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Conquering cancer Relationship success Better body

2 Red Deer Express, Women Today

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Local woman chronicles cancer battle in new book Kim Rideout wants women facing breast cancer to know they aren’t alone BY MARK WEBER Red Deer Express Red Deer resident Kim Rideout took a devastating turn of events in her life and has made it into a powerful means of reaching out to others. Rideout, 45, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2012. She underwent surgery which was followed by six months of treatment including chemotherapy and radiation. “I was totally unprepared,” she explains, adding there had never been a diagnosis of breast cancer in her family. But a mammogram on March 14 revealed a tumor. It was shortly after her diagnosis that a friend suggested she keep a journal

KIM RIDEOUT through her experiences. That journal has been turned into a book entitled Taken to My Knees. Rideout will be hosting a book launch on May 10 at Sunworks from 7 to 9 p.m. In the book, Rideout, who is married and the mother of two daughters, writes about first hearing the news that she had breast

cancer. “Is he really saying what I think he saying? Lump? Suspicious? Left breast? Breast carcinoma? Lymph node carcinoma? Surgery within a week? Carcinoma?” She had underwent a mammogram the previous November for another issue, and there was no sign of a malignancy at that time. But by March, the tumor was almost 2cms long. “In four months it had grown that fast. My yearly mammogram was scheduled for July, and the radiologist said to me that if we had waited until July, we would have been having a very different conversation.” Of course, at that moment a person hears that kind of news, everything

changes. “My concern that day was my family – how do tell my husband; how do I tell my kids?” She recalls telling one of her daughters the day of the diagnosis. She had come home from school and knew something wrong with her mom. “You are causing all that pain for your children, and you live your life to protect them. But you can’t anymore.” The gaps of time waiting to learn about the severity of the cancer and treatment options were also horrendous. “You can’t deal with it until you know what you are dealing with. Your life is just suspended.” On March 28 she underwent a lumpectomy and then began chemotherapy later in the spring. She was terribly sick – and weak. “My husband would say ‘Let’s go for walk’ so we’d get to the end of the block and I would have to turn around and walk home. I remember lying down at home one day, and the remote control was on the coffee table. I didn’t have the energy to reach for it. I remember thinking I was never going to get better.” The chemotherapy also wreaked havoc on her emotions. “You can be mad or happy one minute, sad the

next minute and then crying.” But as time passed, Rideout came to see how important the support of friends, co-workers and family was – and is. And how therapeutic it was to journal how she felt through those dark days. “Words were full of fear in the early days, with enough pain and sadness to last a lifetime.” Meanwhile, her intent is to market the book locally and donate a portion of the proceeds to the CIBC Run for the Cure event which is in October. She also wants to support another fundraising event called Perky in Pink which is set for May 12 in Blackfalds. “My friends, family and co-workers entered two teams in the CIBC Run for the Cure in my honour last year and my co-workers won the Corporate Spirit Award,” she said. “I vowed that day to always be an active participant in this worthwhile cause.” Rideout explains her goal in publishing the book was firstly to thank the people who surrounded her with loving and support during her battle with cancer. “People don’t realize how just one little email can brighten your day. Or dropping off a card, how it can

make you smile. Or how a hug can breathe life right back into you.” She also wants other breast cancer patients (or those with any kind of cancer) to know they aren’t alone, and that their feelings are normal. “I knew before that one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, but I had never met any. Now I’ve met many. I want to let people know that so many of us have survived this. Just because you hear the word ‘cancer’ doesn’t mean you are going to die.” She also wants to bolster awareness about dealing with breast cancer, and to that end she has launched a facebook page for the new book. In the first week she already received 10,000 hits. These days, Rideout is thrilled for the opportunity to lend a helping hand to others who are facing the road she has been down. “I know girls who are going through their treatments now, and they say ‘Thank you so much’. I say don’t thank me – pay it forward. Get better, and then take someone under your wing.” For a copy of Taken to My Knees, contact Kim Rideout at

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Women Today, Red Deer Express 3

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Avoiding negativity towards your spouse Not a week goes by in my office where I don’t see a woman who admits to chronic negativity in terms of feelings and behaviour. Of course, we all have our bad days where we feel a little snappy and snarly; however, when this outlook becomes entrenched in our emotions and begins to dominate the way we interact with our husband and kids, it’s time to do some serious self-reflection. Spouses who are always cynical, critical, complaining, irritable or otherwise unhappy create a cloudy environment that everyone in the home must live in. The number of negative interactions they have with their partner, their children and even the fam-


MACLEOD ily dog far outnumbers the number of positive interactions. They are, to put it bluntly, hell to live with. Spousal negativity is a common marriage complaint. It can even be as damaging as broken trust and money problems. After all, a person’s spouse and home life should offer happy sanctuary from a world of stress and nastiness. They should not be the source of stress and

nastiness. If they are, the marital skies need to get a lot sunnier. Quickly. Here are some easy tips to help manage negativity: ● Fake it ‘til you make it. There is a strong connection between actions and emotions. When you feel negative, force yourself to smile, give your spouse a compliment or a hug, or take your kids for ice cream. Happy behaviour can create happy feelings. It is also far more likely to illicit a positive response from your spouse or kids, which in turn raises your spirits. ● Break the cycle. If you know certain things make you negative (ie: trigger you), avoid them or brainstorm new ways to handle them.

● Make a choice. When you receive a negative stimulus, choose to respond in a conscious mature way, not react out of habit. You may be upset, but you’re still an adult and you need to practice some self-restraint. ● Make a change. Is there something in your life – whether money problems, job issues, your fitness level or the fact that you do most of the housework – that is making you chronically negative and unhappy? Pinpoint the sources of your unhappiness and fix them. Make a budget, look for a new job, start an exercise routine or make a housework schedule for the family to follow. If your marriage is causing you grief, talk to your partner about making changes. If you need professional help,

get it – even if he won’t go with you. In the end, it’s your life and your responsibility to improve it. ● Count your blessings. Is your life really that bad? Sadly, one doesn’t have to look far to find someone who has it much worse. ● Be a role model for your children. Do you want your kids to go through life succumbing to negativity or overcoming it? ● Ask yourself this question: “Would I want to live with me?” ● Think back to the last negative interaction you had with your partner or children – that is, the last time you snarled at them for no real reason. Now, stand in front of the mirror and repeat the interaction from memory. Look at your expression. Listen to the

tone of your voice. Do you like what you see and hear? Well, that’s what your family is seeing and hearing. Of course, it isn’t just women who are negative. Men can be miserable, too; however, that’s another article. The fact remains that women set the tone in many married and family life situations. The old saying, “Happy wife, happy life” has a grain of truth to it. Spring is in the air. It’s a time for new beginnings. Now is the perfect season to break the ‘negativity habit’ and let the sun shine into your life, marriage and home. It is true that much unhappiness is selfchosen. Debra Macleod is a leading marriage expert in Canada and the USA, with offices in Lacombe and Calgary.


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4 Red Deer Express, Women Today

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Belly dancers ready to shimmy for a good cause Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter to benefit from May event burne on May 11. This happens to be World Belly Dance Day as well.

BY ERIN FAWCETT Red Deer Express A fun and unique fundraiser that will benefit a local organization is set to take place in Central Alberta next month. Shimmy Mob, a ‘flash mob’ type event, is the largest event of its kind by the number of geographical territories covered in one day creating awareness and raising funds for women’s and children’s shelters in participating communities. Over 2,100 belly dancers in 156 countries and five continents are involved. The Central Alberta event will run at the AG Foods on Main St. in Del-

“WE ALL NEED TO STAND UP AND SAY THAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND THAT THERE IS A WAY OUT.” KATHLEEN ENNIS “Our goal is to give back to the community. Proceeds generated from Shimmy Mob fundraising events will be donated

to the shelters in the local participating communities,” said Kathleen Ennis, team leader. “We have chosen Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) in Red Deer. They are a charitable organization that offers not only a safe haven for women and children in emergency situations, but also operates many programs and services, assisting people to achieve their full potential free from family violence.” Although the registration deadline to sign up and dance has passed, people are encouraged to come to the event or to make a donation to CAWES from the Delburne Shimmy Mob.

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stop the violence’. Abuse thrives only in silence, and we’re planning on making some Shimmy Mob noise.” Meanwhile, not only is the event being held to help raise funds for CAWES, there is also an important message behind it as well. “I hope that women who are victims of any type of

abuse will realize that there is help out there for them. CAWES has much more to offer than just shelter in an emergency, they have many resources and information to help women get out of those kinds of situations,” said Ennis. “I hope that people will appreciate the beauty of the ancient art form of belly dance, and that it might even encourage someone to take a lesson and find out it’s not about titillating anyone else, it’s about doing something for yourself that makes you feel good in your body, and provides inner strength and a sense of confidence.”

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During the event everyone from beginners to professionals will be taking part. The choreography was created by belly dance superstar Bozenka. Ennis added the event is not only important for women but for men and children too. “We all need to stand up and say that domestic violence is not acceptable and that there is a way out. Part of the problem of domestic violence is the reluctance to speak of it. It’s time to ‘end the silence and

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Women Today, Red Deer Express 5

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Local woman thrives in ‘non-traditional’ career BY JENNA SWAN Red Deer Express Upon graduating high school and returning from a year abroad in Australia, the then 18-year-old Breann Sorensen found herself in a sea of uncertainty. Uncertain of what to do for the rest of her life, she began working at the local furniture store in Stettler and later took a second job at an embroidery company to earn extra money. “I was working two jobs at the time and I was sick of it. I told a friend how I felt and she mentioned that a friend of her husband’s was looking for a welder’s helper in Drayton Valley.” Before being offered the job, the blonde haired, blue eyed girlie-girl had never imagined herself as a welder, much less imagined herself in the dirty trenches of


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the Alberta pipelines. “I got offered the job on a Friday and was in Drayton two Saturdays after. “It all happened so fast, I just remember having to drive to the lease on my first day to meet my welder and being terrified.” With everything she owned in her little beige car and checked into her new home in the local hotel, she started her new job with a smile on her face. Clad in Carharts and a pink hard hat, she began a journey few women have ventured on. “When I first started the guys who I worked with had bets going to see how long I was going to last. I couldn’t even start a grinder when I began. My welder, Dave, was probably thinking ‘Oh lord what am I going to do with this girl?’” Two years later, she is now in her last weeks of

her first year at Red Deer College of three years to become a journeyman welder. Sorensen hopes to one day ‘rig up’ her own welding truck and return to the pipeline with a helper of her own. “You have to be there to work, you need to earn the respect of the people you work with,” said Sorensen on what advice she has for young women wanting to get into the trades. “Remember that you’re not going to get special treatment because of what sex you are, and you need to prove yourself or you won’t last.” Although the members of the opposing sex that she worked with once had bets to see how long she would last, she now grinds and buffs alongside the best of them and has high hopes for her future.

6 Red Deer Express, Women Today

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A strong physique is the new sexy Lately there has been a shift in the way women perceive their bodies. Skinny is out and a strong looking physique is the new sexy. This is not only good for our looks, but it is also great for our health. Here are some important reasons for you to pick up some weights and make yourself stronger. By lifting weights and becoming strong you’ll be changing every aspect of your body. People with increased muscle-mass burn more calories at rest than those without. It takes more energy for your body to sustain lean muscle and, therefore, your resting metabolic rate, the amount of calories you burn just being alive, may increase as a result of lifting weights. Weight-bearing exercise is very beneficial for bone health in people of all ages. The aging process is linked to a decrease in bone density and a greater risk of fractures. So consider how you can add weights to your workout because your bones rely on resistance training to stay healthy and strong. Weightlifting has been shown to greatly help the elderly stay in shape by keeping the brain active and the nervous system and body attune to the coordina-


KREIGER tion of movement. Strength training also helps to avoid the loss of joint flexibility that comes with aging. The stronger we are when we’re older, the more able we are to take care of ourselves. Building muscle tissue increases the muscles’ demand for glucose. The muscles pull glucose from the bloodstream so that blood sugar levels don’t rise dangerously. This helps to prevent diabetes. Studies have shown that people who weight train had better blood sugar control than those who did not weight train. If your body gets used to lifting weights, imagine how much easier just lifting your own body weight will be. Improved strength means that your daily activities like carrying groceries or playing with your kids will become easier and, if you are training for

a sport, an increase in muscular strength can drastically improve your performance. Don’t be afraid of lifting heavy weights but do make sure that you start out with manageable lighter weights, so that you can focus on technique and slowly work your way up to heavier weights. It is also a good idea to work out at a place where there is certified staff that can help you with your technique so that you don’t hurt yourself. Becoming stronger has so many benefits and you don’t need to be worried about

starting to look like an out-of-proportion body builder. Unless you are dedicating hundreds of hours to lifting serious weights, and following a very specific bodybuilding nutrition plan, the chances of you getting bulky are slim. Hopefully theses reasons convince you to add some weights to your workout routine. Skinny is out and a strong looking physique is definitely the new sexy. Natasha Kreiger is a coach at Crossfit Pure Fitness in Red Deer.

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Women Today, Red Deer Express 7

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A short pause for perimenopause Take a breather to figure out what life changes are coming your way. Menopause gets a lot of attention. Full of hot flashes, sleeping issues, sweating at night, and a reduced sex drive, it’s no wonder. But you should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of perimenopause. Though not quite as disruptive as menopause, perimenopause can prepare you for things to come. The first signs of perimenopause can show up at various times in a woman’s life. For some women, they kick in during the 40s, whereas others will begin experiencing perimenopausal symptoms in their 30s. Regardless of when the symptoms begin, they don’t go away, and they’re almost always the same. Starting off, you’ll probably begin experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle. If you’ve always had an erratic cycle or are on birth control pills that reduce your menstruation, it may be difficult to recognize this symptom. However, the vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleep problems that often accompany perimenopause make it a little easier to diagnose. Other symptoms you may develop include irritability and dramatic mood swings, increased cholesterol levels, and decreased bone density. So what brings on perimenopause? The most obvious answer is age. And as correct as this answer is, it doesn’t get to the root of the question. Perimenopause is the result of your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels going haywire. Vital to keeping you stable and ready for pregnancy, when these hormones get out of balance, so does the system they’re upholding. Namely, your reproductive system. While your body will change whenever it pleases, there are a few factors with the


WHEELER power to plunge you into perimenopause before you’re ready. These include a family history of early-onset perimenopause or menopause, dealing with chemotherapy or radiation therapy as a child, undergoing a hysterectomy that does not remove the ovaries, smoking, and never birthing a child. When perimenopause shows up, you may get frustrated with the symptoms it brings about. Instead of letting it get you down, you can take control and help reduce your symptoms. A good starting point for home care is eating well every day. Go with foods that are full of Vitamin D, calcium, and fiber, and avoid foods that are fatty and have lots of useless calories. At the same time you’re watching your diet, you can reduce perimenopause symptoms with exercise. Get at least 30 minutes a day nearly every day of the week and you’ll maximize your protection. With a little determination, you can catch perimenopause in its earliest stages and take steps to minimize its effect on your life. In most cases, perimenopause is a minor nuisance women must deal with as they age. But sometimes, the symptoms can become so invasive that women cannot enjoy life to the fullest. In these instances, medical therapies and treatment are available to help. Here are some of the most commonly prescribed treatments for severe perimenopause symptoms. Medical therapy. Though you may not need birth control to avoid becoming

pregnant during perimenopause, taking birth control pills can help you overcome vaginal dryness, cut back on the number of hot flashes you experience, and regulate your periods. Prefer not to take oral contraceptives? You can still find relief from the heavy and irregular bleeding that may occur during perimenopause with an intrauterine progestin therapy device. Surgical therapy. And in the rare event that home and medical therapies aren’t enough, surgical intervention is available. With endometrial ablation, the uterus lining is ablated (destroyed) via heat, laser, or electrical energy. After the procedure, you will no longer menstruate. As this can have undesired consequences, such as catapulting you directly into menopause, the decision to undergo this procedure should not be taken lightly. If you think you are suffering from perimenopause or want to know more about your individual case, always, always, always chat with your doctor first. Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

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8 Red Deer Express, Women Today

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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