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September/October 2019

Fresh Coffee

MAGAZINE

and

Stylin' Hair

What more could a girl ask for?

featuring Kristen Lanier, Owner of Southern Grounds and Emilee Lanier, owner of Salon Emvy

LEAVING YOUR JOB?

What happens to your 401(k)?

October is BREAST CANCER

page 22

Awareness Month

HOW TO LOOK POLISHED

on any budget page 30

pages 8-15

WWW.OSCEOLAWOMAN.COM


Pink on Parade 5K There is much to celebrate.

October 13, 2019 | 7:30 am Join AdventHealth at the 7th Annual Pink on Parade as we celebrate the brave women in our community battling breast cancer, survivors who have won their fight and those we’ve lost to this disease.

AdventHealth Celebration 400 Celebration Place | Celebration, FL 34747

REGISTER TODAY PinkOnParade.com

19-FDTN-07159

19-FDTN-07159-Osceola Women Magazine-September 2019 Pink On Parade.indd 1

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SEPT OCT 2019 MAGAZINE

6-7 Back to School

features

Health Tips for Adults

October is

BREAST CANCER

Awareness p 8-15

I'm Still Here by Cassandra Hall

18-20 24-25 Fresh Coffee by Sheila Shirah Kitaif

and Stylin’ Hair

What More Could a Girl Ask For?

departments BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR ADULTS

p6-7

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

p8-15

HOME & STYLE

LIFE & WORK

HEALTH

SIGNS THAT YOUR AIR CONDITIONER NEEDS REPAIR

FACT AND FICTION ABOUT DOG FOOD

p 16

p28-29

I'M STILL HERE

RECIPES - FRESH FROM FLORIDA

p18-20

p26

LEAVING YOUR JOB? WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR 401 (k)

HOW TO LOOK POLISHED ON A BUDGET

p22

p30

SEPT/OCT 2019

| osceolawoman.com

3


from the publisher

SEPT/OCT 2019

| VOL. 5 NO. 4 | OSCEOLAWOMAN.COM

Dear Osceola Women,

MAGAZINE

Summertime is in our rearview mirror with the fall season ahead of us! It’s amazing how quickly time flies as you get older! Before we know it, the holidays will be here and the new year will be approaching. I don’t know about you. But, I am excited for college football, campfires and “cooler” weather! This issue hits home for me… with September being National Suicide Prevention Month. In August 2009, my Dad took his life. My life was instantly filled with grief, pain and many unanswered questions. It never gets easier to deal with the loss. I think it’s more of being use to it. On page 18, is an article that you must read it is written by a young woman that has overcome suicide. I hope “I’m Still Here” inspires you to be your best self. There are times we struggle, some more than others but we owe it to ourselves and the ones we love to be the best we can be. On pages 24 & 25, you will meet two entrepreneurs that just happen to be sistersin-law. One runs a craft coffee shop, while the other is helping you feel beautiful. They share advice, their vision and how they balance being a mother and an entrepreneur. These girls are smart, funny and beautiful inside and out! Osceola County is lucky to have them! On pages 28 & 29, we have an article from one of my favorite men Zak McMorrow! You may have noticed him on the cover of our July/ August issue. Zak shares several signs that your home AC may need to be repaired. This is an important article for us living in the sunshine state! Make sure to call Osceola Air, if you ever have AC troubles and don’t forget to tell them Osceola Woman sent you! I hope you enjoy this issue & the “cooler” months ahead! Until next time,

4 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019

Publisher Sales Manager Art Director Cover Story Photographer Contributing Writers



JENA THREADGILL

(jthreadgill@osceolawoman.com) KENA BLAIN

kblain@osceolawoman.com) JUDY SMITH TIHLER SHAY PHOTOGRAPY DR. AMBER TEAGUE DR. GARY BORGMAN CLEVE GRISSOM CASSANDRA HALL SHEILA SHIRAH KITAIF STATEPOINT

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SEPT/OCT 2019

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5


HEALTH

Health Tips for Parents By: Dr. Amber Teague, Osceola Regional Medical Center's Pediatric ER Medical Director

Based on recommendations by the Center for Disease Control as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics

FOCUS ON HEALTHY NUTRITION PRACTICES A student's diet is linked to his/her academic success, so it’s important they consume three balanced meals and two healthy snacks per day. At home, jumpstart the day by serving them a healthy breakfast, which is associated with improved cognitive function. You can also educate your child on healthy cafeteria choices or enlist their help in packing their own well-rounded school lunches.

6 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019

KICKSTART THAT EXERCISE ROUTINE Physical activity can help improve cognitive skills, attitudes, concentration, and attention, as well as classroom behavior. Children ages 6 to 17 years old should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.


PRIORITIZE GOOD ORAL HEALTH Children with poor oral health, including cavities and gum disease, miss more school and receive lower grades than those with better oral health. To set your student up for success, encourage them to practice good oral hygiene at home by brushing their teeth twice and f lossing once each day. Parents should also schedule an annual dental checkup in addition to a student’s yearly health physical.

ESTABLISH A CONSISTENT BEDTIME

MAKE BACKPACK ADUSTMENTS A heavy backpack can lead to muscle strain, particularly if it’s worn inappropriately. Educate your child to use both shoulder straps and adjust the backpack so the bottom sits at their waist. You can also help distribute weight and ensure better posture by packing heavier items closest to the center. When purchasing a new backpack, choose one that has wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back or even a rolling option. Now is also a good time to talk to your student about items that should never be put in a backpack and brought to school, including weapons, valuables, and food allergens.

Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement and poor concentration. For younger children, the optimal amount of sleep is 10-12 hrs. Adolescents are recommended to clock 8-10 hrs each night. To ensure your child does their best each day, set a consistent bedtime – and stick to it. Many parents also create rules about powering down electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime to help their children fall asleep faster and wake more refreshed.

BONUS:

Parents can also use this back-to-school preparation time to discuss bullying and cyberbullying. Establishing an open line of communication about these challenging topics helps increase the likelihood

SEPT/OCT 2019

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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Cup of HOPE Tea Party Luncheon Celebrating

Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 23, 2019 11:30 am -1:00 pm (Doors open 11 am)

Guest Speaker

Dr. Amber Orman

Radiation & Oncology Be creative and compete to win one of the 3 prizes for

Most Colorful • Most Vintage and Most Unique Hat

Osceola Heritage Park Exhibition Hall

1875 Silver Spur Lane Kissimmee FL 34744

Tickets $30.00 Call: 407.891.9771 or

www.osceolawoman.com

8 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019


What is

Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. To better understand breast cancer, it helps to understand how any cancer can develop. Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. The genes are in each cell’s nucleus, which acts as the “control room” of each cell. Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through an orderly process of cell growth: healthy new cells take over as old ones die out. But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell. That changed cell gains the ability to keep dividing without control or order,

the body. If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they then have a pathway into other parts of the body. The breast cancer’s stage refers to how far the cancer cells have spread beyond the original tumor (see the Stages of breast cancer below for more information). Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality (a “mistake” in the genetic material). However, only 5-10% of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. Instead, 85-90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the “wear and tear” of life in general. There are steps every person can take to help the body stay as healthy as possible, such as eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol, and exercising regularly. While these may have some impact on your risk of getting breast cancer, they cannot eliminate the risk. Developing breast cancer is not your or anyone's fault. Feeling guilty or telling yourself that breast cancer happened because of something you or anyone else did, is not productive.

producing more cells just like it and forming a tumor. A tumor can be benign (not dangerous to health) or malignant (has the potential to be dangerous). Benign tumors are not considered cancerous: their cells are close to normal in appearance, they grow slowly, and they do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. Left unchecked, malignant cells eventually can spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body. The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast. Over time, cancer cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes, small organs that filter out foreign substances in

Stages of breast cancer The stage of a breast cancer is determined by the cancer’s characteristics, such as how large it is and whether or not it has hormone receptors. The stage of the cancer helps you and your doctor:

• • •

Figure out your prognosis, the likely outcome of the disease Decide on the best treatment options for you Determine if certain clinical trials may be a good option for you

Breast cancer stage is usually expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV — with stage 0 describing non-invasive cancers that remain within their original location and stage IV describing invasive cancers that have spread outside the breast to other parts of the body.

SEPT/OCT 2019

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BREAST CANCER MONTH BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

And

MYTHS

About BREAST CANCER Unless people experience breast cancer in their own lives, or they’re close to someone who does, they might not be able to separate myth from fact when it comes to this disease: who gets it and why, for example, or what treatment involves. True, breast cancer is one of the better-known and more-talked-about cancers, but there are still so many misconceptions out there.

MYTH: If I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I won’t get it.

FACT: Most people diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history.

Many people think of breast cancer as an inherited disease. But only about 5–10% of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary, meaning they’re caused by abnormal changes (or mutations) in certain genes passed from parent to child. The vast majority of people who get breast cancer have no family history, suggesting that other factors must be at work, such as environment and lifestyle. But doctors often can’t explain why one person gets breast cancer and another doesn’t. The biggest risk factors are simply being a woman and growing older. Over time, healthy breast cells can develop mutations on their own, eventually turning into cancer cells. Still, if you have a strong family history of breast cancer on either your mother’s or your father’s side, this is an important risk factor that should be taken seriously. If there are one or more cases of breast cancer in close blood relatives, especially before age 50, and/or other cancers such as ovarian and prostate cancer in men.

10 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019


MYTH: Using underarm

antiperspirant can cause breast cancer.

FACT:

There is no evidence of a connection between underarm antiperspirant and breast cancer, but the safety of antiperspirants is still being studied. There have been persistent rumors that underarm antiperspirants, especially those containing aluminum and other chemicals, are absorbed into the lymph nodes and make their way into breast cells, increasing cancer risk. Shaving the underarms was thought to make this worse by creating tiny nicks that allow more of the chemicals to enter the body. Another theory was that antiperspirants, by stopping underarm sweating, can prevent the release of toxic substances from the underarm lymph nodes, also increasing cancer risk. However, there is no evidence of a link between antiperspirant use and breast cancer. Still, some studies have found that women who use aluminum products under their arms are more likely to have higher concentrations of aluminum in breast tissue.

MYTH: Breast cancer always causes a lump you can feel.

FACT:

Breast cancer might not cause a lump, especially when it first develops. People are sometimes under the impression that breast cancer always causes a lump that can be felt during a self-exam. They might use this as a reason to skip mammograms, thinking they’ll be able to feel any change that might indicate a problem. However, breast cancer doesn’t always cause a lump. By the time it does, the cancer might have already moved beyond the breast into the lymph nodes. Although performing breast self-exams is certainly a good idea, it isn’t a substitute for regular screening with mammography. There are some other myths about what types of breast lumps are less worrisome, such as: “If the lump is painful, it isn’t breast cancer,” and “If you can feel a lump that is smooth, and/or that moves around freely under the skin, it’s not breast cancer.” Any lump or unusual mass that can be felt through the skin needs to be checked out by a healthcare professional. Although most lumps are benign (not cancer), there is always the possibility of breast cancer.

MYTH: Breast cancer only happens to middle-aged and older women. FACT: Younger women can and do get breast

cancer, as do men. It is true that being female and growing older are the main risk factors for developing breast cancer. In 2017, about 4% of invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in women under age 40, while about 23% were diagnosed in women in their 50s and 27% in women ages 60 to 69. While 4% might sound small, it isn’t zero: This percentage means that one in every 25 invasive breast cancer cases occurred in women under 40. Women of all ages need to pay attention to their breasts, perform self-exams, and report any unusual changes to their doctors — and insist that breast cancer be ruled out if there’s a concerning symptom. Even some doctors buy into the myth that women in their 20s and 30s don’t get breast cancer. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer, especially cancers diagnosed in relatives before age 40, may wish to start screenings sooner. Breast cancer is even rarer in men, but it does happen. People often think that men can’t get breast cancer because they don’t have breasts — but they do have breast tissue. Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. In 2019, about 2,670 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. Even though male breast cancer is rare, it tends to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage because breast changes and lumps typically don’t lead men and their doctors to think “breast cancer.” Changes in male breasts need to be checked out, too.

SEPT/OCT 2019

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FACTS 13 Metastatic BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

About

Breast Cancer

1 2

No one dies from breast cancer that remains in the breast.

Metastasis occurs when cancerous cells travel to a vital organ and that is what threatens life.

Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body, typically the bones, liver, lungs and brain.

3 4 5

6

An estimated 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer.called Stage IV breast cancer) Metastatic breast cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

Treatment for metastatic breast cancer is lifelong and focuses on control of the disease and quality of life deaths annually in the U.S. About 6% of people are Stage IV from their initial diagnosis.

Early detection does not guarantee a cure. Metastatic breast cancer can occur 5, 10 or 15 years after a person’s original diagnosis and successful treatment checkups and annual mammograms.

12 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019


7 8

20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer.

Young people, as well as men, can be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer

9

Like early stage breast cancer, there are different types of metastatic breast cancer.

10

Treatment choices are guided by breast cancer type, location and extent of metastasis in the body, previous treatments and other factors.

11

Metastatic breast cancer is not an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of their disease, some will live for many years.

12

There are no definitive prognostic statistics for metastatic breast cancer. Every patient and their disease is unique.

13

To learn more about National

on OCTOBER

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

13 and to access resources specifically for people living with

metastatic breast cancer and their caregivers, visit www.mbcn.org.

SEPT/OCT 2019

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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

HOME DNA

TESTING

BREAST CANCER:

What you need to know Healthcare professionals are glad that a growing number of people want to learn more about their genetic makeup and how it might affect their health. What worries them is if people are learning enough. Ryan Bisson, a cancer genetic counselor with Orlando Health, had a mixture of thoughts about the announcement that the US Food and Drug Administration had approved 23andMe’s first direct-toconsumer test that detects some DNA mutations associated with breast cancer. “It was big news in the genetic counselling community,” he said. “The immediate impact is that consumers can skip over the geneticist and go straight to the lab.” Understanding what those lab results mean, however, “becomes a trickier situation.” That sentiment was echoed by the president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, Erica Ramos, who issued a statement in reaction to the FDA announcement, warning that “although this test may help to identify people who

14 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019

have a previously undetected BRCA mutation, there are several limitations and the results may be confusing or misleading without appropriate education.” The test is provided by 23andMe, a personal genomics and biotechnology company that has been marketing directto-consumer tests for years. The company’s saliva test provides its customers with all sorts of information about their genetics, some seemingly trivial, and some serious. The company is now allowed to tell its customers if they have any of three BRCA gene mutations that are found most commonly in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, and that are associated with an elevated risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Although breast cancer is common, only five percent of breast cancer is hereditary. Normally, the BRCA genes function as safeguards against cancer and are called “tumor suppressor genes.” They protect cells from growing out of control and developing into the disease. A mutated BRCA gene – though rare among the


general population – can sharply increase cancer risk. The 23andMe test only screens for three out of over 1000 possible BRCA gene mutations. Although the BRCA genes are the main genes associated with hereditary breast cancer, there are many other breast cancer genes. Therefore, a family may still have a hereditary form of breast cancer even if they were not found to carry a mutation by the 23andMe genetic test. But testing positive or negative for certain mutations is just one of several cancer risk factors – personal and family history, ancestry, lifestyle, and environment all play roles. It is the job of a genetic counselor to work with patients to review all of these factors. Since the patient's health care provider is not involved in the ordering of direct– to–consumer genetic testing, other cancer risk factors may be ignored. Genetic counselors interview patients, discuss their family histories, calculate

Center at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer provides information that will help patients understand their risk of developing breast cancer and identifies those who may be at high risk for hereditary forms of the disease.

FREE ORLANDO HEALTH EVEN

DNA TESTING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, FL 32806 their cancer risks and then, if they are suspicious of a genetic factor, discuss testing. Sometimes it may be more helpful to begin with genetic testing of other family members, a mother or aunt, for instance, before testing the patient.

testing and if the results are normal, I will not have to undergo mammographic or other breast cancer screening” stated Dr. Rebecca Moroose, medical director of the Cancer Genetics and High Risk Center

The role of the genetic counselor is to help the patient make informed decisions.

at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. “This is a very uninformed response as 90 – 95% of breast cancers are not related to an inherited mutation.”

There is a concern that some consumers may regard a negative genetic test result as a clean bill of health, or they may regard a positive one as a need for aggressive intervention. Without proper counseling, either reaction could have serious repercussions. We have had patients state that “I will get genetic

The role of genetic counselors in the medical community is small but growing. Orlando Health, for example, has eleven genetic counselors on staff, specializing in cancer, prenatal care and pediatrics. The Cancer Genetics

Anyone interested in learning more about genetic testing and counseling is invited to attend a free educational event featuring genetics specialists from Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. The program, led by Dr. Moroose and Mr. Bisson, will discuss the latest advances in genetic testing, how genetic testing can determine one’s risk for cancer, and more.

The FREE event will be held Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando, FL 32806. For more information and to register for the event, visit OrlandoHealth.com/ Genetics Event.

SEPT/OCT 2019

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life &

WORK

Fiction

about DOG FOODS Dr. Gary Borgman, Kissimmee Animal Hospital and Poinciana Pet Clinc

While a pre-vet student at the University of Missouri, College of Agriculture, I experienced very intense courses about formulating animal rations. These courses were focused on diets for farm animals and did not really touch on canine and feline nutrition. In veterinary school, we were then taught that it is not necessary to worry much about pet nutrition because the major pet food manufacturers such as Purina, Kennel Ration, Hills and others did the research in formulating very adequate diets. One notable exception was the Hills company, based in Topeka, Kansas which was a pioneer in developing a low protein but complete diet for dogs in kidney failure. Their first diet was called “k/d” (kidney diet) and it has extended the life expectancy of many dogs suffering from advanced renal failure. Today the Hills company remains the authority on special diets for specific medical/metabolic conditions. Along with the Royal Canin company and Purina, we now have a very large selection of specific canned and dry foods for dogs and cats with special needs. While nutrition of special need patients with specific medical conditions is well provided for, it is much more confusing to know just what to feed individual well pets. When I enquire about current nutrition of my patients (both dogs and cats) I am often told that the owners are fans of the “grain-free” movement. I call this a nutrition movement, because the manufacturers have discovered that “grain-free” sells! It is all about marketing! In recent months, it has become known in our profession that these “grain-free” diets have contributed to a rise in a serious and life-threatening condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. It is now known that a deficiency of the essential amino acid Taurine is the culprit. Many manufacturers have been able to adjust

these diets to get enough Taurine. We knew several decades ago that many dry cat foods diets were deficient in Taurine and led to feline DCM and sometimes death. So, it took a “grain free” era for dogs to bring this information to the forefront. It makes me wonder, what else fad diets are lacking! All this begs the question, or I should say the questions about what an appropriate type and brand of food for my puppy is, my young and middle-aged dog or my senior citizen dog. These are great questions and we are happy to address all these concerns through wellness examination visits or over the telephone for established patients and clients. Generally, I believe Science Diet by Hills, Pro-Plan or Purina One by Purina, and the various Royal Canin products are all very good. There are other good diets but many not so good diets.

Dr. Gary Borgman, D.V.M. There is plenty of information available on the internet. Three recommended sites are: UC Davis: VetMed.UCDavis.edu/tags/nutrition WSAVA: WSAVA.org/Committees/globalnutrition-committee Tufts University: VetNutrition.Tufts.edu

The veterinarians and staff of Kissimmee Animal Hospital 407-846-3912 and Poinciana Pet Clinic 407-518-0880 are available to answer your questions about dog and cat nutrition or any other pet health issues. We are here to help and to serve.

16 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019


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SEPT/OCT 2019

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17


life &

WORK

by Cassandra Hall

I didn’t imagine I would make it past 18, then 21, then 22, and every year until recently. I always thought I wouldn’t stick around. Yet, here I am, 26 years old, and still here.

Since I was a child, I’ve thought that “I’m broken.” I remember when I started to self-harm because I needed to release the pain burning inside me. I needed to feel something, anything.    They say people suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) can feel emotional pain like third-degree burns, as our “emotional skin” is exposed. Self-harm was like a compulsion or any addictive behavior. I preferred physical pain over emotional pain because I could regulate the physical, and I could see it. I’d hide my scars at school and at home, mostly. I distinctly remember not hiding them once while doing the dishes at home, just hoping my mom would see the wounds on my arm along with the old scars. Even though it isn’t something I wanted to stop, it was a desperate cry for help. But she didn’t see it.   

When I First Received Treatment

In seventh grade, I went to a school counselor who told me I had depression and possibly an anxiety disorder, too. I was so afraid of telling an adult, afraid that they would ridicule me or tell the principal. I was afraid that everyone would think I was “crazy,” or worse, that I might get locked

18 osceolawoman.com | SEPT/OCT 2019

away in a psych ward. But he wasn’t judgmental. I saw him frequently and eventually, he helped me tell my mom.   She took me to a therapist. I saw her a few times, but it wasn’t frequent enough. I was lucky enough to have heard of mental illness before. I knew my mom dealt with anxiety and depression but didn’t know it could be hereditary. My grandma had bipolar disorder, but I don’t think I knew that at the time. When I first saw a doctor, I heard all about how I don’t have enough serotonin, that the chemicals in my brain were imbalanced. This is what started the “I’m broken,” and “I’m worthless,” and “why am I even here?” thoughts. I’ve always had this internal argument with myself. I’ve always felt like an outcast. 


Even as a young child, I had trouble letting people in and being social. I had so much anxiety about school that sometimes I would go to the bathroom to hide. I didn’t want to be around people because I felt so different. I was so ashamed of not being like the other kids that I would hurt myself and pause my crying when people came in.  

When My Suicidal Episodes Started

When I Decided I Wanted to Live

Last year, I decided to go back into an IOP program because I could feel myself spiraling again. I started a mood stabilizer that seemed to regulate my mood swings. A month later, I made an impulsive decision to move down to Southern California to live with my best friend after a hard break up. I thought it would fix everything. For a while it did help, but then I was starting to spiral again. Looking back, it was a very out of character decision for me: moving after only a week of consideration? I never did ything that impulsive unless it was a snap decision to change my hair or get a new tattoo or piercing, things I can consciously control.   I like to think of myself as a very self-aware person when it comes to my mental health. I try to be diligent and informed, and yet I didn’t see what was happening. I had never done anything like that before. This was the first time I experienced this new symptom: hypomania.   Five months ago, I had a suicidal episode. Before I could attempt, I had my best friend take me to the ER where I was committed to a psychiatric ward for the first time in my life. I was released from the inpatient facility on the condition that I commit to therapy, and I agreed. For the first time, I legitimately wanted to get better. I quit my job under advisement of the doctors that were treating me. I decided moving back up north was the best idea for my mental health. 

I didn’t have suicidal thoughts until high school. I remember being dumped over text message. My heart was crushed. It felt like my life was falling apart. I couldn’t take the pain. I immediately got sick, quickly followed by a panic attack. When the overwhelming pain died down, I went to bed and passed out thinking that would be it. I woke up the next day overcome with shame and feeling like a failure.   My senior year, I decided to try medication and my world got clearer. I felt better. I stopped selfharming and took my meds religiously. Things were looking up, that is, until the meds stopped working. I had two suicidal episodes in the span of two years. And there have been two more since.    It’s hard to look at your family after that, even if they understand or are trying to. How do you tell anyone you love that you want to die? It has taken me years to realize that I don’t actually want to die, and I never really did.    After the third attempt, I was put into an intensive outpatient program (IOP). That’s when I got my BPD diagnosis. I finally found out there was an actual reason for all my extreme behaviors. It explained why “abandonment” COUNSELING • PSYCHOTHERAPY diminished my self-worth, ENERGY PSYCHOLOGY why I want to hurt myself, Individuals • Couples • Families why I’m impulsive and why Qualified Forida Intern Supervision my relationship patterns are so tumultuous. It MA, LMHC, NBCC DCEP explained everything. It Text or email to schedule your next appointment today explained how trauma had 321.624.9165 • Ladiebugs805@aol.com shaped my life.

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19


life &

WORK

When I Got on the Road to Recovery

 

Now I am actively in treatment. I see a psychiatrist who recently diagnosed me with bipolar II disorder. On top of BPD, depression and complex PTSD. I see my psychologist and psychiatrist once a month, I take coping skills classes twice a week, and I started my first semester of college in January.    Even though I’m still struggling and sometimes seeing my future can be hard, I am determined to live the life I’ve been given. I actually want to plan my life for once—to feel as if I have a purpose. I am hoping one day I can have the chance to help children and young adults like myself. I think it’s very important to encourage healthy coping skills at an early age. 

I will never be cured, but I deserve to get better and to be my best self. Every year I live, from this

year forward, is one to celebrate. I never thought I would make it, but here I am.  

Cassandra Hall is a 26-year-old psychology major and animal lover. She’s passionate about mental health advocacy and awareness. She hopes one day to be able to help children and young adults struggling with mental health. National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

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LEAVING YOUR JOB?

What happens to your

(k)

If you're in the early stages of your working life - or even in the not-soearly ones - the chances are pretty good that you will change jobs at some point. When that happens, you'll probably leave a few things behind - but will one of them be your 401 (k)? Of course, you wouldn’t really forget about your 401(k). (It does happen, however – over the period from 2004 through 2013, more than 25 million people left at least one 401(k) or similar plan behind when they left their job, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.) But you will have to do something with your account.

Essentially, you have four choices:

1

You can cash out your 401(k). It’s your money, but if you take it out before you reach 59 ½, you will owe federal income taxes, plus any applicable state and local taxes. Also, you will likely be charged a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. Perhaps even more important, if you liquidate your 401(k) when you change jobs, you’ll be reducing the amount you’ll have left for retirement.

2

You can leave your 401(k) with your old employer. If your former employer permits it, you can leave your 401(k) intact, even after you move to a different job. This might be appealing to you if you like the investment choices in your account, but you won’t be able to make any new contributions. Plus, you won’t face any immediate tax consequences.

3

You can move the money to your new employer’s 401(k). You can consolidate your old 401(k) with one offered by your new employer, if allowed. You won’t take a tax hit, and you might like your new plan’s investment options. And you may find it easier to manage your funds if they’re all held in one place.

4

You can roll your 401(k) into an IRA. You don’t need the permission from any employer – old or new – to move your old 401(k) to an IRA. Your money will continue to grow on a tax-deferred basis, and an IRA offers you a virtually unlimited array of investment options – stocks, bonds, mutual funds and so on. You can make either a direct or indirect rollover. With a direct rollover, the administrator of your old 401(k) sends your money directly to the financial provider that holds your rollover IRA. No tax is withheld because you never actually take possession of the money. With an indirect rollover, you’re technically withdrawing the money and moving it to the IRA provider yourself. (You’ve got 60 days to make this transfer.) You will face a withholding of 20% of your account’s assets, but you may be able to recover most of this amount when you file your tax return. Still, for the sake

of ease of movement and avoidance of all tax issues, a direct rollover may be more advantageous. Which of these options is right for you? There’s no one “right” answer for everyone. You’ll have to consider several factors, and you’ll certainly want to consult your tax professional before making any decision. But in any case, do whatever you can to preserve – and hopefully grow – your 401(k) assets. You’ll need these resources to help fund the retirement lifestyle you want and deserve.

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Profile for Osceola Woman Magazine

Osceola Woman Magazine September-October 2019  

Osceola Woman Magazine September-October 2019  

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