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know in the

understanding the cancer experience

Issue 30 complimentary magazine

SUMMER! Learn which healthy choices minimize risks and maximize summer fun Great summer recipes that pack flavor and health benefits Preview of ‘Keep on Dancing’ Survivor Conference New skin cancer treatment

in BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gordon L. Black, M.D., Honorary Michele Aboud Robert Ash Patricia Carter, RN Ted Edmunds Sam Faraone Monica Gomez Youn-mi Jaquez Dan Olivas Irene Pistella Shelly Ruddock Ruben Schaeffer Ken Slavin Katie Updike Polly Vaughn Steve Yellen EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Patricia Tiscareño PROGRAM OFFICER Jutta Ramirez

this issue:

Great is the sun, and wide he goes Through empty heaven with repose; And in the blue and glowing days More thick than rain he showers his rays. Though closer still the blinds we pull To keep the shady parlour cool, Yet he will find a chink or two To slip his golden fingers through …. Excerpt from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Summer Sun

The summer solstice will herald the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, 2014 at 6:51 a.m., EDT. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator and is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. I dislike summer. Even though I am a born and bred El Paso girl, I simply refuse to accept that the sun in 2014 is the same one of my youth. It seems more fierce and unforgiving. As summer approaches, the topic of favorite seasons is often debated around the dinner table with the younger folks offering the pro side of summer while I malign its’ lack of worth. Herein is our “Top Ten Reasons” why we love/loathe the summer season: Love Summer


1. No school. 2. You get to go swimming.

1. No school. 2. Put on a bathing suit? Are you crazy?

3. You can sleep late.

3. Does 7:00 a.m. qualify as late? It’s too hot to sleep anyway.

Maggie Rodriguez Rachel Juarez

in the


Loathe Summer

4. You can hang out with your friends. 5. Summer blockbuster movies. 6. Outdoor barbecues. 7. Fourth of July. 8. Sun tanning. 9. Summer cocktails. 10. Refrigerated air.

4. Hanging out too long with your friends results in a hangover. 5. Godzilla and Marvel Comic heroes for $12? Netflix works for me! 6. Is the cookout at my house again? 7. I’m hiding under the bed with the poodle. 8. Can you say, ‘melanoma?’ 9. At last, a point on which we agree! 10. Yeah, but there is still an abundance of swamp cooling going on.

Whatever your view of summer, it has arrived. In the Know advises you to approach the season of sweat, humidity, mosquitos and bad fashion with survival tools to endure. You’re in luck, as this issue is filled with information about beating the heat, taking advantage of the abundance of summer fruits and vegetables and ways to protect yourself from skin cancer. Also in this 30th issue, we preview the upcoming Cancer Survivor Conference which will be held on August 23, 2014 at the Wyndham Hotel. Now in its sixth year, the conference agenda has something for everyone, and while it has a cancer survivorship moniker, the workshops are beneficial to everyone. You don’t have to be a survivor to attend. We urge you to take advantage of this unique educational opportunity. Rest assured, the Wyndham Hotel has refrigerated air! -Patty Tiscareño, Executive Director


6 page

10 page

16 page

is published by the

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation 10460 Vista del Sol, Suite 101 El Paso, TX 79925 (915) 562-7660 fax (915) 562-7841 by

Snappy Publishing

Suit up for summer

Effective treatment

Green for me, please

From decoding SPF’s to packing a picnic basket - we have got you covered with healthy ideas to help prevent cancer risks.

Photodynamic therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for skin cancers. Here we explain how it works and talk to a patient who has undersgone treatment.

What better way to celebreate summer than with fresh, wholesome food choices. Here we talk to one of our local experts on what it is to ‘eat green.’ El Paso, Texas 79912 (915) 820-2800 Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork, or other materials to In the Know for consideration should not send originals unless specifically requested to do so by In the Know in writing. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and other submitted materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed overnight delivery return envelope, postage pre-paid. However, In the Know is not responsible for unsolicited submissions. ©2014 Rio Grande Cancer Foundation. All rights reserved. No part of any article or photograph contained in this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of In the Know. In the Know assumes no responsibility whatsoever for errors, including without limitation, typographical errors or omissions in In the Know. Editorial or advertising content in In the Know does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. In the Know assumes no responsibility for the products or services advertised in this magazine. Publisher reserves the right to edit any material or refuse any advertising submitted.



FIGHT CANCER When you’re treated at Texas Oncology, you can be sure you’re getting world-renowned cancer care right here in El Paso. Our physicians provide compassionate patient care, offer the latest treatment innovations and share one goal: to be the best at what they do. With more than 150 locations and 350 oncologists throughout the state, every Texan can receive recognized cancer care close to home. Maria C. Aloba, M.D. • Byron Chesbro, M.D. • Jesus A. Gomez, M.D. Nanda K. Gopalan, M.D. • Anuradha Gupta, M.D. • Stephanie C. Han, M.D. • Juan Herrada, M.D. • Arsenio Lopez, M.D. Raul Portillo, M.D. • Ragene Rivera, M.D. • Ines Sanchez-Rivera, M.D. • Panagiotis Valilis, M.D.

EL PASO CANCER TREATMENT CENTER GATEWAY 7848 Gateway East El Paso, TX 79915 915-599-1313

EL PASO CANCER TREATMENT CENTER GRANDVIEW 1901 Grandview Avenue El Paso, TX 79902 915-544-6750

1-888-864-I CAN (4226) •


EL PASO CANCER TREATMENT CENTER JOE BATTLE 3270 Joe Battle Boulevard, Suite 312 El Paso, TX 79938 915-849-2700


fun in the


Healthy choices minimize risks and maximize summer fun Sunlight is the main attraction during the summer months but it is also the top risk factor for skin cancer. With sunlight comes heat, the other risky element of summer; rising temperatures can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heatstroke. Healthy living can protect you from these risks and help you beat the heat this summer.

by sallie damron


he t in

n u f s un

Healthy choices minimize risks and maximize summer fun

that filter out 99%+ of UV radiation. Long sleeves and pants are recommended. All fabrics protect the skin from the sun to some degree but for the sun-sensitive consider clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50 or above. Generally, it is best to avoid the outdoors during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the most intense, but if that is not possible, seek shade as often as you can. Also, if you’re at the beach keep in mind both water and sand can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun's rays, adding to your overall exposure.


Protect Your Skin The American Cancer Society cites skin cancer as the most common of all cancers with 3.5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Sunlight is the cause of approximately 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your skin from the sun’s Ultra Violet (UV) rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF

(Sun Protection Factor) every day. Slather it on—this is not a situation where “a little goes a long way”—in fact, you must apply at least one ounce (about a shot glass full) 30 minutes before sun exposure preferably before dressing. But don’t stop there, you must also reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating profusely. Find a sunscreen that is good for everyday use because that is how often you should use it—every day. Sunscreen can do its part to protect you but it is also best to cover up. Wear a broad-brimmed hat (at least 3" all the way around) and sunglasses

Have you heard that if you’re thirsty you may already be dehydrated? There is some truth to that—your body is telling you to drink water because it is on its way to becoming dehydrated. Hot weather can sap moisture from our bodies which is why hydrating is so important when the mercury starts to rise. Staying hydrated decreases the risk of heatrelated illness such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Both illnesses occur when the body overheats, typically caused by physical exercise or high temperatures. Beat the heat by drinking enough water on a daily basis, at least eight to ten, eight ounce glasses. Always choose water over soda and limit dehydrating beverages such as coffee and tea. If you are exercising or outdoors, drink even more water. If it is a struggle for you to consume eight glasses of pure water daily consider alternatives such as coconut water, which is a great source of electrolytes, or infused water. You may enjoy the taste of water more if infused with a combination of fresh fruit and herbs.


It’s as easy as filling a pitcher or portable bottle with water and adding in sliced lemon and a few sprigs of mint.

Seasonal Produce Packs a CancerFighting Punch Some healthy choices are easier to make during the summer months, the heat naturally decreases our appetites--a fresh salad just sounds much better than a piping hot bowl of chili. It is much easier to follow the USDA’s recommendation of filling half our plates with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables in season are also rich in nutrients that help decrease the risk of various types of cancer. Whether you prefer strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries, the summertime is the best time to enjoy them. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), berries are one of the most likely fruits to reduce cancer risk. Berries are not only low in sugar and high in fiber (a winning combination) they are also chalk full of antioxidants. Studies show that antioxidants may slow or prevent the

development of cancer. Fresh berries are your best bet for full nutritional benefits so enjoy them alone, along with other fresh fruit or add them to your cereal, a smoothie or even as a topping on dessert. Other seasonal fruits such as peaches, watermelon, and grapes also contain antioxidants. Grapes are a rich source of the antioxidant resveratrol. A study published in The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology shows that resveratrol may stop cancer from starting in the breast, as well as in the liver, stomach and lymphatic system. Resveratrol is found in the grape’s skin particularly in red and purple grapes. The USDA suggests enjoying fruit such as grapes and watermelon at room temperature rather than chilled to maximize antioxidant content. A variety of tomatoes also guard your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Heirloom tomatoes are a flavorful summertime treat enjoyed in soups, salads, and pasta—raw, grilled or sautéed. Leafy green vegetables straight from a summer garden also offer protection against the risk of various cancers. The wide range of carotenoids in spinach, kale, collard greens, and swiss chard are believed to act as antioxidants which help prevent cancer. In fact, the AICR

report that carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer. Avocados are also available in abundance during the summer months. This nutritional powerhouse provides a combination of cancer fighting nutrients which have been shown to offer significant protection against various cancers. Adding avocado to salads, sandwiches, salsa or even enjoying plain as a snack, the avocado is a refreshing way to fight cancer this summer. Eat your produce fresh or at the very least, crisp. The American Cancer Society warns against overcooking fruits and vegetables to avoid depleting the nutrients they contain. You’ll also want to eat vegetables and fruits at their prime which is when they are just picked. Farmers’ markets only offer foods at their seasonal peak and typically at their prime so be sure to check out your local farmers’ market for the freshest produce available.


he t n i funs u n

well done Cooking advice for the healthy griller By Patty Tiscareño There is a scene from the movie Crocodile Dundee in which Mick Dundee, the Australia newcomer, is assaulted in New York City by a mugger yielding a knife. “That’s not a knife” he contends while drawing and displaying an oversized Bowie and announces confidently to the assailant “This is a knife”. That’s the way I feel about my barbecue grill. It isn’t your run-of-the-mill, ordinary hardware store offering. It’s a homemade giant, adapted from a New Mexico orange barrel through deliberate cutting, hinging and mounting atop sturdy steel legs. Lifting the grate is in itself, an upper body workout and a large bag of Kingsford charcoal fills only about half the belly of the beast. It is the original creation of Fernando, my former brother-in-law, and was only slightly below the four dogs on my top ten list of things I had to have in the divorce settlement. Larry Keller and Christian Millman, authors of Men’s Health Real Life Survival Guide say that “nothing so embodies modern man in all his suburban sanguineness as the backyard barbecue. There, he can coolly demonstrate his prowess over a hot fire, wielding tongs and knives like a samurai warrior. He is master of the marinade, king of the grill.” So this summer, be the master at your cookout but with some precautions. According to Dr. Ted Gansler, director of Medical Content for the American Cancer Society, eating excessive amounts of grilled meat or chicken can increase your risk of developing cancer. This is also true for pan-fried meats at high temperatures. While the risk is real, there are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce the cancer risk. Gerrick Riches, from Your Guide to Barbecues and Grilling explains that the two primary substances are Heterocyclic Amines (HCA) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). In the simplest explanation, these chemicals are formed by putting food, primarily meats, in contact with intense heat and flame. HCAs and PAHs are formed mostly from fat; either by fat being heated to extreme temperatures or by the smoke created by fat burning. They are known cancer causing agents, so you need to reduce their formation as much as you can. These cancer causing culprits

pose the highest risk from welldone or charred meats. So, is there a safe way to grill? Lisa Fayed, in Your Guide to Cancer reminds us that grilling occasionally appears to be okay. Excessive consumption of grilled foods cooked at a very high temperature is the risk factor we want to avoid. Experts recommend that foods be cooked at lower temperatures, even if it means cooking longer. The goal is to prevent charring the meat. You can do this on a charcoal grill by allowing the flames to go down after lighting. On a gas grill (blasphemy!), try raising the grill rack, away from the heat. If you do choose charcoal grilling over gas, try using additive-free lump charcoal, which is just charred wood. Conventional briquettes may contain wood scraps and sawdust as well as coal dust, sodium nitrate, borax and additives like paraffin or lighter fluid. As for lighter fluid, it is recommended avoiding it altogether. A chimney starter costs about $15.00 and makes starting a charcoal fire a breeze. Just place crumpled paper in the bottom of the grill, fill it with charcoal and light the paper. Voila! In about 20 minutes the coals will be hot and ready. Other important tips to help further reduce risk, include keeping your grill clean, trimming the excess fat from foods, avoiding flare-ups and using marinades. Marinating does more than infuse food with flavor; it also inhibits the formation of potentially carcinogenic HCAs which form when grilling poultry, red meat and fish. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, marinating can reduce HCA formation by as much as 92 to 99 percent! Flare-ups happen when fat drips onto the heat source and catches fire. This causes carcinogenic PAHs to form and accumulate on the food. Meat licked by flames may char the outside of food before the inside has thoroughly cooked. To reduce the flare-ups, trim excess fat, remove poultry skin and keep a squirt bottle of water handy. There are approximately 2.9 billion barbecues every year in America, says

Donna Myers, a spokesperson for the Barbecue Industry Association and editor of the Backyard Barbequer. Some 84 percent of families own at least one grill, she adds. At my house, we have two; the requisite gas grill for quick projects like roasting tomatoes and green chili for salsa or foiled fish. And then there’s the mammoth; host to oversized turkeys, rolled roasts and those 20# packages of chicken legs which you buy in bulk because they are on sale. So when we cook on the big grill, we cook in army sized proportions. The author Ogden Nash said of the family that it “is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” I would add the backyard barbecue to that list. So don’t agonize over carcinogens and grilling. Like everything else in life, moderation is the key. Get out of the kitchen, enjoy the sunset; step over the lounging dogs and be careful not to toss the Frisbee over the fence.



BEAT BREAST CANCER Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare strongly recommends a breast-health program of annual mammograms starting at age 40. Detecting breast cancer in its early stages can greatly increase your chances of survival up to 98 percent. We’ve made a lot of progress toward beating breast cancer, but we still have a long way to go. • About 12,100 new cases of invasive breast cancer

are diagnosed in Texas women each year • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among

women in Texas, regardless of race and ethnicity • Among Texas women, breast cancer accounts for

30 percent of all cancer cases Call your doctor today, get screened and encourage others to do the same.

To schedule a mammogram, call Las Palmas Medical Center at 915.521.1150, or Del Sol Medical Center at 915.595.9267.


report the use of topically applied vegetable and plant substances to produce photoreactions in skin and cause a repigmentation of depigmented skin lesions.

Skin Cancer Treatment Advances PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY PROVEN EFFECTIVE & FASTEST By Michelle J. Brown

It’s the largest organ in the body –one that millions of outdoor lovers unwittingly spent lifetimes subjecting to damage that now leads to the most common cancer of all. Most of these currently middle/senior-aged former sun-soakers comprise the 3.5 million skin cancer cases diagnosed each year. This accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, primarily basal and squamous cell skin cancer. Melanoma, the most serious type, will total more than 76,000 cases of skin cancer in 2014. “People didn’t realize what they were doing to themselves in the 1950s and even into the 1980s,” said Matthew Muñoz, Dermatology Technician and Medical Assistant at Northeast El Paso’s Mountain View Dermatology. “People thrived on sun exposure and tanning, pools and beaches. They lived for fun in the sun and outdoor recreation without a thought to SPFs (skin protection factors) or sunscreens. Public health warnings about the dangers of sun exposure were unheard of or rare at best. Now these 40-90-somethings are facing the reality of damage done decades ago.” These patients with localized facial/scalp skin cancer and pre-skin cancer diagnoses now have the option of Photodynamic Therapy—the fastest available treatment proven as effective as topicals that take weeks or months to work. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a

treatment that uses special drugs, called photosensitizing agents, along with light to kill cancer cells. The drugs only work after they have been activated or “turned on” by certain kinds of light. PDT may also be called photoradiation therapy, phototherapy, or photochemotherapy. To treat some skin cancers and to eradicate pre-cancerous cells, the photosensitizing agent is applied directly to the skin’s targeted area. Over a certain amount of time the cancer cells absorb the drug. Then specific blue light is applied to the area to be treated. Not to be confused with radiation/x-rays or lasers, the blue light causes the drug to react with oxygen, which forms a chemical that kills the cells. PDT can only treat areas where light can reach. This means it’s mainly used to treat problems on or just under the skin, or in some cases, the lining of organs that can be reached with the light source. While some of the drugs can travel throughout the body, the treatment only works where the light shines and for this specific In The Know skin cancer feature, it’s all performed topically to face or scalp with ALA (aminolevulinic acid) and blue light (400-450 nanos on the color spectrum). The concept is actually ancient in origin. The earliest recorded treatments that exploited a photosensitizer and a light source, in this case sunlight, for medical effect can be found in ancient Egyptian and Indian sources. Annals over 3000 years old

Modern PDT holds many patient advantages: • It has no long-term side effects when used properly. • It’s less invasive than surgery. • It usually takes only a short time and is most often done as an outpatient. • It can be targeted very precisely. • Unlike radiation, PDT can be repeated many times at the same site if needed. • There’s little or no scarring after the site heals. • It often costs less than other cancer treatments However, PDT cannot be used in people who have certain blood diseases, such as any of the porphyrias (a rare group of diseases that affect the skin or nervous system) or people who are allergic to porphyrins. This allergy is rare, but may happen in those who have gotten porphyrins in the past. Mountain View Dermatology is El Paso’s only public resource for PDT skin cancer treatment, receiving patient referrals from physicians across the region (William Beaumont Army Medical Center has one but only for military patients/families). In the last four-plus years, Mountain View has performed between 1600 and 2000 treatments, averaging 10-12 per week, according to Muñoz, an El Paso native who graduated UTEP and received other specialty PDT training. He has worked at Mountain View for six years (only the Northeast location has the blue light for PDT—their west side locale refers patients to Northeast). “It’s usually completed in half or one day at the clinic and is every bit as effective as topical treatments that can be drawn out for months,” he said. “And there’s virtually no scarring or complications, like postinflammatory hyper-pigmentation that can result from some alternative therapies.” Another advantage is that Medicare and most insurance providers cover PDT. Upon initial consultation, if the targeted area is too deep, the health care provider will treat it to decrease thickness so the ALA can be effectively absorbed during PDT. Some patients may require more than one treatment, or the post-evaluation will determine that liquid nitrogen (‘freezing’) application can address any remaining cells. CLASSIC PATIENT EXPERIENCE Native El Pasoan Andre Bonaguidi underwent PDT this spring at Mountain View. The wine/alcohol wholesaler, musician and spouse of Rio Grande Cancer Foundation Executive Director Patty Tiscareno was like most Southwest dwellers and seized every opportunity in life to thrive outside.

KNOW More>

SKIN CANCER TYPES Squamous and Basal Cell--These types of skin cancer are called non-melanomas to set them apart from the more serious type of skin cancer, melanoma. They usually start in the basal cells or squamous cells found at the base of the outer layer of the skin. Most basal and squamous cell cancers develop on sun-exposed areas of the skin, like the face, ear, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Depending on the type, they can be fast or slow growing, but they rarely spread to other parts of the body.

“If we used anything, it was sun and tanning lotions, not blockers,” he explained. As a fair-skinned child, he received his first sunburns at three- to four-years-old. “We were always active outside playing and swimming and running and laying out by pools and going to White Sands and other popular recreational sites.” Then about five years ago, scalp spots developed. Mountain View’s Dr. Mark Peake biopsied them to confirm first basal cell and later squamous cell carcinomas, both treated by outpatient surgeries. “I received their info on PDT but didn’t consider it until additional, recent scalp spots became more problematic,” he said. “My previous treatments were successful but I didn’t want to go through all that again. So I went for the PDT option in April and after four hours of solution absorption and just minutes of blue light, it was done. I caution that it is painful, like needles and intense heat from a hot iron, but it’s brief and the end result is amazing and effective.” Andre had a 10-day recovery “like after a intense sunburn” as the area peels and is replaced with healthy skin. Although at presstime he was still pending a post-treatment evaluation, they anticipate the vast majority of the cells were destroyed and any residual will likely be addressed by nitrogen ‘freezing.’ “I absolutely recommend and encourage PDT,” said Andre. “It’s all encompassing and so effective and saves tremendous amounts of time.” “Andre is a classic example,” said Muñoz. “Most patients report that PDT is fantastic and they wish they’d explored this option sooner instead of spending so much time and energy on other prolonged treatments. A very small percentage finds the discomfort isn’t worth it and prefer traditional therapy, but the time saved of 14 days max total verses several weeks to months is the biggest advantage and it’s just as effective.”

Basal cell or squamous cell cancers can be cured if found and treated early – when they are small and have not spread. Melanoma –This is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes – the cells that produce the skin coloring or pigment known as melanin. Melanin helps protect the deeper layers of the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Melanoma is almost always curable when it’s found in its very early stages. Although melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancer, it’s far more aggressive than other skin cancers and causes most skin cancer deaths. Though it most often affects the skin (including under the nails), melanoma can start in the eyes, mouth, genital, or anal areas, too.

Melanoma will account for more than 76,000 cases of invasive skin cancer in 2014, according to the American Cancer Society ( It accounts for more than 9,700 of the nearly 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year. The overall 5-year relative survival rate for melanoma is 91%. For localized melanoma, it’s 98%; survival rates for regional and distant stage diseases are 62% and 16%, respectively. About 84% of melanomas are diagnosed at a localized stage. Sources: Mountain View Dermatology, American Cancer Society (, National Cancer Institute

Andre Bonaguidi

PDT: What can you expect? First, your medical care provider will assess and evaluate your condition to determine if PDT is right for you. Prior to having the actual PDT treatment, the crust and scale is removed from the skin cancer. Then they apply the drug cream (that contains the light sensitizing chemical) to the skin cancer/pre-cancer and the surrounding area. After cream application, the affected area will be covered for 1 to 4 hours. This allows the drug to absorb into the skin cancer cells. At Mountain View Dermatology, the cream contains the drug called 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), which is used only on the face/scalp. The 5-ALA makes the skin very sensitive to light. After it has been absorbed, you have a special type of blue light focused on to the affected area. The light kills any cell that has absorbed the 5-ALA. While the light is on, you will feel a stinging or burning sensation in the treatment area. Although some patients take Motrin or Tylenol before treatment, localized anesthetic is NOT an option because those drugs inhibit absorption of the ALA. You can have more than one skin cancer treated at a time and can have PDT more than once. You will be advised to avoid sun exposure for 48 hours after the procedure. It is fine to bathe or shower if you treat the area gently. It will scab over and the scab falls off on its own about 3 weeks later. If you have a thick skin lesion, you may need another treatment about 4 weeks later.


August 23, 2014


Special Program Preview Keep On Dancing

Cancer Survivor Conference August 23, 2014 • Wyndham Hotel Join us for the sixth annual Rio Grande Cancer Foundation Cancer Survivor Conference: Keep on Dancing. Each year we provide inspiration and motivation for cancer survivors and their caregivers. This year’s program is shaping up to be our best ever.* Please call 562-7660 for more information or log on at

8:00 Registration And Continental Breakfast

9:00 Sessions “Been There, Done That, Don’t Wanna Go There Again” Dealing With Fear Of Recurrence Elizabeth Richeson, Ph.D. Healing Yoga Erin Stroud

Livestrong And Be Strong – Fitness For Cancer Survivors YmCA An Interactive Presentation And Tasting From The Green Ingredient Jacqueline Cordova


2:00 Sessions A Guide To Herbs, Legumes And Spices Armando Gonzalez Stuart, Ph.D The Natural Approach To Purification Dr. Cynthia Carey Tai-Chi For Health And Wellbeing Ray Abeyta

Restorative Remedies

12:45 Sessions

"Influencing Healing Through Belief Work" David Henry

An Interactive Presentation And Tasting From The Green Ingredient Jacqueline Cordova

Essentially Beautiful – Caring For Your Skin Anthony Saldivar And Bertina Delgado

Coping With And Overcoming Lymphedema Sandra Terrazas

Controversies In Breast Cancer Dr. Anu Gupta And Dr. Ragene Rivera

Plus! Learn About These Restorative Remedies Between Sessions


Cancer And Spirituality –Judy O’Connor

Restorative Remedies

10:30 Sessions Straight Talk About Cancer And Genetics Tripti Shrivastava

Affirmation Cards: Reminding Yourself Of How Wonderful You Are! Janine Rudnick

massage Tea Tasting Aromatherapy Fitness Products Fitness Assessments Herbs And Vitamins Your Skin Needs Care

Know The 10 Signs Of Memory Loss

*Programs subject to change


Exploring the wide spectrum of therapy

By: John Del Rosario Take a closer look at local physical therapy, rehab and wellness clinic Spectrum Therapy Consultants’ logo. The S is actually two people, one reaching out her hand to the other beneath her. Call it a red and black deconstructed yin and yang. Both symbols convey symbiosis, but the Spectrum S extends into a generous metaphor for owner Sandra Terrazas’ life and relationship to her community in El Paso. “I love the community,” Terrazas said. “I love the people that I work with. It’s the extended family and friends and relationships that come from a city like El Paso where you share the same common mission of helping those who need us.” This is part of why she never wanted

to leave the city and took every chance she could to simultaneously make a respectable living here and provide services to the community with her medical expertise. This led her to, among other things, earn two Master’s Degrees, open and operate multiple rehabilitation clinics (including her own), create a fitness and wellness program for the oncology community and even spread her love of helping people to patients in Guatemala. Before opening up her first Spectrum Therapy Consultants location back in 2006, Terrazas’ life took a series of turns driven by a pursuit of education and good decision making. While attending El Paso High School, her athletic trainer saw her potential and recommended that Terrazas attend college to pursue physical therapy. “I originally wanted to

get into athletic training,” she said of her initial goals right out of high school. After graduating Texas Tech University, she came back to El Paso to work with Providence Memorial Hospital then later Sierra Medical. While at the hospitals, she pursued her Master’s degree in Kinesiology with the intention of teaching at the university level. But, as life goes, her pursuits changed to her circumstances and agreed to help some partners who wanted to add a rehabilitation center to their home health agency and durable medical supplies operation. After working with that company for two years, she decided to open up her own practice. So, after getting a Master’s in Business Administration, she started the process of opening Spectrum.

15 “You come to specialist after the fact that you have a problem. You never do preventative health care, which is proactive health care. Exercise is the most prescribed entity, but it’s not given in a presciption like a pill with parameters.” - Sandra Terrazas

Spectrum is multi-faceted, as its name also suggests the ability to serve an array of conditions. The two Spectrum Therapy Consultant locations in west and the northeast El Paso are able to provide services such as physical therapy, Lymphedema therapy, pelvic floor therapy, vestibular rehab and wound care. The upcoming new location in central El Paso will go under a slightly new name: Spectrum Fitness. Its mission to “bridge the gap between rehabilitation, wellness and fitness” makes it a combination of various types of clinics and a gymnasium. The cohesion between rehabilitation, wellness and fitness is one that is both not commonly seen in unison yet glaringly obvious to put together. “Our society has always practiced a reactive type of health care,” she said on the topic of favoring a more preventative-style of health care. “You come to specialist after the fact that you have a problem. You never do preventative health care, which is proactive health care. Exercise is the most prescribed entity, but it’s not given in a presciption like a pill with parameters.” The synergy of these ideas in health and health care is reflective of the name she chose for her business, “Spectrum.” You could even say that her business model mirrors her views on health: holistic, covering a wide spectrum of people and their respective needs. “Early in my career, I was a wound care specialist,” she recalled. “I got my training at the county hospital in Lubbock in the burn unit,” she said in relation to her getting her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University. She later went on to be a Certified Lymphedema Therapist at the suggestion of Dr. Ragene Rivera. “There were very few therapists, at the time, to address those patients’ needs,” Terrazas said. “Then the business component came into play and I started certifying other people.” Projecting a utilitarian vision of serving as many people as possible, she chose the name “Spectrum.” She opened her west side location at 7430 Remcon Circle in 2006. Later, she

expanded to an east side location and a northeast location at 9870 Gateway North Blvd, Suite B. The east side location has since closed to make way for central location at 1700 Cliff Drive. “The area is home to me,” she said of the new central location around where she grew up and graduated an El Paso High Tiger. Spectrum Fitness will be the crown jewel of the Spectrum family of clinics. The first floor will be about 1,400 square feet of clinic space offering various types of therapy services. The second floor will be the gymnasium at around 2,800 square feet. Terrazas said that Spectrum Fitness’ synthesis of therapy and exercise will benefit people with general cancerrelated issues, which go unnoticed to those who only know them for their Lymphedema therapy. “A lot of people that have cancer are depressed, and rightfully so,” she said. “They are withdrawn. The difference between them and I is that they know what they’re dying of and I don’t. Those patients may not see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We are the motivators and the cheerleaders to get them through this process. On a physiological point of view, it helps with cancer fatigue because you’re able to stimulate red blood cell growth through exercise. Exercise now gives them a reason to be tired. Culturally, caregivers just want you just rest and eat. Some types of cancer are hormonally-mediated which will cause an increase in weight. So, some people who are overweight to begin with, have other condition aside from cancer and now have cancer. You want them to exercise because they’ll gain weight during their cancer treatment and it’s only going to get worse.” For those who need therapy after medical treatment, Terrazas said that Spectrum Fitness is also cost-efficient for those on Obamacare, in terms of copays. “If a patient pays $35 a month to use the facility, as opposed to $50 per copay every time, then we don’t lose those patients. Some people will go from rehab to wellness and others will go from wellness to fitness in that same facility. We have different levels of

trainers to accommodate their needs. The goal is to have people active in some form of exercise and fitness throughout their lifespan.” Terrazas knows the importance of community, what it is to maintain one and what it is to give back to the one that raised you. “I had great teachers and mentors that saw something in me that they were able to develop and cultivate,” she said. My mentors have changed as I have evolved… It took a village to raise me.” With Spectrum, she realizes that there is a community of patients that she serves and doesn’t want to capitalize on them, as much as she wants to offer them alternatives to piecewise care. Terrazas, rather, would like to brand the community. “We’ve created a community of comfort that they keep coming for their rehabilitation. If I can extend that into their fitness, then I can expand their quality of life. I’m talking everyone, even 60-year-olds. It’s an investment for them coming to work out. That’s less doctor visits, get off some medications, less frequency of lab exams and they’re actually saving money.”

Sandra Terrazas Featured Presenter Learn more at Keep On Dancing

Cancer Survivor Conference August 23, 2014 • Wyndham Hotel


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The Green Ingredient Learn the art of eating for health By Lisa Y. Garibay For the third year, The Green Ingredient restaurateur Jacqueline Cordova will be bringing her passion for clean eating to Keep On Dancing Cancer Survivor Conference attendees. Cordova’s workshop will focus on teaching attendees how to shop for, assemble and prepare healthy dishes at home. She was inspired to look into food and how nutrition (or lack thereof) can contribute to both health and disease in 2007 when her best friend Kati was diagnosed with cancer and given three to six months to live. Cordova had also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was at the end of her rope with it. The two friends committed to a two-week detox and education program at the Living Foods Institute in Atlanta. As a result, they renovated their entire eating lifestyle, and Kati experienced a tremendous increase in quality of life. Cordova herself was able to greatly improve her own day-to-day living by managing the debilitating stiffness, pain and weakness that comes with fibromyalgia (a condition which has no cure but can be controlled) through diet alone. Cordova’s young son also had allergies that manifested as an embarrassing rash, a condition which devastated his confidence at school and made him feel unable to have friends or feel good. By changing his diet as well, Cordova witnessed how much children can improve not only confidence but also concentration and ambition when they aren’t feeling so bad about not fitting in. As not only a business partner but also a hands-on caregiver for her friend, Cordova can relate to the importance of not just taking care of someone who is battling cancer but also those around them in order to ensure that everyone is at their best. Her first Keep On Dancing presentation in 2010 focused on emotional healing, which she had received her certification for while also exploring nutrition. “I went into that because I knew that a lot of diseases come from emotional problems that you don’t know how to deal with,” she says. “The purpose of my certification was to be able to teach other people and bring them together with classes so they can heal.” Cordova extended her education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, which bills itself as the world’s largest nutrition school and has been teaching thousands to clean up their eating act for 20 years. She and Kati began teaching classes in


eat, live and be well El Paso in 2008, starting the companies Knyra and Raw Foods Rules to further spread the word in 2010. The Green Ingredient was a huge next step for Cordova, but one she felt would help to expose even more El Pasoans to healthy eating while also honoring her friend’s fight with cancer by serving delicious wellbalanced meals using sustainable fresh allnatural ingredients. “Healthy food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard,” Cordova says, stressing that the very wide variety of the restaurant’s menu items are flavorful and great to look at. Beverages include a wide variety of organic and fair trade teas with antiinflammatory properties. Cordova and her team ensure the integrity of its dishes by building them from scratch using only natural ingredients without any hidden by-products or additives like sodium that have become so commonplace. Seasonal ingredients are important, too, reducing and even eliminating pesticides or genetic modification in produce that is needed when fruits, vegetables and grains are grown far away and must be shipped over lengthy distances. To this end, the vast majority of The Green Ingredient’s produce comes from Sol y Tierra Growers, an organic farm in Anthony, NM. Hormone-free poultry and fish preserve the human body’s own hormonal cycle and health. With an approach that takes into consideration what’s best for its diners’ health as well as the environment, the restaurant offers a menu free of GMOs, hormones, high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, pesticides, trans-fats, nitrites, artificial coloring or flavoring and highly refined products. Tables are set with pure sea salt, which contains natural minerals without any processing, and stevia or raw sugar for sweetening. And while the menu is mostly vegetarian with a few vegan (both raw and otherwise) dishes, there are great options featuring chicken and salmon—all organic, of course— for individuals who are taking their first steps towards eating better or testing out vegetarian waters. The restaurant opened last June on the first floor of the Chase Tower at the corner of Mesa and Main. It has been part of downtown El Paso’s resurgence over the past few years while contributing to a growing movement of health consciousness steadily spreading throughout the city. For now, The Green Ingredient is open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner on Fridays. Cordova is hoping that business continues to grow to a point where she can add more operating hours. It operates with the talents of students and graduates from the Culinary Arts Program at El Paso Community College. The Green Ingredient’s Facebook page ( ) is the best way for people to stay informed

about upcoming workshops, new menu items, and other efforts that Cordova and her team are putting forth in the El Paso community, including selling healthy pastries and other goodies at the Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Starting small—for instance, with one meal at The Green Ingredient—can snowball into great improvement. In fact, Cordova encourages people not to overhaul their entire lifestyle all at once. “That can lead to failure right off,” she says. Beginning with a step as tiny as changing the type of salt used at home can get things going. “Get rid of anything that is white or refined—salt, sugar, flour,” she says. “You can start making those changes and you may not notice it at first, but your body notices.” One small change that can have a big effect is switching up grains. “People think that by eating wheat bread, you’re getting a good grain, but that’s not how it works,” Cordova explains. White rice, pasta and processed flour—even wheat bread—are empty carbs that are also subject to too much chemical alteration to be healthy. Instead, Cordova steers people towards brown rice, quinoa, millet or farro. “People think that it’s not tasty, but just cooking it with some salt will appeal to kids and grown-ups.” “Get one of the good grains, mix it with some pico de gallo and beans, and that right there is a meal,” she continues. “Kids know what pico de gallo is and they’re willing to eat that dish because it has something very familiar to our community. So start with simple things like that.” Speaking of kids, Cordova hooked those participating in a summer camp she presented last year on smoothies with the motto “You have to try it, but you don’t have to like it”. The healthy drinks were packed with fruit and a secret ingredient: Spinach. Despite their initial negativity to the leafy green, the kids were clamoring for smoothies every day of camp given how great they tasted. “Fruits have lots of vitamins and are really good for kids because they have good carbs and good sugars, and if you’re adding some greens to it, it’s even better.” Starting off healthy early in life can help with prevention of disease later on in life. What happens within a family when everybody starts eating better? “Everything changes,” Cordova says. “After doing classes, what I see is that children are brought in to preparing meals. They’re participating and are then willing to try out foods they hadn’t tried before because they’re part of the process. The dynamics of the family start to change because of that willingness.” Cordova also teaches people—whether those in her classes or those who stop by the restaurant with questions—how to read and interpret ingredients so they become more knowledgeable consumers. Apps like the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s

“Chemical Cuisine” can help people find out what ingredients to avoid by using their smartphone while on the go. For those who are afraid of possible costs of all this, Cordova points out that when you are more conscious about what you eat and get rid of all that isn’t good for you, the price tag balances out. “To be able to bring down the price, you have to take something out that you were eating before to be able to bring something new in.” For example, if you’re bringing organic oatmeal into your diet, don’t also purchase the $5 box of sugary cereal you always used to get. This also strengthens the argument to try a little at a time. Substitute small amounts of new produce for other things so as to ensure that it doesn’t go bad and end up in the trash because you aren’t quite used to eating it yet. Time management is also crucial and one big lesson Cordova teaches in her classes, suggesting particular recipes that won’t take up too much of someone’s day, options like humus that can be used in different ways, and offering tips like advance preparation (e.g. chopping up certain vegetables days in advance and keeping them in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare that meal). While Kati passed away in 2011—after extending her life and its quality more than four years beyond her initial diagnosis— Cordova continues in her friend’s memory through The Green Ingredient and its simple mission: To help people make better choices regarding their eating habits and benefit from all-natural, well balanced meals to improve their health and future quality of life. At Keep On Dancing, Cordova is hoping to spread that mission further by letting people know they don’t have to come to a lifestyle like this due to a crisis or a diagnosis of cancer. The power of healthy eating has been scientifically proven to be a powerful preventative and is a strong ally when coupled with modern medical technology. A return to the kind of fresh, simple foods that were consumed for ages by our ancestors can help families now and generations to come.

Jacqueline Cordova

Featured Presenter Learn more at Keep On Dancing

Cancer Survivor Conference August 23, 2014 • Wyndham Hotel


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Beat the Heat with these eats! Summer is here and the eating is...easy. Especially with these easy to prepare summer meals packed with nutrition and flavor. We asked our staff to bring their favorites to the table.... Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese Ingredients: ½ pound whole wheat spiral shaped pasta ½ C walnuts ½ C crumbled feta cheese ½ C diced red onion 1 ½ cups chopped baby spinach leaves 2 T light olive oil (or avocado oil ) 2 T red wine vinegar 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed, about ½ tsp. ½ tsp. Dijon mustard Salt / pepper to taste

onion and spinach . In a small bowl whisk the oil, garlic and mustard. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler. Combine first six ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Place fish on a jellyroll pan coated with cooking spray. Brush half of marmalade mixture over fish; broil 6 minutes. Brush with remaining marmalade mixture; broil for 2 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Directions: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water, and put in the refrigerator to chill. In a dry sauté pan toast the walnuts over medium-high flame until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set the walnuts aside to cool then chop them coarsely. In a large bowl, toss together thee chilled pasta, walnuts, feta cheese,

Ingredients: ½ cup orange marmalade 1 T Dijon mustard ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp black pepper 1/8 tsp. ground ginger 4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets

Broiled Salmon with Marmalade-Dijon Glaze Although quick enough for a hectic weeknight, this broiled salmon dish will impress guests, (or your family!) Serve with a salad and roasted potatoes. Serves 4

NOTE: MyRecipes is working with Let’s Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit


eat, live and be well Cantaloupe Banana Smoothie A potassium plus! Makes 2 servings 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 banana 1 cup cubed cantaloupe 1 tablespoon honey 1 cup reduced-fat vanilla ice cream Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Watermelon Salsa Sweet, savory and crunchy salsa accompanies grilled pork or chicken rather nicely. Try it with tortilla chips as a refreshing alternative to a tomato salsa.

Linguine Florentine Spinach and linguine combined Together for a light meal. Makes 6 servings Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 large bunch fresh spinach, (5 to 6 cups) Stemmed and washed 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated skimmed milk Salt and pepper to taste 1 (16 oz.) package linguine 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the garlic and spinach. Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk and season to taste. Meanwhile prepare the pasta according to packagedirections, drain. Toss with spinach in the skillet and sprinkle with cheese.

Ingredients 3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 2 1/4 pounds with the rind) (see Tip) 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (see Ingredient note) 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, (about 1/2 bunch) 1/4 cup lime juice 1/4 cup minced red onion, (about 1/2 small) 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste Preparation Place watermelon, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and onion in a medium bowl; stir well to combine. Season with salt. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Asparagus Summer Salad Ingredients 2 pounds thick asparagus, cut into 2-in. pieces on the diagonal 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons olive oil $ 1/4 cup each chopped fresh basil, chives, and cilantro 1 cup thinly sliced red onion 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts 1/2 cup crumbled feta 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preparation 1. Drop asparagus into a large pot of boiling water and cook until bright green and slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain asparagus and rinse with very cold water until cool. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, oil, and herbs. Add asparagus, onion, pine nuts, feta, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

Caprese Couscous Ingredients:Â 1 cup pearl couscous 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 4 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into bite-size cubes 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add couscous and cook about 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain well. Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, stir together tomatoes, mozzarella, vinegar and basil. Add drained couscous and toss until blended. Serve immediately or chill before serving


bHealthy Habitsd eat, live and be well

Spirituality and Cancer Treatment When it comes to cancer treatment, prayer and other types of spirituality can play a key role in your health and well-being.

By Wyatt Myers Cancer treatment stresses the body physically and mentally. But regardless of the type of cancer, one form of alternative medicine that seems to help is spirituality. Studies show that regardless of someone’s religious orientation, spirituality may still play a role in helping that patient cope with cancer treatment. “An agnostic or atheist could be ‘spiritual’ that is, have a reverence for life and a deep appreciation for the suffering of others,” says Michael Stefanek, PhD, director of the Behavioral Research Center of the American Cancer Society. “The term ‘spirituality’ attempts to catch these beliefs and attitudes.” Spirituality and Cancer Treatment: How Does It Help? Just how spirituality helps with cancer treatment is unknown, but Dr. Stefanek offers some ideas. “Prayer, saying the rosary, and other behaviors can be comforting, as [can] many secular rituals, such as a regular stroll in the park. They can also serve a distracting purpose away from the worries of the illness,” says Stefanek. “Prayer and meditation may also serve a relaxing function, at which time our bodies may slow down, blood pressure may drop, heart rate decreases, and muscle tension decreases,”all

physiological effects potentially healthy for us.” Spirituality also may decrease anxiety, anger, and discomfort and increase feelings of hope and optimism. It may even help a patient live longer. Spirituality and Cancer Treatment: Judith’s Story As a busy public relations executive in New York City, Judith Feder didn’t have time for cancer. But when she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer and a poor long-term outlook a few years ago, she had little choice but to confront it head on. A devout Jew who attended synagogue, Feder found her faith tested. “The first time I cried was when I went to my synagogue to see my son in a program a couple of days after my diagnosis,” she says. “My mother had told my rabbi about the situation, and he approached me. I was very concerned for my son, who was 7 at the time, and it all came to a head that morning.” Feder went into “action mode.” Besides the intensive cancer treatment she received, she relied on spirituality to see her through. “If anything, I became more spiritually active,” she says. "Not only in terms of mainstream religion, but I began to explore Buddhism and various forms of meditation, especially tai chi and yoga.” Feder uses alternative practices

like meditation every day and attends synagogue regularly, paying attention to prayers of health and healing. Today, years after her initial diagnosis, Feder thanks her faith and spirituality for keeping her alive. “I can’t prove the physical benefits, but I think they are clear,” she says. “I have beat the odds in terms of surviving my diagnosis. I have maintained a mostly excellent quality of life despite the extent of my cancer and years of toxic treatments.” Spirituality and Cancer Treatment: Ways to Get Started To help you or a loved one get the most from spirituality during their cancer treatment: • Rely on a chaplain. Most hospitals and medical centers employ chaplains and professionals who are specifically trained to help you cope with the spiritual difficulties of diagnosis and cancer treatment. That’s why it’s best to start on your spiritual journey with someone wellqualified to guide you down that path, says Mary Johnson, MD, a boardcertified chaplain and assistant professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “Our relationship is predicated on the patient’s need,” she says. “It’s a very customized ministry.” • Embrace your own support group. Your relationships with friends, family,


l and clergy members from your own church or place of worship are vital. If people have their own strong relationships, chaplains serve a complementary role. But sometimes it does help to have an additional person, outside of the immediate family, be involved in the healing process. “Family dynamics don’t change, and when a person gets sick, it can often challenge those relationships,” Dr. Johnson says. • Get into a routine. Stefanek says that creating a routine for your spiritual practices can help when dealing with cancer treatment. For more secular relaxation therapies, experts recommend patients practice every day at a set time. “If done regularly, it can serve a ritual function to help relieve stress.” • Ask yourself the tough questions. If you can’t decide whether you need help, ask yourself the following questions: · What are my hopes? · What are my concerns? · How is my soul today? · How peaceful am I? Johnson says if any of your answers seem disturbing or cause anxiety, it might be a good idea to talk to someone about your feelings. • Be realistic. A strong belief and practice of spirituality can certainly help your mind as you cope with cancer treatment, but it’s unlikely to change the outcome. That’s why Johnson says patients should come to grips with this reality and reach a peace about it. “One of the biggest problems we see is spiritual distress; when what people believe isn’t helping right now,” she says. “If we can help them come to terms with this and be at peace, then we’ve done our jobs.” Whatever your own belief or prescribed cancer treatment may be, spirituality may be an appropriate form of alternative medicine to help you cope with this lifealtering experience.

Featured Topic Learn more at Keep On Dancing

Cancer Survivor Conference August 23, 2014 • Wyndham Hotel


know on the go! in the

understanding the cancer experience

events & happenings The Pink Hair Challenge

By Jutta Ramirez To count the number of fundraisers which prevail in our non-profit society would be an insurmountable assignment. There are the requisite chicken dinners, the exhausting 5K races, the frustrating golf tournaments, not to mention the candy bars and cookie drives every mom supports. Every now and then, a new gem of an idea springs and colors up the environment. So sprang the notion that by dyeing one’s hair pink and soliciting donations from fellow employees to see the CEO of Sierra/Providence Health Network, Eric Evans, do the same would be a unique opportunity to challenge hospital workers; those closest to cancer care. The brainchild of Perry Pielaet, RN, OCN at Tenet Healthcare, the popular nurse solicited fellow employees, friends and even patients to take the “Pink Hair Challenge. Perry was a vibrant “pink haired” (and bearded) nurse throughout the month of April and CEO Eric Evans, true to his word sported pink hair one day as well. The event garnered a total of $7,200 in donations, more than triple Perry’s original goal and will support programs and services at the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation. Perry Pielaet, was born and raised in the cool, green state of Oregon where he attended the University of Oregon. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in History in 1973, he continued on to a Masters in 1979. As so many of our El Paso populace, Perry arrived in El Paso courtesy of the US Army. After serving eleven years in the military, he entered nursing school and graduated in May 1988. As part of his nursing school training, Perry completed an externship program at Providence Hospital, was offered employment and has been there for 26 years. “Oncology has been my passion” says Pielaet. “I love the interaction with patients and seeing them through their cancer experience. The Pink Hair Challenge was a way to raise money and direct it to a good program locally for the benefit of cancer patients”, he added. Florence Nightengale observed that “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard any preparation of any painter’s or sculptor’s work.” The Rio Grande Cancer Foundation is grateful for the devotion, creativity and artfulness of an outstanding nurse. We tip our hats to Perry Pielaet!

Rio Grande Cancer Foundation 10460 Vista del Sol Suite 101 El Paso, TX 79925


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Help RGCF save valuable time and resources As you already know and have experienced for yourself, our magazine, “In The Know: Understanding the Cancer Experience” is a real treasure of insight and inspiration. One of our biggest charges here at the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation is to be FISCALLY prudent so we can continue granting dollars to not-forprofits and to sustain our own programs. Another is to be SOCIALLY responsible to our community and resources. To that end we are now offering two ways for our readers to get In The Know and stay in the know. We will offer a digital version of our magazine to be a little more earth friendly and to cut down on printing costs!

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