How To Replace Madness With Magic | Elaine Gibson

The new year is here – a time filled with hopes, dreams and promises of what lies ahead.

As an Extraordinary Lifestyle Designer, my intention is to take you from madness to magic, without the hassle.

Many of the men and women I speak with feel confused and exhausted as they attempt to up their health and peak performance. Many even place their personal health goals last while tending to the needs of everything and everyone else. It can sometimes feel like a lost cause before you even get started. Great news! You do not ever have to compromise your health and personal goals.

As an Extraordinary Lifestyle Designer, my intention is to empower you to create: Extraordinary Health, Extraordinary Business, Extraordinary Life . . . even if you have never done it before!

It is amazing how just a few gentile, easy activities can have a huge impact.

Some of my favorite healthy tips are…

Ditch and Switch. Ditch the refined foods and switch them with healthier options. For example, instead of using refined white flour and/or sugar, use almond flour or coconut sugar instead. Look for sprouted options. There are many alternatives to choose from, and you can most definitely find choices you will love – and I bet you nobody will even notice!

Fresh Herbs and Spices. You can really dress up a meal by adding fresh herbs and spices. It’s incredibly affordable and simple to keep a small, fresh herb garden growing in your kitchen window. My favs are mint, kelp and dill. There are incredible health properties in many of the herbs and spices we use and love. They are beneficial for our health and a strong immune system. Cinnamon and turmeric are very popular. Experiment and find a place for them in your recipes anywhere you can!

Use Different Plateware. Staying on track with my health goals is getting creative with portion control. Instead of using dinner-sized plates, which we tend to fill, use smaller plates. Use a mid-sized saucer or salad plate for your dinner plate, and then go back for seconds if needed. A lot of the overeating that we do is mindless, habitual eating because it’s in front of us and we were taught to clean our plates. Taking this temptation away helps tremendously, and you’ll very quickly learn how much you need to feel satisfied – I guarantee it is less than you think.

Having sleepovers with our granddaughter Devon, is one of my favorite activities. For years our evenings are filled with bubble baths, facials and snuggles. Mornings begin with hot chocolate (almond milk and cacao powder) followed by pancakes made with organic sprouted grain mix and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Nevin and I cherish this time. Knowing that we are incorporating best practices provides us with peace of mind alongside our gratitude.

These simple tips, will help you look and feel better than ever. Finding your own personal balance will take trial and error while empowering you with behaviors that will soon become second nature. This is where the magic begins. This is your Extraordinary Soul!

Elaine Gibson

A Happy Heart Includes Healthy Living Habits

“Heart disease is the number one cause of death for American women. Stroke is the number three cause of death. To get the most benefit for your healthy heart, choose more fruits, vegetables and foods with whole grains. Select healthy protein. Eat less food with added sugar, calories and unhealthy fats.” (Exercise is your friend. Move daily – YOUR healthy heart depends on it.) – American Heart Association (2016)

Healthy Habits include:

  1. Take all Meds as Prescribed

It is important to take all medicines prescribed by your Medical Provider EXACTLY as prescribed. Often times after feeling well, patients want to stop or miss days taking prescribed medicine. Each medicine is prescribed with your TOTAL health in mind. The regimen is there to help and support your well-being and each has its own purpose.

Do NOT run out of medicine and do not skip or quit when feeling better. Should you want to make any changes or need a new prescription for any reason, consult with your Doctor. He or she knows best.

  1. If you Smoke – QUIT!

One’s risk for having a heart attack is more than twice that of a person who has never smoked. Smoking also increases the risk for sudden cardiac death in people with coronary heart disease.

Having a hard time quitting? Check with your Doctor. Your medical provider can recommend the best method for you to stop smoking.

  1. Manage Your Calories

Recognizing that as we get older losing weight is more difficult; experts recommend you manage the calories intake. Start TODAY! Keeping a journal on your electronic device is a great way to keep track of caloric intake. Too, the old fashioned way with pen, paper and a journal still works.

– To learn more about calorie consumption, visit the American Heart Association site.

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet – DAILY

– Reduce your salt intake

– Choose low fat or fat free milk, cheese and /or yogurt

– Choose reduced fat, low fat, light or no fat dressing. As an alternative, consider squeezing a fresh lemon over your greens instead of using a salad dressing.

– Choose leaner cuts of meat

– Avoid dark meats and remove all skin off of chicken

– Weekly have a “NO MEAT DAY” – Eat vegetables and for dessert try a different fruit in season

  1. Read Food Labels

– Walking is a great smart start if you are spending too much time on the couch.

By making exercise a part of your daily routine, you will:

– Strengthen heart and lungs

– Improve circulation

– Increase endurance

– Lower blood pressure

And….you may even lose weight

What She Needs To Know About Cervical Cancer | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

January is Cervical Cancer month. The incidence of cervical cancer has decreased more than 50% in the past 30 years because of wide spread screening with the Pap smear. In 1975, the rate was 14.8 per 100,000 women in the United States. In 2006, it had been reduced to 6.5 per 100,000 women. Death from cervical cancer has also decreased significantly. The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2009, there were about 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer and about 4,000 deaths from the disease. Of the 11,000 new cases that were diagnosed, it is estimated that 50% of those women had never had a Pap smear done and another 10% had not been screened within the past 5 years.

The Pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. The test is performed in your healthcare provider’s office. The Pap smear is obtained when your healthcare provider performs a pelvic examination and inserts an instrument referred to as a speculum inside the vagina. The speculum may be either made of metal or plastic. The speculum opens the vagina and once it is properly positioned, allows the healthcare provider to see the cervix. The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus and contains cells on the outside and inside that are taken for further evaluation. The cells are removed with a brush that contains bristles and a flat spatula. These cells are suspended in fluid and sent to the lab.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that screening start at age 21. How frequently a Pap smear is performed is determined by the age of the patient, onset of sexual activity, prior abnormal results, medical problems that may require more frequent surveillance, and/or use of contraceptives. The interval can be increased to every three years in the woman who has had three consecutive normal Pap smears.

The causative factors for cervical cancer include exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV), early sexual activity, cigarette smoking and multiple sexual partners. Preventive measures include use of condoms, monogamous relationships and early administration of the HPV vaccine. To date, more than 100 strains of virus have been identified. The recommendation is that both females and males are vaccinated prior to exposure to sexual activity.

New recommendations require that all persons 30 years of age and older be tested for the presence of low or high risk viral strains along with the standard screening of the Pap smear and appropriate management recommended. The risk of cervical cancer decreases with age. ACOG recommends that women continue screening until they reach 70 or have a hysterectomy which is the removal of the cervix and uterus.

The key to prevention is being consistent with your appointments and early detection of any abnormalities which may increase your risk of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer usually has no symptoms. You may feel perfectly well. However, abnormal bleeding not related to any other known causes such as fibroids, hormonal abnormalities, cervical or uterine polyps, may be a sign. Other signs include bleeding between cycles, pelvic pain, discharge with a foul odor.

The treatment for cervical cancer varies depending on the stage of cancer. It could be surgical, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of all three. The more advanced the cancer, the more treatment required.

Your healthcare provider will determine the schedule for your routine screening. The staff at any of our locations in Reston, Ashburn or Chantilly are available for any of your healthcare needs.

5 Health Resolutions That Are Easy to Keep | By Linda Coleman, MD

New Year’s Eve brings to mind NYC’s Times Square, noisemakers and bubbly, but what a difference a day can make. The month of January signifies a fresh start, complete with a new perspective and for many, New Year’s resolutions. All right, for some it may have looked a little more like a hangover-filled day spent on the couch. But were you one of the many people who made a New Year’s resolution this year? Resolutions can get a bad rap. They often aren’t specific enough, making them unrealistic and unattainable. But the notion of aspiring to be better is to be commended. Self-improvement shouldn’t be dismissed as “all or nothing.” You’re more likely to stick with your goals if you set gradual benchmarks. When it comes to establishing a healthy lifestyle, small changes can make a big difference. For example, if you want to lose weight, create a weekly weight loss goal, in addition to your final target number. Don’t give up even if there are weeks in which you don’t lose any weight. Establish ways to hold yourself accountable: Track and measure your progress with apps or create a journal outlining your goals and the steps you’re taking to achieve them.

These five resolutions are so easy to resolve to keep, they risk giving New Year’s resolutions a new reputation. An added plus: They also happen to be kidney-friendly.

Avoid unnecessary painkillers. Pain medications provide pain relief (maybe you even relied on them to nurse your post-NYE hangover), but it’s important to balance the potential benefits with the risk of dangerous side effects, such as kidney damage, fluid retention, increased blood pressure, and digestive issues. Think twice before you reach into your medicine cabinet and check both prescription and over the counter (OTC) drug labels to evaluate the risks and benefits before taking a particular medication.

Quit smoking (or never start). Many bars and restaurants across the country are smoke-free. It’s getting cold out, making it the perfect time to save yourself the trip outside while bettering your health. In addition to causing lung diseases and cancer, smoking acts as an accelerator for any disease that you may have. Smoking reduces blood flow to the kidneys and can also interfere with medications used to treat high blood pressure, reducing their effectiveness. Quitting can be difficult, but it is one of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make. For additional resources and tips on how to quit, visit the National Kidney Foundation.

Sit less and stand more. In case you missed it, recent research has linked sitting for eight hours or more a day with developing kidney disease, as well as a host of other chronic conditions. This rings true even in otherwise physical-ly-active people. Sitting for that length of time is typical for the average desk job, but most of us go way beyond that. We sit on the couch, while driving, while riding the bus, and during dinner, just to name a few! While sitting is mandatory for some activities, get creative and expand your comfort zone when it’s not. The human body was designed to be upright, but in modern society sometimes we need to help it out. Consider a standing desk and standing while talking on the phone.

Catch more Zzzs. Hit the sack earlier to make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. Studies suggest that irregular sleep patterns, eating before going to sleep and not getting enough sleep are all linked to obesity, while getting enough sleep is linked with maintaining a healthy weight. Sleep health is 50 percent habit and 50 percent fatigue. Obesity can cause kidney disease, because the kidneys have to work harder to filter out toxins and to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in obese individuals. When it comes to a good night’s rest, most people require about seven hours. Cuddle up and snooze your way to a healthy weight. (Okay, I would be remiss if I didn’t also encourage you to incorporate healthy eating and exercise routines alongside better sleeping habits.)

Get organized. It’s helpful to make a checklist. Organize one “room” or aspect of your life at a time. When it comes to your health, tackle your medical records and lab documents. There are many apps that can help you keep track of all recent doctor’s visits, test results and immunizations. A trusty file cabinet will also do the trick. Don’t forget to clean out your medicine cabinet — expired medications and ointments have a way of lingering around. Make a list of all the medications you’re taking, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Share it with primary care practitioners and specialists alike. Some medications are kidney-tox-ic. It’s important for your health care providers to determine if any medications and supplements could interact with one another in negative ways. Doses of drugs can change as you age or your kidney function declines.


What’s Up With Your Cycle? | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

The average menstrual cycle is 21 – 30 days. What is normal for one may be abnormal for another. When women are asked about the quantity of blood they lose each month, here’s where women differ on what they perceive as normal and regular. Experience teaches as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so is what constitutes normal and heavy bleeding.

Questions about the normalcy, frequency, duration and quantity of bleeding during the menstrual cycle is crucial information when identifying and determining the cause of menstrual irregularities.

Longer, shorter, heavy or scant cycles are considered menstrual irregularities. Most menstrual irregularities do not pose a problem to a woman’s overall health. However, prolonged irregularities may present health problems and need to be identified and corrected as soon as possible. Some solutions require no intervention while others require either a conservative or surgical approach.

The average amount of blood loss per cycle is 80cc. Many women experience much more blood loss than this each month on a regular basis. Although this amount of blood may be predictable and occurring with regular frequency, it is abnormal and may pose a serious health problem.

Identifying the cause of menstrual irregularities requires a good history, examination, blood work, pelvic sonogram and in some cases an endometrial biopsy or D&C (dlation and currettage). More common causes of menstrual irregularities are hormone imbalance, presence of endocervical/uterine polyps, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometrial thickening, endometrial thinning or cancer.



It is not uncommon for women with more fuller figures to experience menstrual irregularities because of the presence of excess estrogen. Excess estrogen is found in adipose tissue as well from taking of exogenous estrogen from over the counter products. Women with too little or estrogen deficiencies may experience scant or no bleeding at all.


Progesterone helps regulate the effects of estrogen. Excess progesterone does not affect the cycle and causes breast tenderness, anxiety, depression, bloating and decreased libido. Not enough progesterone is more common and can cause problems with ovulation and therefore fertility. Too little progesterone will cause estrogen to be the more dominant hormone. This dominance of estrogen leads to excessive growing of the lining or endometrium and therefore more tissue to release during the menstrual cycle. This excessive tissue is seen as heavier bleeding, more blood clots and more blood loss.


Too much testosterone is associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. The hallmark of this disorder is very irregular cycles, weight gain and excessive body hair.


Prolactin is the hormone responsible for milk production and lactation. Too little can lead to breastfeeding problems. Too much prolactin increases milk production but also shuts down the menstrual cycle. Excessive prolactin may also be due to pituitary tumors which are usually benign.



Women with both underactive (hypothyroidism) and overactive (hyperthyroidism) may experience menstrual irregularities. Therefore maintaining thyroid hormones in balance will help with regulation of the menstrual cycle.


Women with diabetes may also experience menstrual irregularities. Women may have irregular cycles, heavier periods, delayed onset and early menopause.


99% of the time, polyps in the cervix or uterus are benign in nature. Their significance is not the same as polyps in the colon. Excessive or overgrowth of the endometrium may result in the creation of a polyp and bleeding abnormalities.

Ovarian Cysts

The presence of ovarian cysts may lead to menstrual irregularities. Intact ovarian cysts may cause a variety of symptoms to include no symptoms, pain, or no cycles. If the cyst ruptures the amount of bleeding can be scant or excessive. Cysts may require observation only with no treatment, hormonal suppression with birth control pills, or surgical intervention with aspiration or if very large actual removal of the ovary.


More common causes of excessive bleeding is the presence of solid masses in the uterus referred to as fibroids. Fibroids are smooth muscle tissue that vary in size from mere millimeters to large oversized masses. The location of the fibroids is the main factor that impacts the amount of bleeding. The size of the fibroids impacts the amount of bloating, pain or discomfort a woman may experience.

Intramural fibroids are located in the muscle portion of the uterus and have very little effect on the amount of bleeding. Subserosal fibroids are located just beneath the surface of the uterus and also have very little impact on bleeding experienced. Submucosal and intracavitary fibroids are located within or protrude into the endometrial cavity and have a significant impact on bleeding. Pedunculated fibroids hang off the uterus and don’t affect bleeding.

Fibroids may be managed conservatively or surgically. Conservative management includes observation, application of cold or heat, or diminishing blood supply to the uterus (uterine artery embolization). Cold or hot probes can be inserted directly into the fibroid to shrink the fibroid.

Surgical removal of fibroids requires a myomectomy. Smaller submucosal fibroids can be destroyed with a hysteroscopic myomectomy or endometrial ablation. Larger fibroids are best removed with either an open or laparoscopic myomectomy.

Thickened Endometrium

Thickening of the endometrium over time can cause very heavy bleeding where a woman is needing to change her pad or tampon every hour. This amount of excessive bleeding lasting longer than a few hours to days can prove to be a health problem. Rapid loss of a large amount of bleeding over a short period of time or even loss of moderate amounts over a longer period of time may lead to anemia.

Anemia from acute or chronic blood loss may lead to fatigue, dizziness, headache, poor blood blow and ultimately excess stress on the heart. Treatment of minor anemia may require iron supplements whereas anemia which is symptomatic may require blood transfusions.

Thinning Endometrium

Thinning of the endometrium due to less estrogen causes the lining to be fragile and undergo some breakage which may cause irregular bleeding. This less estrogen may be physiologic and due to perimenopause where the amount of hormone produced by the ovaries is diminished or in menopause the production has ceased.


Cervical cancer may present with abnormal bleeding. More commonly heavy bleeding or any abnormal bleeding that occurs after menopause may indicate endometrial cancer. All abnormal bleeding should be investigated with a possible endometrial biopsy.

The menstrual cycle and medical history are important components of a woman’s history and may prove to be the important link to solving your medical dilemma. Be sure to alert your healthcare provider to menstrual irregularities; especially any that lead to heavy and prolonged bleeding.

SottoPelle® Hormone Replacement Therapy | Dr. Linda E. Coleman, MD

loudounnovdechrnobleeds2016_page_11-smSottoPelle® is a science-based, safe and effective bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men and women. Our method goes beyond just treating symptoms. SottoPelle® restores the hormonal balance it needs for optimum function. Unlike pills, patches, creams and other methods, SottoPelle® uses a unique form of pellet therapy that works around the clock for 3 months or longer. No mess. No hassle. No rollercoaster surging and plummeting of hormone levels. And it is the only hormone replacement therapy that responds when the body needs more.

Research shows that testosterone and estrogen play important roles in your overall health. They support cardiovascular health, bone health, brain health, sexual vitality and many other functions. When menopause or andropause occur, hormone production fades. Without sufficient levels of testosterone and/or estradiol, the body’s systems become depleted, out of balance and simply cannot function well. Your body ages and the possibility of aging-related disease looms. Many men and women feel like they’ve lost something they can’t regain—their quality of life.

Today’s trends in medicine focus on the preventive and proactive. Staying healthy into old age depends on many things including lifestyle and genetics. It also makes perfect sense to replenish what the body needs. That’s why we supplement vitamins and minerals. It’s also why we use hormone replacement therapy to restore internal equilibrium.

SottoPelle’s unique hormone replacement therapy relies on science, not guesswork. Our pellet therapy incorporates many features that other hormone replacement methods lack, even other pellet therapies.

1 We use the highest quality bioidentical pellet implants for our therapy.

2 We apply a proprietary, web-based application for accurate dosing

3 We employ a unique pellet insertion procedure to ensure a steady, consistent dose.

4 We’ve been doing this a long time. We are experts at what we do.

SottoPelle® bioidentical hormone replacement not only relieves symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety, sleep disturbances, lack of sex drive and others, it also reestablishes vitality and well-being. Working in partnership with your body, our hormone replacement therapy recreates healthy balance. This, in turn, provides essential support to your body’s vital organs and systems.

Linda Coleman, M.D.
Coleman Primary Care
2 Pidgeon Hill Drive, Suite 400
Sterling, VA 20165
(703) 430-7090

STILL Don’t be Afraid of the Answer! | Nancy Finley Barbour

loudounseptoct2016_page_25What a difference a year makes. For those that were introduced to me in this magazine a year ago, you already know that my story about breast cancer is one of early detection. I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer a month after my 50th birthday in 2013. It was definitely a blow to my otherwise healthy life. After a partial mastectomy that included breast reconstruction (yep, I’m half the size I used to be), I went through radiation. I was blessed that chemotherapy was not needed so from the outside, I looked the same. No hair loss, no weight loss (unfortunately), no extended hospital visits. Only a few family and friends were made aware and they were my support system – that is, until the article a year ago. I thank the wonderful, beautiful publisher of Virginia Woman Magazine, Dorri Scott, for her vision to educate women and let us tell our stories. I now receive texts, emails and calls from friends telling me that they made their annual mammogram appointments.

It is a badge of honor and courage to make sure that you go every year, without pause. My story last year focused on not being afraid of the answer from your doctor. I humbly admit that after I went through breast cancer, I was afraid to continue with my annual mammograms. I didn’t want to know the answer, good or bad. After two years of ‘skipping’ the annual appointment, I had the courage to again pick up the annual ritual in March of this year, at the encouragement of my general physician, Dr. Natasha Simmons-Wyllie. It was a happy day when I received the call that all was okay for another year. Lesson learned: Don’t put it off because early detection is the key to survival.

I am thankful that my health continues to improve every day. I have had several speaking engagements where I’ve been able to tell my story. I always add in the part about seeking emotional help because breast cancer is devastating to women. Our breasts are such a major part of our lives, beginning at a young age when we either become a C cup real fast, or stay an A cup for the rest of our lives. I went from a D cup to a B cup after surgery. I still look down sometimes and think, “What happened to my prized possessions?” The biggest difference in my life is that I am very happy to unsnap my bra at the end of the day and let the girls run free. I know, too much information, but I am amongst friends! I’m still healing, both emotionally and physically, but the scars are a constant reminder of what I went through. At the end of the day, I am thankful, grateful, faithful and all the other ‘fuls that came with early detection. I again encourage everyone to not be afraid of the answer. Make that appointment today!


Warrior Woman Kelly Duckworth | One Year Later

loudounseptoct2016_page_24A whole year has passed since my beautiful survivor-sister Nancy Barbour and I were featured on the cover of Virginia Woman, and I couldn’t be more proud to say that I’m still here, smiling, healthy, happy, and thriving!

The past year has been one of learning. I’ve maintained a healthy body by exercising and following a (mostly) healthy diet. I’m learning- with some gentle nudging/ reminders from my friends- that rest and sleep are extremely important factors in health maintenance and physical safety. There is no shame in a nap or going to bed early. There is no shame in having a glass of wine with dinner. There is no shame in blowing off some house chores to go have fun! Life is about finding the happy medium.

Twelve years ago, when my late husband passed away just weeks just before our son was born, I recall sitting on the floor, in tears, thinking “I don’t know what to do, I seriously feel like I’m going to go nuts.” That week, I received one of many sympathy cards, but one in particular one stood out. The pre-inscribed message in the card said “Just remember, the mightiest Oak Tree was once just a nut that held its ground.” This quote resonated within me, and it still comes to mind when I need to feel strength. I’m drawn to pictures of Oak Trees as they remind me that I once felt like I was going to go nuts, but now I am so much stronger. Each and every day my strength grows and I will always aspire to be that mighty Oak.

This year, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel, and I’ve learned something: Life is truly a journey. Not just the type of journey where you plug point A and point B into your GPS and drive, but the type of journey filled with twists/turns, bumps, roadblocks, and occasionally getting completely lost! On each journey, I’ve learned that it is imperative to stay calm, be acutely aware of my surroundings, weigh my options, and make appropriate decisions based on that information. Such is the same with real life. The ultimate goal is to arrive safely at a destination that reflects the real you.

I have developed a passion for mission trips, having recently traveled to the Dominican Republic on a medical mission trip. Next up is India and Nepal in late October for another medial mission trip, and my heart races with excitement each time I think about the upcoming journey. While in the D.R., I had the opportunity to serve over a thousand children and adults needing basic medical care. Many of these people had nothing- no roof over their head, no access to food, potable water, medical care, or even basic safety- but they all had a smile. They took nothing for granted.

As you travel on you own life journey, I encourage you to embrace the twists, turns, bumps, and roadblocks. Learn all you can from every person you encounter. You might meet some nuts along the way, but you might also take a detour down a sunlit path lined with glorious mighty Oak Trees. When you take that detour, take a seat under that big Oak and bask in the glory of who you have become.

By Kelly Duckworth

Tracy Robinson’s Story | Cervical Cancer

loudounseptoct2016_page_20September 3, 2016 was the day that my world was changed forever. I went in for what was a simple surgery to remove a cyst and woke up with a full hysterectomy, appendectomy and ovarian cancer. Tears rolled down my face as I came in and out of anesthesia. Why? Why me? It took me a few days but then I realized that there was a reason. This silent killer attacked one very vocal and determined woman and I wasn’t about to lay around and do nothing.

I get asked a lot how I keep such a good spirit. I truly believe that positive thinking is healing for the body mind and soul. Sure, I have bad days just like everyone else. Cancer/Chemo took a lot from me but I survived and am here to make some noise.

Here are a few things I learned as a cancer patient:

  1. We are more concerned about the people around us and how our illness is impacting them.
  2. We feel guilty that we didn’t take advantage of every last minute in our lives.
  3. Although we appreciate all the love and generosity we want to be treated normal when you interact with us.
  4. Friends, you need to understand that we will never be the same again. We may think differently, sometimes act differently and most definitely view life entirely differently.
  5. Chemo Brain is REAL! For me, I went through phases of what seemed like blackouts. I nearly drove my kids, friends and co-workers insane. I believe that my mind, the love of my family and friends and pure determination to beat this cancer played a major part in my survival.

What keeps me motivated and inspired?

  • I believe that if you change your thinking then you will change your world.
  • Knowing that my continuing fight may just save my children and yours as well.
  • The tears and gratitude from survivors and families of those that passed.
  • The feeling of 300 professional peers giving me a standing ovation.
  • My biggest inspirations, Makenzie and Hunter, telling me how proud they are of me for everything that has happened and what I have made of it. Maybe you are a survivor, a loved one of a survivor or just someone that wants to make a difference. I challenge you to get involved in a cause – don’t wait to have a reason!

One in every three people are affected by cancer. It doesn’t take a lot of money to be supportive, just the desire and passion to make a difference. I am honored to be able to share my story with you and hope that you not only gain awareness but also inspiration to never give up.

Whatever your struggle is, know that your inner strength is greater than you could ever imagine.

To learn more about my journey, please read my blog:

 Hugs, Tracy

Ovarian Cancer: Are You Aware? | Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe

loudounseptoct2016_page_10Approximately 14,270 women died in 2014 from ovarian cancer. Most new cases of ovarian cancer are at a Stage 3 at the time of diagnosis, at which time the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries to the lymph nodes and outside the pelvis. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. Estimates for 2015;

21,290 NEW CASES – most in women over the age of 63

14,180 DEATHS

Risk factors for ovarian cancer include: family history of breast or ovarian cancer, personal history of cancer, women over the age of 55, women who have never been pregnant, women on hormone replacement therapy. Any women with a first degree relative (mother, daughter, or sister) with ovarian cancer may also have an increased risk. Women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer may be very subtle and confused with other illnesses. The more common symptoms associated with ovarian cancer are: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly or urinary urgency or frequency. Other related symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation or diarrhea. Diagnostic testing includes an ultrasound, CT or MRI, and blood level of CA-125. Early diagnosis, early cure!

All rights reserved Ruby Red Press LLC 2016