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SUNDAY, October 23, 2011

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Rome News-Tribune


Rome News-Tribune

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

SUNDAY, October 23, 2011

3

File / Rome News-Tribune

About 1,800 students and teachers from Adairsville schools write the work “Hope” with a pink ribbon on the Adairsville Middle School football field.

Adairsville reviving human pink ribbon By Charlotte Atkins Editor

Adairsville Middle School football field last October. “We have decided to make this an anCAtkins@RN-T.com nual event to promote awareness and to Last year, Adairsville brought HOPE to honor people who are fighting the battle town during Breast Cancer Awareness with cancer, and specifically breast cancer, and who have lost their battle with Month. That’s because some 1,800 students, this horrible disease,” said Christy Ridteachers and community members gath- ley, a teacher at Adairsville Middle. The 2011 event is scheduled for Oct. ered to form the word “HOPE” — including a human pink ribbon — on the 28.

Organizers are coordinating with local doctors offices and businesses to invite all cancer survivors and caregivers to come join in the event. This year’s event will also include a “survivor lap” at the end of the ceremony. Folks from around the area are invited to don pink shirts and outfits and show up at the Adairsville Middle School football field in time to be ready to line up

in formation by 9 a.m. “In an effort to increase our community relationships, we have invited the faculty of Adairsville Elementary and the fifth-graders from Pine Log Elementary and Clear Creek Elementary,” said Ridley. “We are also inviting all cancer survivors. … Our goals is to have as many cancer survivors as we can.” Adairsville Middle School is located at 100 College St. in Adairsville.

Runner Melinda Floyd is shown during the Three Rivers Run 5K and 2-mile Health Walk that took place Oct. 15 in Rome. Proceeds from the inaugural 5K and health walk benefitted The Breast Center at Floyd in the Harbin

Clinic Tony E. Warren M.D. Cancer Center. The Mobile Mammography Coach, breast health advocates from The Breast Center and Floyd Healthcare Foundation participated, providing breast health awareness and education.

Painting the town

Pink Contributed photo

Lisa Hall / Rome News-Tribune

Pepperell High School cheerleaders pres- ing Pepperell’s first-ever Pink Out game, ent their Pink Out sign for a special Pink footballs sponsored by Harbin Clinic were Out football game against Armuchee. Dur- tossed into the crowd.

Contributed photo

RIGHT: Krista Hargrove (from left) Dough Gresham, Debarah McCarley and Tim Conley gather for the fifth annual Pink Ride at Berry College. The horseback trail ride supports The Mary Kay Lisa Hall / Rome News-Tribune Foundation and the treatment The Darlington School cheerleaders present The Darlington Pink Out included an infor- and research of cancers that the pink ribbon that painted on the football mation fair, and pink T-shirts were presented affect women. More than 30 field in honor of their own Pink Out game. to the opposing Bremen cheerleaders. riders came along for the three-hour trek, raising $7,000 the day of the ride. Read more about the Pink Outs on page 4.

LEFT: Redmond Regional Medical Center staffers Becky Young, lead mammography tech; Cheryl Smetts, clinical coordinator; and Emily Williams, registrar, hand out goodie bags at the Women’s Center during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month the Women’s Center is offering $49 mammograms, goodie bags to all patients who get screened in October, plus random selection of winners for pink grocery bags and breast cancer awareness T-shirts. They also are providing goodie bags to Norton Women’s Clinic and NWGA Women’s Clinic.

Lisa Hall / Rome News-Tribune


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SUNDAY, October 23, 2011

•

Rome News-Tribune

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Look Good, Feel Better

Something to cheer about z Darlington and Pepperell cheerleaders organize “pink out� games this season.

Program helps cancer patients gain confidence By Lydia Senn Staff Writer LSenn@RN-T.com

Patricia Lewis’ life has changed. On Feb. 16, 2011, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After four rounds of chemotherapy the Cedartown resident was left with little hair, and for weeks she wore a beautiful blond wig. But recently Lewis found the confidence to show what remained of her hair before cancer, a salt and pepper gray pixie that few people could pull off. “I’m going out to lunch with friends. It will be the first time anyone has seen me without a wig,� she said. Lewis found the confidence to go wigless after participating in Look Good, Feel Better. The program offers monthly sessions where

women get together for licensed cosmetologists to give them hands-on tips and information about everything from hair care and wig maintenance to makeup techniques, including eyebrows and eyelashes. “A lot of times we get ladies that don’t know about makeup. They don’t know how to draw on eyebrows or how to apply eyeliner so it looks like she has eyelashes,� said Colleen Adams, a volunteer with Medical Alliance, which helps sponsor Look Good, Feel Better. The Medical Alliance was founded in 2001 by the wives of several local physicians. “It was an effort to give back to the community and provide support,� said Tamatha Abdou, a volunteer. Medical Alliance provides volunteers, locations and refreshments to the women who participate in the program.

From staff reports Lydia Senn / Rome News-Tribune

Patricia Lewis said, “It has been wonderful because you get to talk to others going through the same thing. You don’t feel so alone.� The Look Good, Feel Better program itself is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the cosmologists who help the women apply their makeup are trained by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the Professional Beauty Association. The program isn’t just for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer; it is for any woman who is facing any form of cancer. “It has been wonderful because you get to talk to others going through the same thing. You don’t feel so alone. In the beginning, when you are first diagnosed, you feel like you

have been violated. You feel so alone. This is a good connection,� Lewis said. The program covers everything from caring for skin that has been changed by cancer treatment to applying makeup and hair care. Lewis was one of three survivors to participate in the October program. She said she would recommend it to any cancer patient. Lewis’ cancer was detected through a mammogram, which is where doctors saw a tumor the size of a grape. “I couldn’t feel it,� she said. “All women should get a mammogram. Never go without a mammogram.�

Dealing with news, treatment can be difficult By Morgan Clemones Staff Writer MClemones@NPCo.com

Dusti Edwards was devastated by news she received this past July. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. Edwards said her family, who she describes as loving, were all upset and shocked just as much as she was. Edwards found a lump in her breast in March and immediately scheduled a mammogram. But the mammogram results did not show anything, and she then made an appointment with another doctor who did not feel anything either. Edwards said she and her family struggled with feeling angry that the mammogram did not show anything even though the cancer lump was there the whole time.

Lisa Hall / RN-T

Dusti Edwards is fighting breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. As the lump started getting larger, Dusti scheduled an appointment with her family doctor who scheduled for her to see a surgeon. The surgeon requested an MRI. On July 8, the results came back and showed cancer. She had a breast biopsy that same day. A PET scan later revealed that the

cancer had spread to her back. On July 27, Edwards had back surgery to remove the cancer, and she began chemotherapy on Sept. 21. She described her first treatment as hard. Edwards receives her treatment every three weeks on Wednesdays. After her treatments, she feels OK for a day and a half because of all the steroids and medicines, but then she starts feeling sick. Although she is going through a lot, Edwards still tries to stay active. She plays tennis with her friends and walks the block whenever she is feeling up to it. She also continues to work at Rome Respiratory whenever she is not sick from a treatment. Morgan Clemones is a student at Pepperell High School and is interning with the Rome News- Tribune.

Helping patients navigate cancer z Cancer Navigators helps on the journey from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

While the bright green grass of gridirons is the primary color of football season, some local high school cheering squads have been adding a touch of pink. Make that a big dose of pink. Darlington School’s cheerleaders’ community service project was a “Pink Out� for breast cancer for the Sept. 16 matchup between Darlington and Bremen. The Darlington cheer teams donned pink T-shirts thanks to the generosity of Redmond Regional Medical Center. T-shirts were also given to the visiting Bremen cheerleaders. Fans got into the spirit too. In addition Floyd’s bright green Mobile Mammography Coach was on site at the game for tours. “I have lost four friends so this is very near and dear to me. That’s why I got involved,� said says Abby Holcombe, Darlington parent and Floyd Foundation volunteer. The inspiration for the “Pink Out� came when the cheerleaders were trying to come up with their community service project for the fall. Kandi Riddle, who succumbed to cancer this year, was a longtime cheerleader coach for Darlington, and the girls wanted a project that honored her. The cheerleaders moved around the stadium with pink buckets for donations and collected more than $1,000. The money, collected in Riddle’s honor, will benefit Cancer Navigators, a Rome nonprofit that helps local cancer patients on their journey from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. Riddle was on the Cancer Navigators

board of directors and it was dear to her heart. An extra sentimental touch was the Darlington cheerleaders sporting pink ribbons with Kandi Riddle’s name in their hair. It all got started when cheerleader Mary Bailey Jones wrote a letter to Redmond about sponsoring the pink T-shirts, and it gained momentum from there. It grew into an information event with a big pink tent on site with advocates from The Breast Center at Floyd as well as Redmond on hand to share information about detection, prevention and care. “This is to increase awareness and early detection,� said Holcombe. “It gets all the kids involved and shows them it’s a great big world out there, and they can make a difference.� Echoed Spirit Squad coach BeBe Cline, “We want them to learn to be an active part of the community and to give back.� Even the football field got the pink touch as pink ribbons were painted on the field. Pepperell High School added some pink to its black and gold in its faceoff with Armuchee this season. PHS hosted its first ever football “Pink Out� game in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With pink T-shirts, tattoos and bracelets, the PHS cheerleaders raised spirit and awareness for their cause. The stadium was decorated for the night, and students and fans were encouraged to show off their pink. Harbin Clinic Oncology sponsored of the event and was on hand with information and insight concerning breast cancer awareness. Harbin also provided pink spirit footballs that were tossed into the crowd during the game. Some of the proceeds of the event again went to Cancer Navigators, which had a booth at the game. Now that’s something to cheer about.

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From staff reports Living is challenging enough without being told you have a complicated disease. And then comes the challenge of trying to navigate the health care and treatment processes. That is why Floyd County’s medical community founded Cancer Navigators several years ago. Representatives of Rome’s medical providers created Cancer Navigators to streamline how those fighting cancer navigate their illness. So far this year, Cancer Navigators has assisted more than 362 patients. Of those 144 — about 40 percent — have been breast cancer patients. Cancer Navigators provides service through three focuses — nurse navigation, service navigation and education navigation. Nurse navigators are registered nurses who help patients better understand how cancer treatment works, and they guide them on their medical treatment journey. Service navigators talk to patients, family members and caregivers to identify obstacles such as financial shortcomings or transportation needs as well help them handle the emotional upheaval and stress that a cancer diagnosis can bring with it. The third service is education navigation, which focuses on helping patients learn about methods of treatment and support as well as preventive health education. With the opening of the new Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren M.D. Cancer Center this past spring, the or-

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Thresia Williams shows a special quilt made in the Cancer Navigators Resource Center at for her by her sister Carol Palmer out of breast The Breast Center at Floyd in the Harbin cancer-themed T-shirts. The quilt is on display Clinic Tony E. Warren M.D. Cancer Center.

Charlotte Atkins / RN-T

This square is Thresia Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; favorite because her mother used to make sock monkeys. ganization went from assisting a couple hundred patients to meeting with most newly diagnosed patients locally. Cancer Navigators is located at 316 W. Fifth St. in Rome, conveniently located near the cancer center. The organization also has a Resource Center in the cancer center.

The nonprofit has expanded from serving patients from Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties to much of Northwest Georgia and some Northeast Alabama residents The group has been busy during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, participating in numerous activities, including the Chickfil-A kickoff for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Pink Out games at Pepperell High and Darlington School and attending Redmondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Surviving to Share event. And for those who want to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get your Pink On,â&#x20AC;? Sheila Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Salon on Shorter Avenue is doing pink hair extensions, feathers and color for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and 50 percent of proceeds will go to Cancer Navigators. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Breast Journeyâ&#x20AC;? handmade quilt by a cancer patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister on display in the Cancer Navigator Resource Center at The Breast Center at Floyd.

Thresia Williams is a survivor of both bladder cancer and breast cancer. Her sister Carol Palmer is a middle school art teacher from Moultrie, and she wanted to create something special to celebrate her sisterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nearly five years of survival since her breast cancer diagnosis. So she made Williams a quilt of breast cancer Tshirts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had a lot of T-shirts, and others from Bosom Buddies donated some,â&#x20AC;? said Williams. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is just very special because it was made by my sister. Each square means something to me.â&#x20AC;? And Cancer Navigators means the world to her. In fact, Williams, who has also survived bladder cancer this past year, was also an honorable mention winner in Redmondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Surviving to Share, and her story touted how Cancer Navigators has helped her on her journey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just cannot say enough about Cancer Navigators. What they do is amazing and makes such a difference.â&#x20AC;?

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Rome News-Tribune

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

SUNDAY, October 23, 2011

5

Myth busting Misconceptions about breast cancer By Kim Sloan Staff Write

grams are not as painful as they are led to believe. If you are concerned about KSloan@RN-T.com pain, Griffin said the best According to the Ameri- time to have a mammogram can Cancer Society, about is about five days after one in eight women will your menstrual cycle ends. You can also take some get breast ibuprofen before having a cancer. Demammogram. spite inz All breast lumps are creased cancer. Many women are publicity afraid to see a doctor when and awarethey see a change or lump ness, there in their breast, fearing the are some worst. But about 80 permyths about cent of all breast lumps breast canare benign. At The Breast cer and the Aimee Center, a woman can come screening Griffin in for an exam, have the process. Aimee Griffin, director of necessary tests and know The Breast Center at Floyd, by the next day the results, Griffin said. outlines the top five. “We know the waiting z Mammograms hurt. Many women put off having can be the most difficult a mammogram after hear- part” Griffin said. z Mammograms catch all ing stories about how painful it is. However many cancers. While mammowomen learn that mammo- grams catch most cancers,

‘Paper dolls’ In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Floyd Medical Center placed “paper doll” silhouettes all around Rome, including at the Porto Futurus sculpture at the Ledbetter Interchange. Photos by Daniel Varnado, Rome News-Tribune

Contributed photo

Caren Helene Rudman, curator of “Voices and Visions: Standing on the Bridge Between Health and Disease,” sets up an art exhibit in The Breast Center at Floyd in the Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren M.D. Cancer Center.

‘Voices and Visions’ art exhibit on display By Morgan Clemones Staff writer MClemones@NPCo.com

“Voices and Visions” at a conference and thought it would be a great event to bring to The Breast Center. The exhibit is a collection of 45 pieces of art, testimonials and photos created by 27 different artists who have been affected by women’s cancers. These artists are friends and family members of women diagnosed with cancer, and patients or survivors themselves. The “Voices and Visions” art exhibit be on display until Nov. 1. Anyone can come and view the art between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at The Breast Center at Floyd, which is located on the third floor of the Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren M.D. Cancer Center in Rome.

As a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Breast Center at Floyd is hosting a national touring art exhibit featuring the work of those directly affected by breast health issues. The art exhibit, “Voices and Visions: Standing on the Bridge Between Health and Disease,” is on display at The Breast Center at Floyd through the end of October. Voices and Visions has come to Floyd Medical Center courtesy of Medline, which is a healthcare supply company that works with FMC and curator Caren Helene Rudman. Bill Fortenberry, public relations specialist at Morgan Clemones is a stuFMC, said they got the idea of bringing the art exhibit dent at Pepperell High to town when one of the School and is interning with physicians heard about the Rome News- Tribune.

Contributed photo

SHADES OF PINK: The Floyd Healthcare Foundation played host to the Shades of Pink Fashion Show and Silent Auction on Oct. 13. The Forrest Place Ballroom was transformed into a pink fashion house for an evening of fashion and all things pink. Local models, including Jan Fergerson, showcased the latest fashions from local clothing stores.

some are caught either by the patient or during the yearly annual exam. That’s why doing self-breast exams and seeing your physician yearly are so important. “So many women have found a problem themselves,” Griffin said. z Breast cancer usually isn’t hereditary. Wrong — women should know their risk. Any woman who has a first-degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) who has had breast cancer may want to consider starting their screenings before the recommended age of 40. z Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk. The fact is having no family history of breast cancer does not shield you from the disease. Many women who are diagnosed have no history of breast cancer in their family.


6

SUNDAY, October 23, 2011

Rome News-Tribune

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Cancer on both sides of spectrum

Surviving to Share celebrates inspirational stories, spirits By Severo Avila Features Editor SAvila@RN-T.com

z Medals 4 Mettle winner Dawn Lambert is a survivor and has been a caregiver multiple times. By Lydia Senn Staff Writer LSenn@RN-T.com

Dawn Lambert is not easily broken. “I’m still here. I’m still ticking along,” she said. Lambert is the definition of survivor. She has survived three bouts of cancer, she has survived the death of three immediate family members and she has survived it all with grace. Lambert was just 35 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2000. She had a mastectomy of her right breast and went through several rounds of chemotherapy. But four years later the cancer returned. This time in Lambert’s left breast. She went through another mastectomy. “The third time I was diagnosed was in 2007,” she said. “It was in my spine.” In between her first three diagnoses, both of Lambert’s parents were told they had lung cancer, and both of her parents died. It was Lambert who took care of them. “I’ve been on both sides of the cancer spectrum. There are a lot of people who don’t get to see it from both angles,” she said. Being a caregiver, Lambert said, was more challenging than being a patient because she was watching the people she loved goes through their own set of challenges. “You know what they are going through. You know the pain and emotion, and it’s hard to watch,” she said.

Contributed photo

Dawn Lambert, a Medals 4 Mettle winner, said she’s “been on both sides of the cancer spectrum.”

‘I saw women younger than me diagnosed with breast cancer. They died, and I didn’t. For a long time I didn’t understand that, but now I know I am here for a reason. I’m just not sure what that is.’ Dawn Lambert Medal 4 Mettle winner It was also hard for Lambert to let go. In April 2010 Lambert’s older sister, Pam Kanavel, was diagnosed with lung cancer at 49. Lambert moved Kanavel into her home and took care of her full time. “Taking care of my sister was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Lambert said. Kanavel’s death came quickly after her diagnosis. She died on Nov. 13, 2010. “She was robbed. She was so young, and then she was gone,” Lambert said. While many couldn’t face the heartbreaking reality of watching a loved one die, Lambert views her last days with her family as a blessing, just one more moment she got to share with them. This seems to be Lambert’s entire approach to cancer. “I saw women younger than me diagnosed with breast cancer. They died, and I didn’t. For a long time I didn’t understand

that, but now I know I am here for a reason,” she said. “I’m just not sure what that is.” Lambert recently was recognized as the recipient of the North Georgia Chapter of Medals 4 Mettle. The nonprofit gives medals that have been won by athletes in marathons, halfmarathons and triathlons, to children and adults battling life-threatening illnesses. Lambert was recognized for her bravery as both a survivor and caregiver. “I try to be positive and surround myself with positive people,” she said. Lambert isn’t focused on the past, or the future for that matter. She focuses on the now, spending as much time as possible with her two grandsons, Austin Vines, 11 and Evan Lambert, 6. “They are my world,” she said. And she says she owes a lot of her survival to her son, Brian Lambert, who was by her side for every step of her cancer journey. “Without him I wouldn’t be here,” she said. Her medal was awarded to her at the Oct. 11 Surviving to Share banquet. “The committee chose her because of her incredible story,” said Medals 4 Mettle’s North Georgia chapter coordinator John Crowley. “She’s a three-time breast cancer survivor and has been a caregiver for three family members who have died from cancer. Crowley said Lambert’s medal was won by a local runner in a marathon that was a fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Each year, breast cancer survivors share their stories of hope and inspiration in the Surviving to Share project. This year, Marsha Anderson, Cindy DeBerry and Beth Erwin were the winners chosen at the ninth annual Surviving to Share banquet Oct. 11 at Coosa Country Club. Redmond Regional Medical Center, along with other local sponsors, hosts a contest in which cancer survivors tell their stories of hope and inspiration, pain and perseverance. Three winners were celebrated at the banquet, along with their families and caregivers. The winners didn’t know they were chosen until their stories were read out loud at the banquet by Lisa Smith, executive director of the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau. Anderson’s essay celebrated her six years as a breast cancer survivor and praised the Surviving to Share program. “I now realized that hope is one of Marsha the greatest gifts we Anderson have been given,” she wrote. “Surviving to Share is our hope. What you can give carries no price tag but its value is priceless. We cling to it when the future looks uncertain and praise it when things turn out better than we could have imagined. Hope is the foundation on which we build our dreams and aspirations.” DeBerry’s story emphasized how blessed she felt, despite a cancer diagnosis at age 34. She spoke of her treatments and particularly the fact that she will have to remain on chemotherapy for the rest of Cindy her life. DeBerry “I cannot say that I am sorry that I have cancer. I know God has a great plan for me,” she wrote. “I’m able to slow down and enjoy the small things.

RN-T.com Visit the Rome News-Tribune website to read the Surviving to Share winners’ stories. I refuse to say ‘why me.’ Why not me? I am no better than anyone else. I have great doctors and nurses and I have learned patience and I have great caregivers. God has carried me through this journey and I have been so blessed.” Erwin’s story focused on her journey and used her essay to encourage other women to hope and to fight. “I have to say that I find my strength in G o d ’s w o r d a n d through the support Beth Erwin of my wonderful family and friends,” she wrote. “You see, I am just another one of the many women who chose to fight and become a survivor. I only want to be an encouragement to anyone who needs to know they are not alone. I choose to see each day as a gift.” In addition to the three winners, three honorable mentions were also awarded to Thresia Williams, Gina Cook and Betty Aycock. All six award recipients received gift bags and bluebird houses. The winners received gift baskets and prizes including a stay at Barnsley Gardens. As a special addition to this year’s event, two additional awards were presented. The Pansy Dorling Award was given to Diane Miller, who the committee felt has been a role model, resource and an advocate for other women with breast cancer. Another very special award given was by the North Georgia Chapter of Medals 4 Mettle, a nonprofit that facilitates the gifting of medals that have been won by athletes in marathons, half-marathons and triathlons, to children and adults battling life-threatening illnesses. Dawn Lambert was the recipient of a Medal 4 Mettle. (See the related report about Lambert’s experiences as a cancer survivor and caregiver at left.)

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