in general, but I think it’s because of the confidence I portrayed because I thought I was beautiful. People respond positively to confidence (not arrogance). If you don’t have any confidence yet, there’s a saying in business, “fake it till you make it.” One day that fake confidence will turn into real confidence. So the takeaway from this is that you WILL date. People WILL think you are beautiful if you think you are beautiful. Just relax and wait for it because it will probably catch you off-guard and one day all of those days of wondering if you will ever date will become a distant memory.


Fashion We are now in swimsuit season so we have found some really cute suits. We have suits for different body types but the most important thing in buying the perfect swimsuit is that you feel confident in it. There are so many cute styles that we are sure you will find the best one to rock this year. Here are a few ideas to get you started. These are all available on the Target website at unbelievable prices! Balling on a budget :)

Xhilaration Peplum 2-piece Top: $24.99 Bottom: $14.99

Xhilaration Monokini $29.99

Top: $26.99 Bottom: $22.99

Xhilaration Midkini Top: $17.99 Bottom: $14.99


Hair Care

Natural & Mostly natural products that are good for your hair!

Taking care of your hair is really important regardless of if you have cancer, had cancer, or never had it at all. With so many people now trying to live a healthier lifestyle, people are also paying more attention to the skin and hair products they use as well. I recently started to ty to take care of my hair and there are some awesome products that are affordable and good for your hair.

Coconut oil is amazing! It’s great for your hair, skin, and for cooking! Coconut oil moisturizes dry hair, promotes scalp health, and adds luster, shine, and softness to the hair. It can also be used like lotion after taking a shower to return moisture to your skin. Just Google “ways to use coconut oil� and there are over a hundred uses for it. It is simply amazing.

The Yes To product line has products using natural ingredients like carrots, cucumbers, grapefruits, the list goes on and on. The Yes To Carrots line is for hair and the carrots and other ingredients are very good at moisturizing hair. The Yes To Carrots is soothing so it is good for people with sensitive scalps which I definitely had during chemotherapy even after my hair started growing back. These are just a couple of products to get you thinking about using products with mainly natural ingredients .

Have fun experimenting!


Tips & Tricks We’re giving you guys some tips on how to feel better about yourself!

We all have moments, whether they are days or months that we start to question ourselves. Spring and Summer are especially hard because we see all of these fit people we may be a tad jealous of. So here are a few tips on how to feel great about yourself and how to channel your own inner awesomeness.

Get moving and try a new exercise that you like doing like Zumba or jogging. -This will make you feel better because exercising makes you feel good and you‟ll feel like you‟ve accomplished something positive for yourself.

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Write positive affirmations (I am beautiful; I am enough). - Some people swear by affirmations. Telling yourself something positive in the morning before you get your day started can help you feel good all day long!

Fake it „til you make it -Learning to appreciate and love yourself is going to take some time. However, you can pretend you do, until you get there, then eventually those “pretend” feelings of epicness will turn into true feelings. (People have been following this tip for years so it must hold some weight to it).

3.


Recipe Baked Sweet Potato Fries Sweet potato fries are really easy to make and they are a delicious quick snack, or side dish. They are so much healthier than fried French fries, and they’re so easy and quick to make! Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, sea salt, pepper Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

1. The first step is to preheat your oven to 450 degrees. 2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut the ends off. Cut the potatoes however you like your homemade fries. I prefer to cut them horizontally like chips, but some people prefer to cut them vertically like fries you’d get at a fast food restaurant. 3. Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and other spices if you prefer, and make sure the potatoes are coated with the oil and the salt and pepper. 4. Place the chips on a pan covered in parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 5.

Enjoy your delicious fries!

(This was my first attempt at making them and the only thing I wish I did differently is I should’ve baked them a little longer so they were crispier, but they were still delicious.)


Celeb Cancer Survivor

The Magnificent Kathy Bates Cancer does not discriminate nor play favorites when it comes to choosing it’s victims so we thought we should shed light on some of the celebrities who have also had cancer and are now sharing their stories to help those going through something similar. When it comes down to it, celebrities are just people like us. Here is a piece of Kathy Bates’ story.

www.filmbug.com

I know some of you younger readers may not know who Kathy Bates is but I assure you she is a great actress! She has been acting on the small and big screen since the 1970’s. She most recently starred in the third season of American Horror Story: The Coven (I usually don’t watch scary movies or television shows but my mom and I accidentally watched the first episode and were instantly hooked). Back on topic, Kathy Bates is a cancer survivor. In 2003 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and beat that, then in 2012 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to have a double mastectomy to beat cancer yet again. We think she is such an inspiration because she never complained (to the public at least) and she spoke about her cancers when she could have easily remained quiet about the matter. Having cancer is something that many people go through but people don't really like to talk about it. We applaud her for sharing her story and her struggles with the world and by proxy spreading awareness of the disease. She has been acting for many years and we hope she has many more ahead of her, even if she is 65. So Google her, or watch one of her movies and support your fellow cancer survivor.


Spring Giveaway!!! That’s right! You could win your own copy of The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green! For a chance to win, email us at info@aloudmagazine.org. For the subject line simply put “TFIOS Giveaway.” It’s that simple! Enter now for a chance to win. This giveaway will close on 8/31/14.


Ashley’s Story

Ashley didn’t let being a young mom stop her from pursuing her dreams. She used that to drive her dreams of becoming a nurse. To show her daughter that anything is possible as long as you don’t give up.


Ashley’s story is pretty similar to a lot of women today. She was a model student all through school and she was a powerhouse on the power lifting team in high school, often being named the MVP. She excelled at everything she did and everyone knew she was going to do great things with her life. She graduated high school in 2008 and attended Sam Houston State University in the fall of that year with big plans of becoming a nurse. Her first semester was going pretty well for her and she was making good grades, which didn’t surprise anyone. Just because she was kind of a nerd didn’t mean she didn’t enjoy herself from time to time. She was like any other college student and partied on the weekend with her friends. One weekend she met a cute guy and one thing led to another and she ended up pregnant in her first semester. Her pregnancy was really tough on her physically and she quickly became too sick to continue going to school so it was clear what she had to do. Withdraw. Ashley always said she was going to go back to school, but there always seemed to be some obstacle in her way. Where was she going to get the money to pay for it, who was going to watch her baby once she had her, how was she going to get to school with no car? The list can go on and on. Let’s face it, a lot of young mothers don’t go back to school. They get a job and give up on their dream, at least temporarily, to focus on providing for their children. Ashley’s child’s father isn’t involved in his child’s life, but Ashley has an amazing family that has supported her and her daughter, who is now four years old. Her parents kept encouraging her to not let go of her dream of going back to school and this January Ashley was back in school. She displays a lot of hard work and determination in her pursuit of a nursing degree because she knows she will be able to provide for her daughter financially and also be a good role model for her as well. During the years she wasn’t in school Ashley worked odd jobs here and there and spent a lot of time working with her daughter, and she is advanced for her age. She is an amazing mother. She has displayed great character, passion, and determination to go against great odds of going back to school when people would have understood if she would have gave up. So just like Ashley didn’t give up, you shouldn’t either. Nothing in life worth having comes easy. It takes hard work to become who you want to be. Think of obstacles more like road blocks because there’s always a way to get around them, and Ashley’s way was her family. Her daughter was definitely unplanned, but she wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Disclaimer: Ashley is my very best friend in the whole world and she also writes for this publication, so I am partial to her awesomeness. We have been friends for years and she is very supportive not only to me, but to everyone she knows. She is always encouraging people to do their best and now I get to encourage her. We are rooting for you Ashley!


We Asked, She Answered When you were a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you “grew up?” As a young girl living in a hostile environment, I always knew I wanted to do something great with my life. I saw the life my biological father was leading and decided it was not for me. I have always felt the need to help people. It's just in my spirit. It's who I am. I had always been fascinated by medicine growing up, ever since seeing those 911 tv shows about the emergency room. It engulfed me! I have been told time and time again that I should be a teacher or a lawyer because I am great with kids and can talk my way out of anything, intellectually. After my random "i want to be an astronaut" phase at 14, I contemplated going into the military as a surgeon but fluffy girls just aren't cut out for that. My best friend got cancer when I was 14 and, shortly after, I met the most amazing little boy. His name was Ty and he had Cerebral Palsy. He could not communicate verbally so well, but the love from within could lighten even the darkest corners. I fell in love! His family was very protective of him, as they should be, so when they asked me if I would watch him a few hours each day of the summer... I was SHOCKED! That was the best summer I have ever had, all thanks to one little boy. That solidified my dreams of being a pediatric cancer doctor. Now that I am a single mother and medical school is unrealistic for me (because I want to be an involved mother), I have decided to become a nurse with specialties in pediatric oncology, labor and delivery, and neonatal nursing. All throughout my life, no matter what has happened or how many times I changed my mind, my heart has always been set on helping people. When things got rough, did you ever think you wouldn’t achieve your dreams? After having my daughter, reality set in. I was living at home with my parents with no financial support from the "sperm donor" and collections agencies were blowing up my phone trying to get an unemployed single mother to pay back her tuition. It was hell for me. I wanted to do so much, but felt like I was in a bottomless pit with no way out. I always had the support of my best friend, saying I could do anything, but I was so down on myself for having to quit school that I didn't see the possibilities before me. It took a very wise, unmovable, pain in the neck, amazing guy to tell me to go back or at least try. He basically put love on the line. If I wanted to be with him, which I did and do, then I had to man up and take control of my life. I walked into the school a few days later and refused to take no for an answer. There were several people ready to say no in an instant and they almost did, but I let me colors shine and fought to get back in school. I have to completely start over, but after testing out of most every class required, I was on cloud nine. I was smarter then than I was before. Amazing! A week later, I was sitting in my first class, Anatomy & Physiology, listening to my incredibly intelligent professor who I have come to admire. You see, my dreams seemed impossible to achieve, only because I allowed them to be. Once I took control and said 'hey i'm doing this', things started happening. Your dream is never impossible unless you make it impossible. What advice would you give to other people who may be facing challenges? My advice to others would be to stay true to yourself. We all have problems and obstacles in our way. We will all be tested in some way in our lifetime. While some people experience cancers, others, like myself, suffer from a lifetime of feeling inadequate. Don't let it get you do. I have always said THE BURDENS WE ENDURE ARE THOSE WE PLACE UPON OURSELVES. It's my motto. What it means is that if we allow it to be a problem, it will be. We have the power to choose our own destinies. We can sit back and watch our life pass by or we can grit our teeth and take it head on. Who we were before, doesn't have to be who we are tomorrow or years from now. We have the power to change time and time again. You must always stay true to yourself and hold your head up high. If you have a dream, go for it. Don't let anyone or anything stand in the way. You have the power to do anything, you just have to have the drive, heart, and courage to do so. Don't ever feel like you have to change for someone or let them talk you out of what you want to do. Don't be the victim, be the victor!


Calling all Cover Girls!

Would you like to be our next cover girl? Email us a 250 word paragraph telling us why you think you would be an awesome cover girl. The Fall Issue could have your face on the cover! Email: Courtney@aloudmag.com


Raising Money

We know that going through cancer can be a tremendous drain on finances and a lot of people do fundraisers to help offset the costs. Here are a couple ways people are using crowdfunding to help pay for their expenses.

GiveForward wwws.giveforward.com Give Forward is a fundraising platform that allows users to create fundraising pages. What is unique about this is that each fundraiser is assigned a personal coach (which is covered by the fees the site charges) but you are able to ask that person questions that are invaluable when you are first getting started with fundraising online.

GoFundMe www.gofundme.com Go Fund Me is a fundraising/crowdfunding website that pretty much anyone can use to raise money for personal expenses like medical expenses, weddings, but other things as well. They have been featured in a lot of reputable sources like Forbes and CNN so it is likely that your potential donors have heard of the website.

As with most great things on the web, fundraising online comes with a price. GiveForward collects 7.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Of that, 2.9% plus the $0.30 per transaction goes towards their online payment provider and the other 5% goes to GiveForward for their fees, like the personal coaching, but the donor can eat that cost for you by donating additional money to cover it. GoFundMe charges a 5% fee from each donation you receive plus a 3% processing fee that will also be deducted from each payment, which makes their total 8%. I know, all of these numbers and percentages can be really confusing so asking a parent for their help in choosing the best website for you to pick will help ease the pain. These are just a couple sites that have helped people and maybe they can help you too.


Gossip

Celebrity Gossip! -Ashley

Holden

Lady Gaga pulls a vomiting stunt at SXSW and is now being accused of glorifying bulimia nervosa. Fellow artist, Demi Lovato, publically bashed Lady Gaga saying that “glamorizing eating disorders” is not “cool or artsy at all”. While Gaga laughs about the artful mess, Lovato insists that “addiction is addiction” and it should not made light of by means of fame.

Joshua Blanchard/Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jamie Lynn Spears Ties the Knot! Britney’s little sister married her boyfriend of 4 years, Jamie Watson. Jamie & Jamie Lynn made it official at a Louisiana park. From Zoey 101 to teen mom, Jamie Lynn has crawled from the lime light and into the married life.

Instagram.com

After nearly dying from starvation and successfully completing rehab to overcome her past struggle with anorexia, Kesha slops off her “$” to become Kesha Rose. Getting rid of the $ sign in her name is her way of putting herself first and embracing and loving who she really is. Way to go Kesha! Fistintheair.com

Teen Mom 2 Season 5 is it! MTV has publicly announced that there will not be a sixth season of the show, saying that they want to “end the show with high ratings” and bring the cultural landmark to an end. What will be next? Who knows, but, for now, it’s byebye Janelle, Kailyn, Chelsea, and Leah.

MTV


What’s Hot?

Shows & Movies to look for in 2014 -Ashley Holden Kim of Queens - Former beauty queen turns even the most impossibly unique girls into pageant winners. Kim is considered the best in the business and loves a challenge. By putting an emphasis on what makes each contestant unique, she uses it to put them on top. (tv series) Lifetime

Resurrection - Arcadia, Missouri begins to change as the impossible becomes possible. The town’s deceased are not dead at all; instead they are coming home. The show is based on Jason Mott’s novel, The Returned. *** Landon Gimenez plays Jacob Langston on the show. Off set, Landon is from Houston area (Missouri City, TX) and spent the first 3 years of his life fighting a very rare genetic disease in Texas Children’s Hospital. (tv series) ABC

The Fault In Our Stars (June 6) - Movie based on John Greene’s novel about two teens, Gus and Hazel, who meet at a cancer support group. While Hazel enjoys the company of her trusty oxygen tank and Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, their wit can’t cover up how seriously in love they are with one another. This movie does not shy away from showing the realities of cancer - its ups, downs, triumphs & death. 20th Century Fox

Heaven Is For Real (Easter) - Movie about a 4 year old son to small town pastor who claims to have experienced heaven in an emergency surgery he miraculously survived. Colton goes on to tell stories about the deceased, Heaven, and God within amazingly impossible to believe details that stirs community. Although his revelations bring light to the good, he also warns that there is a battle on the rise. (based on a true story) TriStar Pictures


Review The Fault In Our Stars: By John Green Book Review The Fault in Our Stars is a young adult book written by John Green, and was published in January of 2012. It quickly because a #1 New York Times bestseller, and received amazing reviews. With that said, I am usually quite skeptical about books that win awards because popular books and movies and such aren’t always as great as people claim they are. With that being said, I am SO GLAD I bought this book! Before I bought this book, as I do with just about every purchase, I did a lot of research on it. What first caught my attention is that the two main characters, Hazel and Augustus, are teenagers who had or have cancer (Hazel is going through treatment and Augustus is in remission). In my opinion, a lot of books and movies about cancer make it seem like the cancer patient is always this strong resilient person who is positive ALL THE TIME about how great everything is. While I know that some cancer patients may be like this, I know I wasn’t. So I was skeptical about a book about two cancer patients because I thought it would be another Hollywood portrayal. Anyways, back on topic, so I looked up this John Green guy and come to find out, he is a young adult author who has written other books that had pretty good reviews as well. Good sign. But what did this guy really know about cancer that he figured gave him the right to write a book portraying the various emotions a teen with cancer goes through? According to an interview by Jade Chang for Goodreads, John got his inspiration for Hazel, the main protagonist in the story, from Esther Earl, a teen who had thyroid cancer and made YouTube videos and blogs and inspired countless people before she died at the age of 16 due to thyroid cancer. She inspired him to write a book about a topic that generally is not written about, especially about teens with cancer. It took him 10 years to create a book that truly captures the spirit of what it’s really like to go through something like that at such a young age. Here’s a brief description of the book because I don’t want to give any spoilers or take away from what you find out for yourself by reading it. Hazel is the main character of the book and she is telling us her story of how her relationship with this boy named Augustus started and developed. They share many ups and downs together, as is to be expected with teenagers. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, and it was all so familiar to what I went through when I was in Hazel’s shoes. In the words of Hazel when telling us about her favorite book (it doesn’t exist in real life) An Imperial Affliction, “But it’s not a cancer book, because cancer books suck.” It made me feel like I was 14 again sitting in the emergency room and hearing the doctor tell me that I have cancer. It reminded me of the ups and downs and I would just laugh because some of the jokes Hazel tells in the book are ones that only cancer patients could relate to. I love this book. You should look it up on the internet and see if it’s something you’d be interested in. You won’t regret it :)

20th Century Fox

I almost forgot to mention they made a movie based on the book! Some of the extras are even actual teen cancer patients and survivors. I am really excited to see the movie that comes out on June 6th, and I hope it doesn’t end up like so many other movie adaptations of books that don’t end up having the integrity of the book. However, John Green was very involved with the creation of the movie so I am hopeful that the movie will have the same spirit as the book! Can’t wait!


Lydia: The K-9 Cancer Fighting Warrior

Lydia is a 13 year old dog who has been fighting cancer for over 5 years. We tracked down her Mom, Therese, and asked her some questions about her inspiring pup!


What was it like for you when Lydia was first diagnosed? When Lydia was first diagnosed she wasn't acting sick at all. She was dragging her bottom a bit though, so when I took her to the vet for a checkup I mentioned that. The vet did an exam and found a lump that he said should come out. The recovery was pretty tough on her. Fortunately, since I work at home, I was able to spend day and night with her. It was rough though and just 3 days after the surgery I had to take her to the emergency clinic because she was in so much pain. After getting some stronger meds in her she did much better, and after a day or so she was doing much, much better. And about 2 weeks after surgery she was running around the back yard pretty much like nothing happened. Those first few days though....boy, they were rough! I didn't get much sleep at all!

Has Lydia changed much from the way she acted before she was diagnosed? Lydia has always been a very sweet dog, very loveable. But she's always had a bit of a sassy streak too! LOL Since surgery she and I have become closer and she's become a bit spoiled. But, she is still just as happy as she ever was. Every veterinarian and vet tech is amazed at how happy she is and how easy she is to work with. She hasn't ever snapped at anybody and they tell me she constantly wags her tail. So she's really done well through all of this! Her first surgery was July 1, 2008. At that time, the vet told me I should be happy if she was with me for another 6 months. She has exceeded their expectations time and time again. She's had 2 other surgeries after the first one, has been through chemo a few times, had radiation. Right now, Lydia has an inoperable tumor that we're watching. For the most part, it's stable, but it seems to go up and down now and then.

What activities does Lydia enjoy now that she is battling cancer? Lydia's favorite activities are going for walks, licking peanut butter out of her KONG, and lying outside soaking up the sun. We are buried in snow here in Indiana though and it's way too cold for her to lay outside. She gets a little irritated with me because I won't let her stay outside for very long! If you met Lydia you wouldn't know she was sick. I call her my little Cancer Warrior because she is so strong and just keeps fighting!

After interviewing Therese, we couldn’t believe the similarities between Lydia’s journey and those of other cancer survivors and patients, myself included! It just goes to show that whether you have 2 legs or 4, cancer sucks but the right attitude sure makes a world of difference. We wish Lydia the best of luck in her battle as well as all other four-legged companions who are partners in the fight against cancer.

Check out her page on Facebook so you can follow her in her journey: facebook.com/lydia.canine.cancer.survivor


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1.In this show Scott McCall has a best friend named Stiles in this MTV original series 2.This show comes on ABC Family and is based on a popular young adult book series about four friends with a secret 3. A show about a town called Storybrooke 4.Bob Saget is the voice of Ted Mosby in the future in this comedy about a man telling a story to his kids 5. Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are best friends in this prime time comedy 6.Maci, Farrah, Catelynn, and Amber were all stars on this MTV hit 7. Stewie Griffin is a beloved character in this animated series 8.Olivia Pope is the fixer in this drama 9. Meredith Grey is a doctor in this medical drama 10.This drama is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series and airs on HBO 11. This nanny in NYC lives with the kids and a butler named Bertram


Quiz What swimsuit are you? 1. What do you do on a Friday night?

2. How would your friends describe you?

A. Sit at home a read a book

A. Mainly quiet and reserved and even a little shy

B. Hang out with some friends and see a movie

B. Really open to expressing yourself around your friends

C. Go to an epic party

C. Very loud and always seem to be having a good time

3. What do you usually wear?

4. What do your nails look like?

A black shirt and some jeans. Basic.

A. Unpolished

A cute top, jeans, and a couple accessories

B. Polished with a cute color

Bright colors because you like to be noticed

C. Polished with a pattern and probably with glitter

5. You have a school project to complete with a partner. You:

6. What’s your idea of a perfect date?

A. Just do it yourself. You like to work alone.

A. Relaxing at home watching a movie or something

B. You work together with your partner to get it done

B. Going to dinner and a movie. Nothing fancy C. Being dined at one of the best restaurants in town

C. You use your charm to get your partner to do all of the work

Mostly A’s:

Mostly B’s:

You’re really laid back and enjoy time having time to yourself. A little black swimsuit totally represents you. You may seem a little bland but if you look closely you see the beautiful details.

You’re fun and you know when to just go with the flow of things. This colorful swimsuit is like you because you’re fun and still a bit reserved. Your friends see both sides of you.

Mostly C’s: You bring good times wherever you go. You are both fun and flirty just like this two piece! You have a very playful personality just like this suit. What’s dull about polka dots?


Parent’s corner

How to help your child realize they are awesome

Think you can’t help? Think again.

As a parent, I know sometimes you feel helpless when it comes to telling your child that they are amazing, at a time in their life when they are riddled with self doubts about themselves. Well in this issue we are going to give you some tips on how to help your child realize they are great!

1. Talk with your child about what’s going on in their life. I know what you’re thinking, “what teen wants to talk to their parents?” To that I’d say, you’d be surprised. A lot of teens feel like their parents don’t understand what they’re going through, so what better way for you to understand than to listen to their problems. It may be tempting to dismiss them as a lit of teen problems are about what’s going on in school this week, but to them these are real issues, so please treat their issues with the same respect you would treat anyone else’s. 2. Every now and then, compliment them on something they really excel at. If they are really good at video games or a sport or writing let them know you notice. Sometimes teens feel like no one notices all of the good stuff they do, and they only notice what they do wrong. The compliment has to be genuine because kids are really good at picking up on white lies, and they can’t be too often or it will seem like you’re trying too hard. 3. Pride time at dinner 9we got this tip from www.metroparentmagazine.com in the article Helping children feel good about themselves by Jenni O’Brien0. Each family member mentions at least one thing about the other family members that he is proud of that they accomplished. We LOVE this because it encourages everyone to be more positive with each other which will lead to them being more positive people in general. It takes a village to raise a child, so it only makes sense that everyone participating will lead to a more positive mindset.

There are just a few tips to get your creative juices flowing because in the end you know your child best so you know what techniques would work for you. We hope these few tips will help you realize that there are things you can do to help your teen through these tough years of their lives.


Quotes we

If you’re going to be weird, be confident about it. -Unknown People that know they are important think about others. People that think they are important think about themselves. -Han F. Hansen When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me. -Steve Maraboli Yes I walked away mid-conversation. You were boring me to death and my survival instincts kicked in. -Unknown Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles. -Unknown Make good on the promises to yourself. -Unknown


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Photo Credits: www.filmbug.com, www.eonline.com, www.theetherdesign.com, www.lifetime.com, www.deadline.com, www.abc.go.com, www.collider.com, www.fistintheair.com, www.examiner.com, www.usmagazine.com


“People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ If came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl… It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you.. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.” -Gabourey Sidibe


Aloud 2014 spring issue