Sunday, July 27, 2014

Angie Christine.com - New Home

Book for purchase on Amazon.com
Life has been so crazy busy. Isn't it for us all? I heard once that if you laid all your life's problems and "to do" lists on a table with a bunch of friends doing the same, and on the count of three you had to grab up whatever ones you wanted, you would go right for your own. Even though life is busy and has it's ups and downs, at least you know how to handle the deck that is dealt to you.

Trying to make this summer slower, I managed to pile on a bunch of things to do anyway. Running a fund raiser for Susan G Komen, trying to play catch up around the house, and our continued struggles for learning how to garden. Plus a full time job and promoting a book.

We all need to take a moment to step back, breathe, and maybe sleep in.

With my main focus being my book, I created AngieChristine.com. Please find me there!

As I always felt Breast Friend Forever was a community concept, and getting together and sharing stories, I would love to ask you to participate in guest posts. Please leave a comment on this post with your email address (example: mary johnson at charter dot net) and I will contact you with co-posting information.

I know I am not the only one with insight on breast health and my personal story is NOT the only one. I want to use BFF to give you a voice as well. If you even have an amazing product that would benefit survivors, please let me know those too!

I will be spending the majority of my time writing at AngieChristine.com and hope you follow me there and subscribe to the blog for updates.

You can also find me on Facebook: AngieChristine
Twitter: @AnjChristine
Instagram: AngieChristine_BMB.

I think that's about all the social media one girl can handle!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jane Iredale Starter Kit Review

Jane Iredale not only makes fabulous makeup, but they continue to support Living Beyond Breast Cancer. In 2013 they celebrated six years of partnering with LBBC and continue to show their support throughout 2014. This is just one reason why Breast Friend Forever has partnered with them. To help promote Jane Iredale throughout the breast cancer community as a company with high standards in makeup, a more natural approach to products, and one with excellent customer service and integrity.


Now, let's talk makeup! New this year is the Starter Kit which introduces you to Jane Iredale's foundations. Every time you order a "kit" you will instantly fall in love with the carry cases. I know it seems like a small thing when you are really ordering the makeup, but who doesn't want another adorable case to fill their purse? I am now touting around two kits and I couldn't live without them. (My other kit is the grab and go. I know now you want one too!) Inside the amazing case of the Starter Kit you will find a very large mirror reflecting some beautifully made products. One of which is a Jane Iredale brush. All the brushes are made with the highest quality and never seem to shed. This brush has a hard plastic sleeve that is removed once purchased. I found sliding it up and down and keeping it on the brush, keeps the bristles nice and tight and no flaring of the bristles after time will occur.

You will instantly realize that you can no longer live without the Smooth Affair Facial Primer after your first use.  For those of us thrown into menopause through the cancer experience, you will quickly receive the gift of drying facial skin. Smooth Affair offers moisture while literally smoothing your skin and preparing your face for makeup applications. Smooth Affair also gives a base for the makeup to adhere to, in-turn making your application last longer. There is a fresh scent as it brightens your skin. I use this product every day!

Second you will find the two foundations giving you an option to use both or one at a time, depending on the look you want to achieve. I have found for me personally, I tend to need a color which is a shade or two darker than what I would normally think to purchase. I tend to try and achieve a "tanned" look as much as possible in the dead of winter. My kit contains Medium Golden Glow. For summer, I will go to the Medium Dark Latte.  The Pure Pressed base and the Amazing base powder have both earned the Skin Care Foundations Seal of Recommendation. They provide you with sunscreen and active skin care benefits.

After applying your makeup, top it off with the Pommist Hydration Spray. I have tried the D2O as well as the Pommist and for me personally I prefer the Pommist. Lightly mist your face when done with application of makeup and you will feel a tightening of the skin as well as it sealing your makeup. All while providing you with a bit of moisture. Pommist will give your skin a nice soft glow!

With my starter kit, I added my full sized pressed powder case, lip drink lip balm, and my almost GONE Sugar and Butter lip plumper combo.  Time to order a new one! Packed up and ready to go, I can freshen my makeup at any point during the day. Heaing out after work for an evening with friends? You can quickly take the makeup out of the carry case, drop it in your pure, and use the makeup bag as an evening out bag. Yup, I have done that too!

I will continue to use my Jane Iredale because of the quality of ingredients in which I feel safe using. As a breast cancer survivor, or any cancer survivor, we have to be aware of what we put in our bodies as well as on! If you have any questions about Jane Iredale products, their customer service is outstanding and they will be more than willing to help you pick your perfect combination of products. Tell them Angie Christine from Breast Friends Forever sent ya! Order one today before they are all gone and Enjoy! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Beyond My Boobs by Angie Christine

Beyond My Boobs is now available on Amazon.com.

Discovering you have breast cancer does not always come in the form of a routine mammogram or finding a lump. Sometimes it is found in the most unsuspecting ways. As Angie discovered she had five tumors, after the decision to have breast augmentation, her plans for a perfect boob job changed to one of a bilateral mastectomy and her ovaries removed! Angie shares a very real and candid story of her diagnosis, surgeries and recovery, all while keeping focused on God. Todays views on faith and healing are not always those reflected in the Word of God. Angie creatively lays out this comparison for the reader at the start of each chapter. "Beyond My Boobs" will show you God’s true heart towards His children; all with a few laughs and tears. 

After working on blogs for many years and being a fan of the gym, my life was thrown into a spiral with the words "Well, it's cancer." Not only did I want to share a more in-depth and personal version of my journey with friends and family, but also to reach those who may be going through it themselves and reassure them they are not alone. And so "Beyond My Boobs" was born. 

Maybe you too have been diagnosed with cancer, learned your body won't move like it once did, and have had an overwhelming discovery you will be treated differently like me. Find peace in God's arms! I believe everyone can learn something from a survivor's story. Whether that be my story or yours. Don't be afraid to share!! If I reach one person and they fall in love with God for the first time or all over again, I have done what I set out to do. This book does not shove my faith in your face, but there is no denying how HE played a very important role in my household during this trying time. 

Each chapter of BMB starts with the world's view on the chapter's subject and then compares it to the Word of God and what He says about that same matter. The most important thing I learned through all of this cancer crap, was that I needed to focus on God and not on my boobs. That there is life AFTER a radical mastectomy and reconstruction. Although I may not be able to do the things I once did, I came to realize I really don't want to. My goals have changed. My friends have changed (some left and some got stronger. I welcomed in a whole new world of survivors). And my heart has changed. 

Turning in the heavy gym weights for a few pink pistols and a shooting range, I found a new sport which is now slowing turning into a Susan G. Komen fundraising event. I am so excited for this next "chapter" of my life. 

If you know someone that could benefit from this story, please share the link. The book will be available in paperback as well. Hopefully that will be released by spring. 


April 12th, 2014 will be THREE years since my diagnosis and taking on the name "Survivor." I can't wait to celebrate with a paperback book in one hand and a pink pistol in the other at the Tap, Rack and Cure event June 21, 2014. 

Thank you so much for following along on my transformation to survivor with me. God Bless. 

Happy New Year! 

Excerpts from book: 

#1: We curled up on the couch with my head in his lap and he read to me. I remember these times being some of the most precious ones. There was a newfound closeness between us. We had an unspoken bond between a husband and a wife that will never be replaced. We related to each other like never before.  We leaned on the Word of God knowing that we were only listening to the facts the doctors were reporting. We would not say I HAD cancer. I was DIAGNOSED with cancer. I was going to FIGHT cancer. It brought me comfort to know it wasn’t mine. Jesus died on the cross and bore my sickness. Cancer was on Him, not me. 
 

#2: Doctor Aitken pulled out my previous file folder with all my augmentation information and said, “Unfortunately, we won’t be needing any of this anymore. We have to go to Plan B. So everything we discussed prior about the augmentation you can just forget and let’s talk about where we go from here.” She then explained what my Plan B looked like. And once again, I was faced with a Plan B. I so wanted to go back and finish Plan A.

#3: A few days later I received an email from the staff at the Grand Rapids SGK office. They asked if I would be interested in doing a photo shoot for them, with a professional photographer, and have my story printed on their website. As I read the email I started to cry. I knew this was one of those doors God was starting to open for me.  But I was also humbled that they would want to share my story. I didn’t feel like anyone special. I felt like I escaped the chemo and radiation and why would my story be inspirational to anyone? But the more I talked to them and we discussed my story, I came to realize that my story was one of Hope. My story was one of a new generation of survivors. That if found early, we could survive without the chemo.  






Saturday, December 14, 2013

Warm Buddy Body Warming Blanket Review


Body Wrap
It's no secret I am obsessed with Warm Buddy Products. They are perfect for breast cancer patients after reconstruction to keep those implants warm. I started out with my first Warm Buddy Body Wrap (in leopard print shown below) which is long enough for your upper body or perfect for your lap. These items are so much softer than I could even begin to describe on a blog post. You can remove the outer shell for washing if necessary. The inside, which is full of natural milled rice and lavender flowers, is stitched into sections stopping the rice from falling down to one side. It keeps your heat even. I found 2 minutes in the microwave with the Body Wrap is perfect. This item is now at work on my lap, as I sit in front of large windows. Brrrr.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Shooting out Breast Cancer

Shooting out breast cancer - one lady with a pink gun at a time. As I sit here on Veteran's Day in the warmth of my home I think of all those that have sacrificed for me to do so. I also think of my love and passion for the sport of shooting. Without all the Vets fighting for my freedoms when they did, and as they do, I would not be able to go "plinking" whenever I wanted. So I Thank You!

I have dreamed of a breast cancer fund-raising event located at a sportsman's club. While combining my love of shooting and my love for my pink ribbon family. Teaching women not to be afraid, to feel powerful, and to slowly get their strength back from surgeries in a fun group sport. Well, it's on it's way.....

Shooting as sport is not just a man's pass time anymore. This sport is loved by many woman all over the United States. (In some states more than others, depending on gun laws.) But.... it's something I found I could do with my chest reconstructions. Although some pistols may have a hard slide, I continue my quest for the perfect "pink" gun.

As I have been getting more involved in shooting and spending time at the range, I have met others along the way, that not only shoot, but are advocates for breast cancer awareness. So why not bring the two together?

Easier said then done. There is a lot to consider and a lot of planning. We need sponsors, a range, range guides, donations for silent auction, raffle, and much more.

We are in the beginning stages of planning, so we need lots of help! If you have a heart to help us out and get this launched in the spring, you can contact me (leave a comment on post) with items for raffle or silent auction, or you can give a donation. If it's under a business name, please let me know as your name WILL be displayed! Businesses will receive product reviews here and pictures of the event will be listed in the summer.

All monies raised (above the cost of putting it on) by this event will be donated to my local Susan G. Komen. They have helped me personally by being the most wonderful group of women I have met on my pink ribbon journey.

If you have put together an event like this, comments/suggestions are welcome. Now, if it wasn't raining, I would be heading out for some range time........


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Childhood Cancer Awareness and The Yellow Ribbon


As we all have seen and lived, Breast Cancer Awareness is Pink and Black and takes over the month of October.  I am thankful for the awareness that has been brought forth for something that has impacted my life personally. Even if women still don't do self-checks on their tata's once a month (shame on you), at least we are headed in the right direction. But what about September? Gold and Black consume this month for Childhood Cancer Awareness. 

This color and month has now become a huge part of a family I personally know and I wanted to take a moment to let Jim contribute with a guest post and tell his story. 


Clayton
I consider it a great honor and privilege to have been asked to share with all of you something that I am very passionate about. I have spent quite a bit of time going over in my head about how I wanted to begin, what I wanted to say and how best to paint this picture with words and convey the passion that burns within me. I can’t think of any better way than to start off by telling you my family’s story and the basis of where my passion comes from.



In June of 2009 our family was shaken to its core and life has never been the same since. Even now, 4 years later my hands quiver as I type and emotions begin to swell up inside me as I begin to share our story with you. On June 3rd, 2009 , my wife and I sat in a small hospital room surrounded by various family members as a group of doctors and social workers came in to the room to give us the news we knew was coming but desperately hoped wouldn’t. They informed us that our 2 ½ year old sons Clayton had cancer. He had a tumor the size of a softball in his abdomen and the tumor was growing through hole in his hip bone and headed towards his spinal cord. He had Neuroblastma, it was classified as stage 3 and he was in the high risk category.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"8 Things to Know about Mesothelioma".

This was shared with me by the "Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog" writer, Emily Walsh. As we have just ended the pink run through October for breast cancer awareness, I want to do a few guest posts and put a spotlight on other cancers as well. I would feel selfish if I didn't help raise awareness for these types of cancers too.

Take a few minutes to inform yourself and pass on to someone you love. Thank you Emily for the important "8 Things to Know about Mesothelioma".


Mesothelioma -- a long word you may have heard on a commercial or two, but do you know what it means? This rare and deadly cancer is sadly lacking awareness. The key to saving lives starts with education.

1. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is invisible to the naked eye. Once inhaled, these fibers may infect the protective lining of the lungs, abdominal cavity, or cardiac cavity.

2. No amount of exposure is safe. Just exposing yourself once could put you at risk for developing the disease later on in life. If you were exposed today, you may not be aware until 2043, as the average latency period is about 30 – 40 years.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Meet Cathy McGrath

I would like to share another amazing BFF's story as I believe we all have a voice. We all struggle with the word cancer and how it has come into our lives. But we can encourage, inspire, and motivate someone else to persevere and push through. We will survive.


Meet Cathy McGrath: 

Breast cancer seemed to be a family thing, unfortunately.  My mother had passed away in 1983 from breast cancer and her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990.  In 1985, I had had a benign lump removed.  Imagine my dismay when I found a lump four months after having a cleared yearly mammogram.  I immediately called my family doctor and he did a needle aspiration in the office and it was clear.  He then ordered a second mammogram.  Of course, it was a Friday and I had to wait until Monday for the results.