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A Cancer Survivor Story: (11 years cancer free)


ow let me tell you my stories. I have always been a fighter and I never say “I give up”. I was told by my mother that at birth I weighed 3 lb. 4 oz and when you look at me you may say “No you couldn’t have been a preemie”. In 2000, I was in my late 50’s and I wanted to have fun. At least that was what I thought. I had a home I worked so hard for, I was working at the School Systems for several years and I was planning to retire. My son was 21 years old and he working on getting his life together and raising his son. It was time again for me to get a mammogram and this is when things started changing in my life. You see I forgot to get a mammogram in 1999 and I knew because of my history with calcification in my breast, it was important that I didn’t miss appointments. And I missed this appointment because I thought my job was important and that I was a value employee. But I found out that you are only valuable if you are in good health.

After I got my mammogram screening done I waited for the hospital to call me with my results. A week later I received a call from the hospital telling me that I needed to come back in for another test because they had noticed a spot on my right breast and I needed to get the Fine needle aspiration biopsy procedure done. In this type of breast biopsy, a needle is used to aspirate (draw out) fluid or tissue from a breast lump or mass. Needle aspiration leaves no scarring, is less invasive and quick. It usually does not require stitches or a recovery period. The patient can resume regular activities immediately.(information taken from So without any hesitation I went in for the procedure. I wasn’t worried, but I was worried, you know, because cancer was the furthest thing on my mind. No one in my family ever had cancer. So after getting the procedure done I was told to go home, don’t move around a lot to avoid clots and I could return to work the next day. About a week passed and I got a call at work from the hospital confirming that I had cancer in my right breast. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I said “Are you sure”, this is Nell McGhee” and the nurse assistant replied “Yes, Nell McGhee you have cancer in your right breast.

Can you image they called me at work and told me over the phone. I could believe it; I thought this was so insensitive. I thought to myself they could have at least called me in to the doctor’s office and told me. The doctor’s office was still speaking to me, I was in shock and I heard them telling me that they would call me back with appointments and the surgery date. Now I am really confused. Getting ready to leave work and I needed to get myself together. I started to think to myself that this was a dream and when I left the job that day to go home the dream became real. While I drove home from work I thought about life. It’s not promised to us it’s a gift from God. So that following day I told my sister. She was the only one that knew I had cancer.

As I waited for the hospital and the doctor’s office to call me back I went to work as usually. Hoping no one notice I had cancer. See I thought people could see my cancer. One week went by, two weeks, three weeks then on the fourth week I got a call. The surgery was scheduled for the second week in May. I was told that I needed to come into the hospital and speak with surgeon Dr. Meadow. I met with him and he explained to me what he was going to do. He also explained that because my breast were small removing the cancer would leave me disfigured and he suggested that I go see a plastic surgeon who did reconstruction surgery whose name was Dr. Rosenbaum. The next couple of days I met with the plastic surgeon and he explained the surgery to me. He told me that I was a good candidate for this surgery because of my breast size and also he gave me material to read about the TRAM flap procedure (see picture to your right). After leaving his office I became overwhelmed. There was just so many things going on, so much I had to get done before the surgery, I didn’t understand, I didn’t have anyone to talk too about this and it finally dawn on me that I was going to have surgery. Next I went to see the oncologist Dr. Kendall. She was pregnant with her first baby. She was not that friendly, but she was concerned and I liked that. I told her that I wanted both of my breast removed because I did not want to be bothered with getting mammograms anymore but she explained that they would not remove the other breast because there was nothing wrong with it

But I reminded her that, my left breast also has calcification. But this didn’t make any difference. Again she told me that the left breast would not be removed. She then told me that I would be getting chemo, I would lose my hair and to purchase a wig. Also she told me that the cancer was detected in its early stage and this was good. And finally she suggested that I go to one of those cancer support groups and I denied. I thought, not me, why do I want to sit around with a bunch of bald head women who would be crying. I can handle this. But now as I think back I tell everyone I speak that it is a good. Join every Support Group you can. After all my doctors visits I go in my boss’s office and tell him that I would be out of work for at least 3 months because I needed surgery and he was somewhat stunned and wished me the best.


My surgery was scheduled for 12 noon, which I did not like, because most of my pass surgeries I got done early in the morning about 6:30 am., but not this time. I arrived at the hospital at 11am with my sister who had just had open heart surgery in 1999 at the same hospital. My sister and I sat in the lobby for 30 minutes and then they called me in to start prepping me for my surgery at 12noon. I was placed in a waiting room with other people who were also lined up for surgery. On my left there was a woman crying constantly saying “I don’t want this surgery again”. She cried and she cried until they gave her something to quite her down. And in the front of me the nurse forgot to close the curtain and I saw my sister’s heart doctor go to the patient and then I saw her body bounce up then down.

Which lead me to believe that he had cracked her chest for heart surgery? When I saw this I was ready to get out of that bed and leave. In view of that one of the nurses in the waiting room kind of noticed that I saw what happened in front of me and with that an intern came to me and told me that she was going to set up my IV. As she was trying to place an IV in my veins I noticed that she did not know what she was doing and when she attempt to put the needle in the vein in my hand it started swelling up. With that she walked out, I guess to get another doctor for help. Then an older doctor came in with her and he set up the IV. Next the plastic surgeon came in with an assistant and began drawing lines on my body for the reconstruction surgery. Between the hours of 1 pm or 2 pm I was taken to surgery. By now I was feeling good from the medicine they gave me and when I wake up again I was in the recovery waiting room.

My sister had stayed at that hospital from the time we arrived until 3 or 4 a.m. the next day. I think they forgot she was in the lobby waiting. I don’t remember what time they let my sister in the recovery room, but she told me she did not leave until she saw me. I was told I was in surgery for about 10 or 11 hours. While in the recovery waiting room I got scared because I saw blood on the blanket that was on me. My blood and I thought to myself they could have at less cleaned me up just in case someone else wanted to visit me. Then I looked to my left and there was a man in the room with me crying because he was in pain. I could not believe it. I had just had my breast removed, part of my stomach had been used for reconstruction and this man is crying like a baby because he was in pain.

After about an hour of this crying I told the nurse to give him my morphine I didn’t need it if it would shout him up. The nurse then asked me if I wanted anything and I said “I needed a cup of coffee” and with that I had coffee. Later that morning I was placed in a room with a noisy patient. She complained about everything all day long. Now its night and the nurse came in to see how I was doing and I replied “fine if I was in this room by myself ” and she laughed. The following day was hell because this boot camp nurse came into my room loud and noisy. She told me that she had to bathe me and that I was going to have to get out of bed and work down the hall. I looked at her and I looked down that hall then she said “Doctor’s orders”. Now I had to walk and it was the longest walk ever. When I got back to my room I got in the bed and passed out.

I stayed in the hospital for about 4 days. Every time my doctors would come by to see me I was sitting on the edge of my bed fully dressed ready to go home, but they said I needed to stay one more day and finally that day came. I got up, dressed and was waiting for my sister to pick me up to go home. Before I felt the hospital I had to complete all the paperwork and write a check to the hospital. Now when I tried to write the check I noticed that I could not move my right arm, but I struggled anyway and wrote the check to the hospital. When I got to the check out section of the hospital I received a lot of appointments that were scheduled for me that following week alone with material I needed to read on how to take care of myself until all the tubes had been removed from my body. I also received an appointment to see a physical therapy that would help with the movement of my right arm because of the removal of lymph nodes.

“I am a cancer survivor and I thank God for his grace.�


got to let you know that because of the insurance I had with my job I was released from the hospital with tubes in my body. I guess at that time the insurance company would only provide coverage for a 4 day stay. Now my sister has arrived at the hospital and drives me home. I was feeling weak when I left the hospital but I knew when I got home I would feel better. The following week after leaving the hospital I get a visit from a nurse who shows me how to remove all fluid in the tube in my body. By removing the fluid she said this was to prevent lymphedema and she told me to do this every day until I see the doctor. DOCTOR’S VISIT’S Now it’s time for me to go to visit the plastic surgeon. It’s time for me to see the surgeon and I had to see the Oncologist. I go to the plastic surgeon not knowing what was about to happen. I get in his office and right away they call me in. The doctor begins to explain to me. He tells me that he needed to remove the tubes. Now I am so weak from lose of blood and I didn’t understand or care all I knew was that I was miserable and I wanted to feel like I use too. Then he told me to take a deep breath and with that he pulled these tube from under my breast, I saw stars but I felt better. I could stand up just a little. After everything was over I left the doctor’s office and waited in the lobby for my ride. At my next doctor’s visit the oncologist is telling me about the chemotherapy I would be taking and the types of medicines I was to receive. Then she told me how long I would be getting the chemo treatment which began in June.

CHEMO Now it’s been about a month and it’s time for me to get chemo. I get my first treatment and I was feeling fine. No hair loss and I said The boss I had work with for that doctor doesn’t know, I might more than 30 years acted as if keep by hair. he didn’t care if I came back or stayed at home. But there I go back to the oncologist for my were people I worked with check up after the first treatment who I never really spoke with and mention to her that my hair that much, they came up to had not come out and she said to my desk and spoke words of me “It will”. She was right! All encouragement to me and my hair had come out and off wig this really touched me. shopping I go. After looking in many stores I find this one wig to As I sit at my desk the wig wear when I returned to work. I was wearing really bother

me. So I’d take it off in the office. And put it back on when I went to meeting or to other offices. I hated this wig. I would have gone bald but after my treatments my head had a large black spot and I thought this would Now I told you earlier that I draw more attention to my thought I was a valuable employee, illness, which I didn’t won’t but my first day back to work I people to remind me of. Also found out how valuable I was. I my toe nails and finger nails was getting my treatments every turned black from the treatthree weeks on Thursday’s at 4pm. ment. Again it’s June and I needed to get ready to return to work. The doctor told me everything looked good and I could go back to work. I was so happy. I needed to get out of the house and around people.

In the beginning of my chemo I would drive from my job to the hospital then from the hospital to my house and pass out when I got home. And how I got home I don’t know, but this soon stopped. I had driven myself to the hospital, and I found it very difficult to drive back home after my 4th treatment. I was so sick I cried all the way home, but I said to myself the next time I was going to get someone to take me for my treatments. Now life is no longer the same. I receive my last treatment in November and my hair started to come back, but again my life has change. When you are dealing with a serious illness you will find that it is so important to have a great support group or family members to help you and to speak with when things aren’t going well for you. You must keep in mind that you have your life and it’s your life to live, not someone else’s. Be who you want to be and do the things you want to do regardless of how strange or how different they seem to others. You have been through too much to let anything or anyone control you. Make the best of each day of your life. I am Nell McGhee a twelve year Cancer survivor and I live my life to the fullest!

Que Viva La Musica Written by Marta Rivera (Long Live Music)


he Island of Puerto Rico is small but in talent it is like a giant! “Que Viva La Musica” was a musical presented on the Island in September. My friend Luly Haddock Mangual invited me to cover the event and I accepted immediately, it was held at the Georgetti Theater in San Juan, I got to go backstage and meet these talented actors, so sweet and humble. The producers name is Carlos Quiñonez a very talented man. The show was about a gay couple one younger than the other and how music affected their lives, they started imitating artist from the 60’s and ended it in present time with Lady Gaga. It was magical. I cried and laughed remembering my kind of music, the interpretations were brilliant.

The clothes and the makeup were fabulous. That night Broadway came to Puerto Rico, it was that great After the show the actors went and talked to the public and took pictures, that was such a nice gesture. We need these kind of shows in Puerto Rico because with everything that is going on these events make you forget about your worries for a little while! Congratulations to Wings Productions and their actors, it was a hit!

Melissa McCarthy Wins Emmy's

Emmy winner ... and pageant queen! When the Mike & Molly star, 41, accepted her first-ever Emmy for her outstanding lead actress on the CBS sitcom at Sunday’s ceremony, presenters Sofia Vergara and Rob Lowe crowned the comedienne with a diamond tiara and gave her a bouquet of roses to go with her new hardware. “I’m sorry. I’m a crier,” she said as she accepted her award on the stage she shared with fellow nominees Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Amy Poehler, Martha Plimpton and new mom Tina Fey. The ladies all stood in (funny) solidarity, clutching hands as the winner was announced live at L.A.’s Nokia Theatre, a stunt cooked up between Plimpton and Poehler over dinner recently, the Parks and Recreation star’s rep tells PEOPLE.

“I’m from Plainfield, Ill., and I’m standing here, and it’s kind of amazing,” McCarthy said on stage, fighting back tears. McCarthy, who also earned overwhelming praise for her role in summer comedy Bridesmaids, also paid homage to her TV show in her emotional acceptance speech. “I go to work,” she said. “[And] I show up early like a dork because I kind of can’t wait to see people.” As for having her fellow nominees beside her during her big moment, McCarthy told reporters backstage, “I heard [the plan] first through Martha [Plimpton] but she said, ‘Amy [Poehler] has an idea.’ Before I heard it I said, ‘I am in.’ “ Continued McCarthy: “If Amy Poehler thinks something is funny, I will do it.

The Roommate Film Review by Castelar García

First of all, this film is

like a teenage version of a movie which I watched many years ago called Single White Female. In this movie Minka Kelly portrays Sara Matthews who is a college freshman that is getting used to being an independent person. Sara is a driven and determined young girl who wants to be a fashion designer and who has lost someone who was very close to her. Later on, Sara meets her roommate Rebecca Evans who is portrayed by Leighton Meester. Leighton brings a convincing performance as the creepy and sadistic roommate who becomes obsessed with Sara. Rebecca is a lethal guardian who harms anyone who hurts her roommate and she also harms those people who spend too much time with Sara as she wants to have her all to herself.

I wanted to know more about Rebecca’s past. In the movie Rebecca gets to return to her hometown along with Sara when they visit her parents and this made me think that more of her dark secrets would be uncovered. However, the film doesn’t give her the type of character development that this villainous character truly deserved. Furthermore, the movie is very predictable as this film doesn’t show anything original and the acting from the rest of the young cast did not grab my attention. Honestly, it would be better if you would watch Single White Female instead of this flick.

Ip Man 2 Film Review by Castelar GarcĂ­a

The first Ip Man film introduced a martial arts legend

whose courage, honor and determination cemented his legacy. The beginning of this film shows the aftermath of the events of the previous film as Wing Chun master Ip Man and his family have moved to Hong Kong after their escape from Foshan. In this sequel Donnie Yen reprises his iconic role as the real life kung fu master who brought Wing Chun to the world thanks to his star pupil, Bruce Lee. Ip Man decides to make a living by opening up a martial arts school in Hong Kong, but he is having a difficult time in getting students. However, one day a young man named Wong Leung arrives to see if Ip Man is a worthy teacher as he challenges him to a fight. When Wong is easily defeated by Ip Man he decides to become his pupil and he also helps Ip Man in getting more students. One of the things that Ip Man learns is that before he can form a martial arts school he must attend a special fighting ceremony to test his skill. Throughout the film there are many spectacular fighting scenes where Donnie Yen shows his talents as an actor and as a fighter. During this time period there was a great economic depression where many people couldn’t make a living. The film shows us how Ip Man struggled and persevered to support his family in those difficult times. One of the many highlights of the film is the presence of Sammo Hung who has acted, produced and directed in many martial arts films. In this movie Hung portrays Hung Chun-nam who is a Hung Ga master who starts off as Ip's nemesis early in the film, but in time he becomes an ally.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Film Review by Castelar GarcĂ­a


t has been awhile since the last Transformers sequel and rest assured that unlike Transformers 2 this sequel is not a bad movie. This sequel has a better storyline and many spectacular special effects that kept me entertained the entire time. In this latest chapter of the Transformers saga the Autobots have learned that their old leader Sentinel Prime which is voiced by Leonard Nimoy had crash landed on the Moon and that the American Government had known about his whereabouts the entire time. This leads Optimus Prime and his robotic troops to find their old friend and bring him to Earth. During this time it is also known that the Decepticons along with their ruthless leader Megatron have returned to defeat the Autobots by using their cunning and this leads to many surprises throughout the film. These vicious robots are determined to defeat their old foes while causing an all out war against the human race. It is no secret that the Decepticons cannot be trusted because they seek power through intimidation and fear. This time around anything goes as loyalties will be trusted and allies will turn into foes. Honestly, this sequel has so many thrilling and exhilarating moments that I am really glad that it wasn’t a bad Transformers movie. This is an epic science fiction action movie that doesn’t disappoint by creating memorable characters and putting them in some dangerous situations which are truly stunning to watch.

The Hangover 2 Film Rev


irst of all, I will admit that The Hangover part 1 did not make me laugh very much. It was a film which did not have many memorable comedic moments. However, I must admit that its sequel was a wild and fun ride because of all the crazy shenanigans that occurred during this movie. This time around the plot revolves around Dr. Stuart "Stu" Price portrayed by Ed Helms as he is getting married to Lauren on Thailand and he wants his friends to be there except for Alan Garner portrayed by Zach Galifianakis who Stuart considers to be a weird person. Both of his friends Phil Wenneck and Doug Billings convince Stu to invite Alan to his wedding. Before these men reach Thailand they go to the airport and they meet Teddy who is Lauren's brother. Alan doesn't like Teddy because he wanted to spend some time with his friends without somebody else getting in the way.

view by Castelar GarcĂ­a When they reach Thailand everyone can sense that Lauren's father hates Stu as he constantly makes insulting remarks towards him in many scenes throughout the film. In order to make Stu feel more relaxed his friends decide to have a bonfire on the beach and drink some beers in honor of Stu, but before you know it they wake up in a strange place and they don't remember what happened the night before. This is very similar to the plot of the first film, but this time you can tell that these actors are comfortable working with each other as the humor doesn't feel forced. When these gentlemen wake up they realize that Teddy isn't anywhere to be found. In their road to self discovery they find Leslie Chow in their room and as it turns out he partied with them all night long, but he isn't able to tell them what happened because he passes out in a scene that is absolutely hilarious. This sets up a fun ride as these bumbling travelers realize that they are in Bangkok while they look for Teddy. Unfortunately, they will realize that they did a lot of dangerous things during their hectic hangover. Overall, if you want to see a crazy male bonding experience then see this movie.

Fatima Parker ~Replacing Fat hate with Knowledge and Self-Love~

When i think of Fatima Parker and the words that describe her these words come to mind Role model, inspirational speaker, motivator, and public figure. Fatima Has stated that she has dedicated her life to helping women and children with issues of self-Confidence and self-esteem that is fundamental to friendships, work, love relationships, Ambitions, goals, and good health. She is a well-educated woman she knows several different languages which have opened many doors for Fatima to speak on the different causes she supports.

She believes that children are the future and work on educating parents and children on the magic of self-care. She has been on many Talk shows and radio programs throughout the years. Fatima Parker is a part of a campaign in London, to call for a stop to size discrimination, and respect and dignity for Fat people.. Her outlook on life is positive; she is a strong advocate on self-esteem, healthy living and size acceptance. . She believes that being fat is not what the world has made it to be.

She has stated "The world has to know that we have now liberated and cleaned the word "FAT" from what they made it to mean.." ugly, dirty, stupid, glutton, inhuman, nonsexual, gross, diseased, low self-esteem, unskilled, unintelligent, unworthy, scum"... This is a great revolution.. By dismantling the weapon of mass humiliation, we are disabling the harm it inflicts on the mental and physical health of children and adults of any size, worldwide... "

The stereotypes and myths you hear about fat people, are not true and they are made up by a society that hates them, and glorifies a nonattainable ideal of beauty. Fatima , wants to see an end to size discrimination, and mental abuse,. The Word Fat is used scare you to buy the beauty and diet products and be slaves to the diet mentality, body loathing and eating disorders. When Fatima was speaking on the BBC Radio 4 ,Women’s hour they asked Fatima would you rather be called Fat or obese? She answered, "I rather be called fat i am not ashamed of being called fat. it is the way my body is, it doesn’t mean that my identity is lazy or this and that and all the myths people call fat people for being fat. Being fat i can still be healthy i can be beautiful and i can be productive member in society" Overall what Fatima is doing is Making Big Changes in the world. If you would like to know more about Fatima parker Please Contact her on her Facebook Fan Page


Did you ever think that food can help you kick away?! and all of the options are healthy! Pain ing matter whether you’re talking about heada joints, or back, neck, and shoulder pain. Being care of it naturally is always a great option, and foods for pain, you’re also making healthy cho are lots of food for pain that you probably eat and even if not, they’re easy to insert into your 1. CHERRIES


Cherries are one of the best foods for pain yo fruits and vegetables are good, but cherries in are anti-inflammatory fruits. They neutralize cals in your body and keep your tissues from flamed.

Fish is really good at easing pain. While salmon is a great choice, any fish with plenty of Omega-3s are good for you. Salmon has lots of antioxidants and plenty of protein. If you have joint pain, it’s definitely the fish for you, because all those fatty acids will lubricate your joints. 3. GREEN TEA Green tea has been used for various types of pain for a long, long time. It has tons of polyphenols, which makes it better able to reduce the number of free radicals in your body. They cause inflammation, so getting rid of them helps tremendously.

4. SAGE Many of the best foods for pain have antiinflammatory properties. Sage is included in that category. Not only that, but there is some proof that it can improve your memory. If you k the pain have a lot of swelling then sage can help that n is no laugh- as well, thanks to certain flavonoids. aches, sore g able to take d by finding 5. COFFEE oices. There Believe it or not, coffee can every day – also help with pain. Caffeine r daily diet. can exacerbate many things but if you get a lot of headaches, it can be your best friend. I’ve had migraines for ou can eat. All years and I can attest to that! 7. OLIVE OIL n particular Coffee can also reduce the I’ve told you there’s nothing e the free radirisk of getting certain types olive oil can’t do! No doubt, m getting inof cancers, and it has even this is one of my favorite more antioxidants than a foods for pain – it’s just a serving size of berries. good thing I use it on a day to day basis, because it’s so 6. GINGER Ginger is one of the most ben- helpful! It’s such an incredible anti-inflammatory that eficial foods for pain and it’s many compare it to over the easy to work it into all kinds counter remedies. By using of recipes. Ginger has been used for years as a way to ease it in your diet, you reduce your chances of having a stomach aches. It even benstroke and getting certain efits certain heart problems. kinds of cancer. Using more of it in your diet can help you immensely.


Some info from

BBW Beauties October issue  

This Community is based on support for one another. We are a lively Plus Size-positive online community,where you can meet like-minded frien...

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