Shingles During Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer | Battling Bertha

It’s been a while since my last Battling Bertha update.  I was officially declared cancer free on April 8, 2015, but that does not mean my battle has ended.

I have a few more intravenous Herceptin treatments.  I have been receiving Herceptin every three weeks since my initial chemo cocktail treatments ended.  Also in the treatment plan is 4 more years of Tamoxifen.  One pill each night before bed.

Last week I developed a rash along the bicep area of both my arms.

Tamoxifen has a long list of side effects including rash.  In fact, the documentation says to contact your doctor if you develop a rash.

I have chemo tomorrow, so yesterday I went in to have my labs drawn and asked if Dr. Ellent could take a look at my arms.

He happened to be between patients and asked in his Uzbekestani accent, “How you doing?”

“I have a rash on my arms.”

He looked at my arms and told me I have shingles.  Right there in the hallway.

Shortest doctor visit ever.

He prescribed Acyclovir 5 times a day for 7 days and told me to wear sleeves until the rash goes away.  Shingles is infectious and can spread on contact.  Good times.

I count myself quite lucky that I only have an itchy rash and not the pain that many people suffer during a bout with shingles.

“Radiation or chemotherapy can lower your resistance to diseases and may trigger shingles.” – Mayo Clinic Website

Learn More About Shingles

There is a plethora of information about shingles on the internet.  Here are a few of the better resources:

Shingles during chemotherapy for breast cancer. Click To Tweet

Sharon Alfred | 30 Women Who Mean Business Series

Chef Sharon Alfred is the owner and culinary artist behind Idias Catering in Humble, Texas.

Describe your business in 3 to 5 sentences.

Idias Catering specializes in but not limited to Creole Cuisine. We are Your Wine Shop At Home Consultant. For your Corp Lunch, Weddings, Showers, Church Events, Kids Parties, Pizza Parties, Personal information/Private Parties

How did you get started in your business?

Loved cooking and entertaining family and friends, gave the most Amazing parties! Was wrongfully terminated from my job as a cook/cashier, so I then decided to start my own business. I’ve been in business since 2011 and I Love it!

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?

Getting the word out about my business.

How have you overcome this hurdle?

Social media, client referrals and word of mouth has been working really well!

Who do you appreciate? Why?

Oh wow….God first, family and my network. With out them there’s no me. I love them all because they’ve been extremely beneficial through my life I’m and entire business building process.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?

Have A Taste Of New Orleans! Let Idias Catering Make Your Next Event Both Beautiful and Delicious


Connect with Sharon Alfred

Your Turn to Type

  • What is your favorite creole dish?
  • If you had to choose, would you rather have a personal chef or a housekeeper?
  • Are you a woman who means business? Click here to learn how to share your story with the Gratitude Geek audience.

Marketing with Color | Brand Colors Infographic Plus a Nostalgic Video

Did you know the color of your logo is just as significant as the design?

Personally, until I found this brand colors infographic about marketing with color, I never really thought about the significance of the color of my own logos.  I just picked colors I liked.

Turns out I done good.

The logo for my custom furniture business is brown, a color associated with durability and simplicity.  Our furniture designs are based on Shaker furniture and built to last for generations.  I think we nailed it on our logo color choice, eh?

The logo for this blog is yellow, a color associated with positivity and motivation.  Yup, nailed that one, too.

Brand Colors Infographic

brand colors infographic

brand colors infographic

Thank you to Marketo for this groovy brand colors infographic.

Tell Me About It

  • What color did you use in YOUR brand?
  • If you don’t have a brand, what is your favorite color, and why?
  • Do you know all the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors?

Yeah, I couldn’t resist.  Sorry, not sorry.

5 Ingredient Apple Pie Recipe

Happy Independence Day America!

We plan to celebrate the 4th with our friends, the Davies, from across the pond.  Yes, we are celebrating America’s independence from the British with some British folks.

My BFF Lynda Davies is a personal fitness trainer.  You’ve met her here a few times.  We split the menu.  I’m bringing good ole American standards:  macaroni salad, apple pie, guacamole and chips.  Lynda is making some good English standards: sausage rolls and fish tarts, or something like that.

It’s been years since I’ve baked a pie so why not let you follow along as I give it a whirl today.  I found a recipe for a simple apple pie with just 5 ingredients on Food Network.

Here we go!!

5 Ingredient Apple Pie Recipe

8 medium apples

2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 stick butter

4 store bought pie crusts

Step 1:  Gather 8 medium apples.  Or if you don’t have 8 medium apples use 7 small granny smiths and 3 medium galas like I did.


Step 2:  Peel and slice the apples and place them in a large bowl.


Step 3:  Sprinkle nutmeg over the apple slices.


Step 4:  Sprinkle 2 cups of sugar over the apples.


Step 5:  Toss the apples, sugar and nutmeg and until well mixed.


Step 6:  Pour the apples into 2 pies shells.


Step 7:  Cover the apple mixture with another pie shell and pinch the two shells together.


Step 8:  Realize you have forgotten to add the butter and pry the pie shells apart.

5-ingredient-apple-pie-8Step 9:  Shove the butter between the shells and the apples and hope for the best.


Step 10:  No PHOTO for this step but it involves dropping one of the pies and spending the next 30 minutes cussing, cleaning, mopping and hoping the second pie turns out fine.

Step 11:  Bake for 1 hour at 375, then let the pie cool as you admire your handiwork.


Makes 2 pies.  Unless you drop one.  Don’t drop one.

Step-by-step tutorial for 5 ingredient apple pie recipe. #kitchenhumor #didIbakethat Click To Tweet

Your Turn to Type

  • Have you ever had a kitchen disaster turn out just fine?
  • Do you bake pie or prefer to buy them?
  • How are you spending your July 4th?

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Gives $32 Billion to Empower Women and Eradicate Disease

I’d like to give a moment of gratitude to Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia who announced earlier this week he is giving away $32 billion, his entire fortune, to charitable causes. Among other things, the money will be used to:

  • bring electricity to rural villages
  • eradicate disease
  • build orphanages and schools
  • promote women’s literacy
  • teach women how to run for local office

“Early in my life I had a dream that I have always hoped to realize. I wished to wake up one day to see a world of tolerance, acceptance, equality, and opportunity—for all.” – Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal

Thank you Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal!


Read more about this story on and The Guardian.

Can You Really Make Money from a Greeting Card App? | Infographic

Full disclosure:  I rarely ever do this, so bear with me.  I’m about to start typing about my favorite side hustle. I promise to keep it short but I DO make money from a greeting card app. Not only do I make money, I have fun, plus I make people feel good.

Last Tuesday, during a weekly networking meeting, I took an ussie with Pat, the owner of a local publication, and in less than 60 seconds I uploaded the photo to the cover of a greeting card, typed a witty message, and clicked send. Then, a real paper greeting card was printed, stuffed, stamped and mailed to Pat.

Took me 60 seconds. Someone else did the hard stuff.

Monday I received this in an email from Pat:

“You are so sweet, Kandas. Just got your card. What a fun business you have! I will be signing up with you soon- thanks for the smiles!!!”

Greeting cards aren’t just about making people feel good.  There is BIG money to be made. Don’t believe me?  Check out this infographic:

greeting card_info

If you’d like to cash in on a piece of that $8 billion dollar greeting card pie, head on over to my greeting card app website.  Be sure to watch the income opportunity video.  If you want to test drive the app, click on the three bars that look like a hamburger in the upper right corner and “send a free card.”

Your Turn to Talk

  • How many greeting cards do you send each year?  How many do you receive?
  • Do you have a side hustle?  Tell me one thing about it.
  • What do you like on your hamburger?  Fries, chips or potato salad on the side?

What is My Purpose? | Infographic

Ask any kid:  “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and they will give you an answer.  Go ahead, find a kid and ask them.  Test my hypothesis.

Ask most adults:  “What is your purpose?” and you’ll be met with dead silence and blank stares.  Try it!  Let me know if I’m right.

“What’s my purpose?”  It’s the ultimate question.

Fortunately, finding the answer is easier than you may think.  Ask yourself 4 simple questions and unlock your destiny.

What is my purpose?

To find your answer ask yourself:

  • At what am I great?  What comes natural to me?
    • Everyone has innate talents.  Including you!
  • What do I love doing?
    • Go ahead make a long list of everything you love doing.
  • What does the world need?
    • Back in the day, kids who had trouble swimming had few options if they wanted to enjoy a swimming pool. Then about 30 years ago the pool noodle was invented and now any kid can float around in a pool and feel safe.
  • How can I get paid for it?
    • Yes! You CAN get paid for doing what you love.  If you think you can’t, then you won’t.  If you know you CAN then you will!  Remember:  the inventor of the pool noodle made millions.
You CAN get paid for doing what you love. If you think you can't, then you won't. If you know you CAN then you will! Click To Tweet

I ran across this concise, logical infographic on Facebook many months ago. I and think it is the perfect answer to the ultimate question:

what is your purpose

Image Attribution

As much as I’d love to give credit where credit is due for the What is My Purpose inforgraphic, unfortunately, in my chemo fog I do not remember who posted it and its’ creator did not watermark it. If you know who created this graphic, please post it in the comments.

The groovy Questionmark Icon made by Freepik from is licensed by CC BY 3.0