Photo Credit: HelloWoodlands

Is Cancer a Gift?

There is a great debate over whether cancer is a “gift” or not.

Shortly after being diagnosed with aggressive Her2+ ER+ Breast Cancer two and a half years ago,  the unwanted guest in my breast I call Bertha, metastasized to my lungs.  Despite being now NED (no evidence of disease) the professionals tell me I will be in treatment for the rest of my (lusciously long, happy life).

Thursday night I had the honor of serving as a judge with four other amazing breast cancer survivors at the first annual Bravissimo! Bra Art Competition and Handbag Auction benefiting the Montgomery County, Texas Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

As difficult, frustrating, and at times down-right infuriating these past two and a half years have been, there has also been happiness, love, and much for which to be grateful.

I choose to feel blessed.

Photo Credit:  HelloWoodlands.  View more images from Bravissimo! Bra Art Competition and Handbag Auction:

Bra Art Competition Raises Funds For Cancer

Planning Your MLM Reboot

Full Disclosure:  This article isn’t really about your MLM reboot, it’s about mine.  Hopefully, by sharing my plan, it may help you create your plan, should you ever find yourself in the situation I find myself in today.

My Story

For the past two and a half years, I have lived with metastatic breast cancer.

Understandably, my life and my MLM business have been on hold.  I’ve done what I could to support my team, but truth be told, my team has supported me.

I recently received my second all-clear 3-month scan, meaning I have officially been in remission for 6-months.  Woot!!  Based on these happy results, my oncologist has changed my treatment plan to one that is much more conducive to living a full and rich life.  And oh boy am I ready to reclaim my life and my MLM business.

MY 10-step MLM Reboot Plan

The following 10-step MLM Reboot plan is uniquely mine.  If you are ready to reboot your own MLM business, use it as a blueprint to create your plan.

  1. Catch up on any changes to the products, compensation plan, or marketing tools.
  2. Check in with my direct sponsored team.  Reach out to team members whose direct sponsor is no longer working their business.
  3. Schedule and register for local team meetings, corporate calls, training events, and company convention.
  4. Touch base with clients with an active subscription.  Reach out to past clients.
  5. Attend 1 to 2 networking meetings per week.
  6. Schedule at least 3 one-on-one appointments each week with team members, clients, and new friends.
  7. Use my company’s products daily.
  8. Share my company’s products and opportunity daily.
  9. Refresh my affirmations and read them every day.
  10. Spend 30 minutes on professional and personal development daily.

Even the best plans will fail without inspired action.  So make your plan and put it into action!

Share Your Plan

Are you ready to reboot your MLM business?  Share a few of the ways you plan to get restarted.

Maybe you’ve already successfully rebooted.  What do you consider the absolute best piece of advice you can offer to someone ready to restart their business?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Offering Nutritional Advice for Cancer Patients

Your friend, loved-one, business associate, co-worker is a cancer patient.

You know, we all know, that proper nutrition during cancer treatment is so very important.  Chemotherapy, radiation, immuno-therapy, hormone-therapy all cause a great toll on even the healthiest of bodies.

You’ve heard about a herb, vitamin, tea, or fruit that may help.  Should you tell the patient?

How to Offer Nutritional Advice for Cancer Patients

Here is a simple 3-step approach to offering nutritional advice for cancer patients:

  • Step 1:  Did the patient ask for advice?
    • No?  Do not offer any advice to the patient.
    • Yes?  Go to Step 2
  • Step 2:  Are you a licensed nutritionist, dietitian, physician, or other medical practitioner?
    • No?  Do not offer any advice to the patient.
    • Yes?  Go to Step 3.
  • Step 3:  Suggest the patient discuss your nutritional advice with their oncologist.

Bottom line, drugs can have interactions with foods, supplements and herbs.  Nutritional changes need careful monitoring and educated guidance by the prescribing oncologist.

Do This Instead

I must admit, before my cancer journey began, I probably gave unwelcome and unsolicited advice freely.

Now that I am walking the path, I am doing my own due diligence and discussing complimentary therapies with my oncologist openly.  Thus far, he has approved of everything I’ve added after my own careful research.  I recommend the book Radical Remission for patients who wish to add complimentary therapies to their cancer treatment.

To my dear friends and family whom have offered nutritional advice to me, please know that I understand you were doing so from a place of love, and I do appreciate you.

If you want to help a cancer patient, try this list of 18 Gifts for Someone Going Through Chemo or Radiation.

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How to Offer Nutritional Advice to Cancer Patients

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How to Offer Nutritional Advice to Cancer Patients

How to Offer Nutritional Advice to Cancer Patients

Breast Cancer Survivor Called Pervert for Using Women’s Restroom

Deena Lotridge is a double mastectomy breast cancer survivor. Her friends call her a hero for the way she has shined brightly during her journey through cancer. After losing it to chemo, her hair is growing back, and is still rather short.

With everything she has gone through, using a public women’s restroom should be the least of Deena’s worries.

However, the recent attention to the transgender bathroom debate has resulted in unexpected consequences.  Take for instance the Texas man who followed a woman into the bathroom to check her gender.

Deena, with her short, dirty blonde locks, showed great dignity when verbally accosted during a recent visit to the women’s restroom in an Altoona, Pennsylvania mall:

Deena Lotridge was called Pervert for using Womens Bathroom after Double Mastectomy

Deena Lotridge called Pervert for using Women’s Bathroom

Here is the text if you can’t read the screenshot:

My Husband and I went shopping for a few things today in Altoona. Went to the mall for lunch, pizza. and I used the restroom before we ate. I was called a PERVERT for using the lades room!! I was amazed!! I told this woman I was in the proper restroom and she called me a pervert again. So I told her again I was where I was to be.. she got really nasty so I lifted my shirt and said….. SEE …. I told her not to judge what she didn’t know or even understand and that I hope she never had to face cancer and have body parts removed…
What is worse.. this isn’t the first time, but the first time someone was so nasty!
What a world we live in now… SMH

I agree with her friends, Deena Lotridge is a hero.

All is well,

Surviving Cancer

Today is National Cancer Survivors Day®.

“National Cancer Survivors Day® is a CELEBRATION for those who have survived, an INSPIRATION for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of SUPPORT for families, and an OUTREACH to the community.” –

The other day, I came across a rather bitter, anger-filled blog post criticizing the movement for excluding those whose disease has metastasized.

I, too, have struggled with the term “cancer survivor.”  Like the author, I am living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

For the most part, I am not inclined to be angry about cancer.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all roses and sunshine, and I have had my share of melt-downs. If I listed some of the crazy things I’ve said or done in the past 26 months, those who know me might be surprised. Living with MBC is not easy, and every once in a while it is okay to not be strong, show vulnerability, and ask for help.

MBC is considered a terminal illness and treated by the medical community as a chronic disease. It is a life-long journey for which the cure has yet to be found.

So, back to the term “cancer survivor.” Can it include those with metastatic disease?

Here is what surviving cancer means to me:

Celebrating each and every day.
Acting upon opportunities.
Noticing miracles.
Creating experiences.
Embracing love and compassion.
Relishing life.

Survive is a verb, and verbs depict action. I choose being an active participant in my life. I choose to survive.

Survive is a verb, and verbs depict action. #nationalcancersurvivorsday Click To Tweet


P.S. – I’d love to read your thoughts on surviving cancer. Please do share in the comments.

Surviving Cancer by Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte. Use Granted with Credit. and Link to

Surviving Cancer by Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte. Use Granted with Credit and Link to

Cancer Healing Affirmations

Shortly after diagnosed with Her2+ ER+ metastatic breast cancer, I received a package in the mail from an unknown source. Enclosed was the book, Heal Your Body, by Louise Hay.  The small book, just 85 pages, includes a 62-page chart of ailments along with emotional causes plus unique healing affirmations for each ailment.

I flipped to “cancer” and found the purported emotional cause:

“Deep hurt.  Longstanding resentment.  Deep secret or grief eating away at self.  Carrying hatreds.  ‘What’s the use?'” – Louise Hay, Heal Your Body, p. 22

Yeah, no.  I’m a very happy go lucky kind of gal.

“This shit is bunk,” – I thought, and put the book up on a shelf.

It’s been a couple of years since I received the anonymous package in the mail.  I’m currently in remission and plan to stay that way.

Maybe She’s On To Something

Timing is often the most important factor in determining an outcome.

Curious, after watching a few videos the other day featuring Louise Hay during the Hay House World Summit, I picked up the book again to read the cancer healing affirmations:

“I lovingly forgive and release all of the past. I choose to fill my world with joy. I love and approve of myself.” – Louise Hay, Heal Your Body, p. 22

This time not so bunk.  There might be something here.  Much for me to ponder privately.

I believe in the power of affirmations, so I’m going to give these a try for a while.  I even made a pretty graphic that you are free to share, pin and tweet as long as you give credit:


Cancer Healing Affirmations by Louise Hay

More Cancer Healing Affirmations

Here are a few more places to find healing affirmations:

“I AM free to be me and express myself openly.” – from 50 Affirmations for Breast Cancer by Nic over at My Fabulous Boobies

“No matter what symptoms I manifest, I am increasing my health.” – from Healing Affirmations – Daily Positive Affirmations To Help Heal Your Body at Sagewood Wellness.

“I am vibrantly healthy and happy to be alive.” – from Creating Positive Affirmations That Work by breast cancer coach, Marnie Clark.

All is well!


18 Gifts for Someone Going Through Chemo and Radiation

Someone you love has cancer.  You may have no idea what to say or do.

They are facing chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, biologic or immune therapy. Or, all the above.

You want to help.  Here are some awesome, inexpensive ways you can.

Gifts that Help the Family

Treatment is just as stressful on the people who live with the patient as it is on the patient.

1. Prepare a meal.  Frozen casseroles are great because the family can heat and eat as needed.

2.  Arrange for a housekeeper through a charitable organization such as Cleaning for a Reason.

Gifts that Help Ease Nausea and Dry Mouth

Nausea is probably the most common side effect of chemotherapy.  Dry mouth and mouth sores, often painful, are also common side effects of many chemo drugs.  These gifts help nausea, and dry mouth:

3.  Peppermint – peppermint essential oil, peppermint tea, peppermint candy.

4.  Ginger – ginger syrup, ginger chews, crystallized ginger, ginger tea, ginger essential oil.  I find ginger honey crystals dissolved in warm water quite soothing.

5.  Throat Drops

6.  Biotene Mouth Spray

Biotene Moisturizing Mouth Spray eases dry mouth that may occur during chemotherapy treatment.

Biotene Moisturizing Mouth Spray eases dry mouth that may occur during chemotherapy treatment.

Gifts that Ease Pain and Discomfort

Another common side effect of chemo is Peripheral Neuropathy, nerve damage that causes pain, tingling, numbness, especially in the feet and hands.  Dry skin, lips, and eyes are also common.  Chemo patients are often cold.

7.  Foot Massage – a wooden massage roller is nice, too.

8.  Epsom Salt

9.  Pain Relief rubs or patches

10.  Essential Oil Blends for pain or relaxation

11.  Lip Balm

12.  Hand Lotion

13.  Eye Drops

14.  Warm fuzzy slipper socks.  They are like a hug for your feet.

Warm, fuzzy slipper socks are like a hug for the feet of a chemo patient.

Warm, fuzzy slipper socks are like a hug for the feet of a chemo patient.

Gifts for Taboo Side Effects

There are also some side effect from chemotherapy that the patient is not comfortable sharing.  For example: constipation, diarrhea, and hair loss.

15.  Hats and head scarves to keep the head warm.

16.  Dried fruit like prunes and dates to ease constipation.

17.  Moist Flushable Cleansing Wipes – dry toilette paper can be irritating.

18.  Travel Tissue Packs – because nose hairs fall out, too.

Pocket packs of tissue are a great gift to someone going through chemotherapy suffering from hair loss. Nose hairs fall out, too!

Pocket packs of tissue are a great gift to someone with hair loss from chemotherapy. Nose hairs fall out, too!

Final Word

Even the smallest gesture is appreciated by someone going through cancer treatment. It is an exhausting and emotional experience.

A huge note of thanks to my friend Stephanne Davenport. She dropped of two delicious meals, plus a bag full of useful goodies, after my most recent chemo treatment.  #FluffyKitty approved.

#FluffyKitty thinks he is a male model.

#FluffyKitty is the spokes model for these great gifts for someone going through chemotherapy and radiation.

What to Expect During a Lung Biopsy | Battling Bertha

When I announced that chemo did not work, a few weeks ago, I hinted that I intended to create a video describing my personal lung biopsy experience.  I wasn’t ready to talk about it until now.

I didn’t really know what to expect during a lung biopsy.  I know now that it is not pleasant.

Who am I kidding?  Cancer sucks.  Tests sucks.  Treatment sucks.

To be honest, when Dr. Ellent walked into the room and blurted out “I’m going to send you for a lung biopsy,” I didn’t want to have it done.  It took some convincing by my chemo nurses.

Even though I do not like the results, nor the prognosis, I am now happy that I did it.

What to Expect During a Lung Biopsy

Here’s my story…


If you are facing a lung biopsy, I hope this video helps you understand what to expect.

All is well,


PS – For the record, my hospital chart has EPIC stamped on it.  #epic