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					                   the pink rose Ellen Ramig
                  As each rose is unique and each petal’s fragrance
               spreads hope, joy, courage and beauty to those
              around it, so it is with the special people who come
                into our lives.
  The Pink Rose is a relatively new BBN tradition and one that
                                                                                                                 Don’t forget to register for the
                                                                                                                Survivors Day Celebration
                                                                                                                                                                         B                                       Bosom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Buddy Network                                                                       Winter 2007
we hope will grow and flourish through the years. A Pink Rose is
                                                                                                              Seeking                                                                                                                          “A woman is like a tea bag; you don’t know

presented each issue to someone unique in herself/himself and
who spreads their fragrance by helping others connected with                                                                                                                                                                                       her strength until she is in hot water.”
breast cancer and/or survivorship.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ~Nancy Reagan
  This winter the BBN board is thrilled to present a Pink Rose
to Ellen Ramig. A breast cancer survivor and founding member

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 dealing from a distance
of the BBN newsletter, Ellen’s positive attitude and willingness
to help other breast cancer survivors is an inspiration to us all.
                                                                                                                             Sunday, April 15
  For your decade-plus of work and commitment to the BBN,
this time we thank you, Ellen, for all that you do!
                                                                                                                                                                      Check us out!
                                                                                                                                 2 to 4 p.m.                                      on the web
                                                                                                                                                                                           When I found out that my        out to Macuelizo, a town    Mom would have loved
If you would like to nominate someone for a                                                                                Gering Civic Center                                                                   mom, Cathie McRoberts,          seven miles away from       to have my support in
                                                                                                                                                                          Click on ‘Departmetns &
Pink Rose, please contact Teresa Clark at                                                                                                                                                                        had breast cancer, I was in     Ococona, to visit neighbor- person, but frequent emails or (308) 630-1687.                                                                                      Call (308) 630-1541                                 Services” then click on
                                                                                                                                                                          ‘Cancer Treatment Center’              the middle of my second         ing volunteer Touie         and phone calls served to
                                                                                                                         to reserve your place.                                                                  year of Peace Corps service     Norawong and I. We started brighten her spirits from

Although this newsletter does not endorse specific products, we strive to provide informational material which pertains to our readers. If you have information
                                                                                                                                                                  this issue                                     in Nicaragua. Mom,Dad and the day with a cross-cultural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I always scheduled a monthly Easter egg hunt with local
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “phone date” during
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             time to time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Prior to Mom’s battle with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       breast cancer, Mom,
about clothing, wigs, prosthetics, or other tips that worked for you and you would like to share, please call Teresa Clark at (308) 630-1687.                     Dealing from                                   which I would call                                                    Dad and my sister
                                                                                                                                                                  a distance                                     them from the one                                                     Carmen visited me
                                                                                                                                                                  A son’s story                                  and only phone in                                                     in Nicaragua. It was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ococona where I                                                       incredible for them
                                                                                                                                                                  Plate to pressure                              lived. This time, I                                                   to spend time in
                                                                                                                                                                  canner                                         could tell that some-                                                 Ococona and the
                                                                                                                                                                  When support is missing                        thing was different as                                                surrounding com-
                                                                                                                                                                  Survivor’s Story                               Dad told me that my                                                   munities where we
                                                                                                                                                                  A thank you to Dairy Queen                     mother had a tumor                                                    visited most of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 in her breast and may                                                 Nicaraguan families
                                                                                                                                                                  Rae’s rules for                                have breast cancer.                                                   that had become
                                                                                                                                                                  radiation relaxation                           The next time we                                                      close to my heart.
                                                                                                                                                                  Tips for bosom buddies                         talked, they confirmed        Keegan and his mom, Cathie After the visit,
                                                                                                                                                                  Question and Answer                            that Mom did have                                                     community mem-
                                                                                                                                                                  Golfing after a mastectomy?                    breast cancer and would         school kids that Touie had  bers, especially the women,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 be undergoing a double mas- organized. After that, Touie    constantly asked about my
                                                                                                                                                                  The pink rose                                  tectomy followed by several     and I each had half hour    family.
                                                                                                                                                                  Honoring a charter                             months of chemotherapy. I       informal interviews with       Some time after Mom
                                                                                                                                                                  BBN board member
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 asked if they wanted me to      Susan. She asked about our  was diagnosed with cancer,
                                                                                                                                                                  Board members: Katy Hawkins,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 come home and they said no. projects, life in Nicaragua     I began to share my mom’s
                                                                                                                                                                  Becky Kreman, Cathie McRoberts,                Mom and Dad both had a          and relations with family   situation with Nicaraguan
                                                                                                                                                                  Ellen Ramig, Marletta Warner                   very positive attitude about    back home. I told her about friends. They were very
                                                                                                                                                                  and Rae Whitney                                it and that made me feel        Mom’s bout with cancer and concerned and supportive;
                                                                                                                                                                  Editor: Teresa Clark                           more at ease. I was confident she was very supportive and   Mom had an incredible
                                                                                                                                                                  Regional West Marketing & Public Relations     that Mom would beat it.         grateful that my family     support group in the area
                                                                                                                                                                  The Bosom Buddy Network newsletter is              One of the first times that understood that I was doing around Ococona!
                                                                                                                                                                  written by cancer survivors - this is your
      Permit No. 30
                                                                                                                                                                  newsletter. We value your input and appre-     I shared this with anyone in    more good by staying in     Community women like
                                                                                                                                                                  ciate feedback and articles relating to your   Nicaragua was when then         Ococona than going home     Doña Rosinda, Leilin,
          69361                                                                                                               Scottsbluff, NE 69361
   Scottsbluff, Nebraska                                                                                                 3911 Avenue B, Suite G100                breast cancer experience. To submit ideas
           PAID                                                                                                                                                   and articles, please call Teresa Clark,        Peace Corps Nicaragua           to worry over a situation I Tomasa, Silvia and
                                                                                                                                                                  Regional West Marketing and Public
      U.S. Postage                                                                                                                                                Relations Department, (308) 630-1687 or        director Susan Pezullo came     could not control. I know               (continued to page 5)
  Non-Profit Organization                                                                                                                                         e-mail                                                                                               (continued to page 6)
  We can survive.
  I am like the rest of you hating to get
  annual checkups. But I had been going
  and on April 9, 2004, my life was
                                              a survivor’s story
                                             worst day of my life. We met with
                                             Dr. Forney who told us what my
                                             options were. I wanted it out of there
                                             but the surgery had to be done before
                                             or after I got back from my family
                                                                                        The first week was spent on the couch
                                                                                        sleeping. I could eat but the thought
                                                                                        of food would turn my stomach. The
                                                                                        next week a little better, then the last
                                                                                        week almost back to normal. Oreo
                                                                                                                                                                         PLATE TO                                 pressure canner
                                                                                                                                                                                     pressure canner and about to blow. You
                                                                                                                                                                                     have already heard words like “chemo,”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  others got the family trust changed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had to do some real serious studying
  turned inside out. During the breast       vacation to London and Scotland that       blizzards were my comfort food. They                                                         “surgery,” “suspicious,” “probable” and      about forgiveness. Forgiveness does not
  exam, my doctor asked me if I had          we had planned. They said they could       helped cover the metal taste in my                                                           “radiation.” There are no encouraging        mean letting them “off the hook,” nor
  felt the lump in my breast, which of       do it the next day. Back to Sidney and     mouth. Thank you Dairy Queen.                                                                words that you will beat the cancer even     does it mean you are sending a statement
  course I hadn’t. She asked when my         Scottsbluff again so we could be at           About 14 days after the first chemo                                                       if you do the recommended treatments.        that it is okay what they did. It is not
  next mammogram was, which was              the hospital at 6:45 am. The drive was     my hair started to fall out and hurt -                                                          You now have a new family that will       okay what they did. However, you cannot
  not for a couple of months. She said       again was a therapy session. I am so       not my head - my hair. I decided to                                                          come to know just about everything there     change them and are not responsible for
  I probably could wait. But that voice      blessed that I have married my best        have Craig and my best friend,                                                               is to know about you. They will spend        anyone’s actions but your own. When we
  in the back of my head said, “GO           friend and that we can discuss and         Desirae, shave my head. So in the mid-                                                       countless hours planning your treatments     have not forgiven someone who has
  NOW.”                                      work through any problems. In less         dle of the kitchen, Craig shaved my                                                          and your visits will be numerous. They       wronged you, the hurt and anger that you
     After getting the mammogram they        than 24 hours after finding out that       head. I owe my husband huge kudos,                                                           want you to survive. You will actually       carry actually hurts your potential and
  called me a week later to get another      the lump in my breast was cancerous,       while shaving my head he made it so I                                                        build a sense of security that they are      well-being-not that of the other person.
  and an ultrasound. I called 10 days        it was out of there.                       did not see one strand of hair fall.                                                         always there for you and working on your     Only through God have I been able to
                                                                                                                                                                                     case.                                        forgive and pray for them who have hurt

                      We have survived.                                                                                                                                                 But you also have family and friends to
                                                                                                                                                                                     help support you…or do you? When I
                                                                                                                                                                                     lost my hair, I felt so self-conscious. I
                                                                                                                                                                                     thought one day I would test the waters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  me that they will be healed. I have too
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  many important things to do yet and I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  know that God has a plan. Forgiveness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  does not come quickly.
  later and they said they did not             We met with Dr. Packard for treat-          Other than the queasiness, the
  have the results and I should call my      ment options. Since my lump was one        hardest thing was having people give                                                         so I walked up to a group of children-         I did not pick cancer-it picked me. This
  doctor. When she called she informed       centimeter, no nodes involved, chemo       me “the look” when they saw you did          You walk into the clinic to get the “good       children are always an honest start. Not     did not just happen to me-it was a family
  me that “Yes, I did have a lump.” We       was up to me. Four times, three weeks      not have any hair - “you have cancer         report” or the “bad report.” Your heart         one asked about my hair-they accepted        affair. Every day you wake up with the
  met with the surgeon in Scottsbluff.       apart, I could make it through that. So    and you are going to die.” I even had        already knows the answer but your brain         me for who I was. It was the adults who      choice of what your attitude will be for
  He confirmed what we already knew          after a restful vacation, we arrived for   a little boy tell me that I looked funny.    is still holding out for the miracle words-     seemed to have the problem and engaged       the day. You can make it the best day ever
  and we met with Lois from the Breast                                                  I had more people tell me that I             buying more time before having to face          the mouth before the brain. I heard          or you can be miserably angry. I was
  Center. My whirlwind started after                                                    looked great with no hair and I should       or deny it. When you walked into the            things like, “Hope you are not sicker than   forced to deal with it but others chose to
  that. She arranged for me to have a                                                   go without my hats (which only hap-          clinic, you had the same plate in front of      you think” and “Did they get it all?”        walk away. Who’s sicker, them or me?
  biopsy that afternoon. Everyone made                                                  pened at home).                              you that most everyone else has. It has            Our family used to be fairly close with                               —Marianne Fisher
  us feel we were the only patients they                                                   I was bound and determined that I         little piles; “children,” “finances,” “work,”   a little bit of work. At first, everyone                                  Gurley, Nebraska
  had that day and made my husband                                                      was going to have a good attitude            etc.                                            called, encouraging me that I would be           Photo: Marianne with her two grand-
  feel like he was involved in everything.                                              through this. I looked for positive             You knew the report would not be             fine. About one month into it all, one            daughters, McKenze and Makayla.
     Dr Johnson took some samples for                                                   things to get me through. I was not          good and now your plate is as large as a        person quit calling and never knew when
  the biopsy. On our drive back to                                                      going to let it get me down. Having                                                          I had chemo or about the horrible reac-
  Sidney we cried and talked about                                                      cancer did not stop me from living my                                                                     tions that I was having. Two
  every option we had. It was also the                                                  life. Two weeks after my first treat-
  first time we had heard Tim McGraw’s
  song “Live Like You are Dying.”
                                                      Kristi and her
                                                      husband Craig.
                                                                                        ment, we went to Ride the Ridge in
                                                                                        Chadron (a 10-15 mile horseback ride)
                                                                                                                                     dealing from a distance
                                                                                                                                     (continued from cover)
                                                                                                                                                                                                           I had no idea how much it had changed her life until I
  Which of course made us cry some                                                      and camping for the weekend. Also            many, many others continually asked about her progress and            returned home for a month after over two years away from
  more. The hardest time I was having,                                                  during my treatments we went to              told me how they kept Mom in their daily prayers. This was            home. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason
  was what all of this was going to do       my first treatment. I had no idea what     Cheyenne Frontier Days, Colorado             very uplifting for me. When Mom started to lose her hair, I           and the adversity of breast cancer changed my mom’s life for
  to our families. Craig’s first wife had    was going to happen or what to             Springs Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame               decided to follow suit and began to bic my head for a couple          the better. She decided to go back to school to study nursing
  died of cancer 10 years earlier and        expect. Leslie, my miracle worker, got     Induction and the Taste of Colorado.         months. Community members thought the show of family                  with a new, extremely positive outlook on life. Mom’s bout
  my grandmother had died of breast          my medication correct the first time       I surrounded myself with positive            solidarity was really special (Dad shaved his head at home as         with breast cancer has reinforced the importance of taking
  cancer. I knew that there was nothing      with the right dosages that worked         people. I did have times that I did not      well). Many of the young men in the region followed suit              advantage of each and every day of our lives and enjoying
  I could do, but fight.                     for me. Not that I skated through          get out of bed but for the most part I       and sported shaved heads. Little did they know they were              life to the fullest while we have it! The Nicaraguans who
     When we arrived the next day, they      treatment or did not have an easy                                                       supporting my mother as well! Mom and I look so much                  have been and continue to be supportive of my family and
  delivered the news. All I could think      time, but I never got sick. Not that I                          (continued to page 4)   alike that Dad saw her bald profile heading for the house in          indirectly helped my mom get through breast cancer deserve
  was that I am going to die. It was the     didn’t wish I could and even tried to.                                                  Nebraska one day and thought I had made a surprise visit              a very special thank you!

   We will sur vive.
                                                                                                                                     home! Little things like that and the ability to maintain a sense
                                                                                                                                     of humor throughout it kept us all strong.                                                                            —Keenan McRoberts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cornell University
                                                                                                                                        I am so thankful that my mother is a breast cancer survivor.                                                        Ithaca, New York

2 ~ Winter 2007 BBN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Winter 2007 BBN ~ 5
Question                                                 bring your favorite golf club and put it in a place
                                                         where you can see it from your bed. Also take a
                                                         picture of a golf hole. When you are feeling sick
                                                         and weak, look at these things and think about the
                                                                                                                                         s rules
                                                                                                                                      rae’ for radiation relaxing
                                                         day you’ll be back there, with a new appreciation
   Can I still golf after                                for being alive in beautiful surroundings.                                   When I have a medical appointment, I                                                     and on Wednesday with

                                                            Ask your doctor when you can play golf again.                             always make sure I carry a book that will                                                          (Christ the Lord is risen
    my mastectomy?                                       If he or she says “Two months,” ask ‘why not
                                                         sooner?’ Ask about rehabilitation specific to
                                                                                                                                      last me at least an hour, in case I have to                                                        today).... Some letters needed
                                                                                                                                      wait in a public room.                                                                              two or more days, so I had no
       answ er                                           regaining your swing and then count down to
                                                         the day when you can hit the links again.
                                                            If you have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy,
                                                                                                                                         But when the nurse takes me into the
                                                                                                                                      examination room, and says, ‘Sit on the
                                                                                                                                      end of the table; the doctor will be in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               worry about running out of letters of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               the alphabet... I gave myself rules. I
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               must not look in a hymn book before I
                                                         rehab your arm religiously. Use the exercises given                          soon, - unless there’s an emergency,”                                                    go; in fact I must not ever think about
                                                         to you in the hospital. If you have more than two                            (there usually is!), I don’t want to just sit                                            this specific task until I was actually on
                                                         or three lymph nodes removed ask your surgeon                                there till my back aches. So I get off the                                               the radiation table!!
                                                         about referral to a rehabilitation center. Without                           table and do some physical exercises
Cancer is often seen as a thief. Cancer steals health,   adequate rehab your shoulder can freeze up.                                                                                                                              This might seem a trivial idea to share
                                                                                                                                      (and I don’t care if I get caught doing                                                  with my Bosom Buddies, but maybe a
both physical and mental, it steals time and it             Start with chipping and putting. They don’t                               them!) mostly leg and arm swinging,
can steal our vision of who we are. One way for          require the full swing that a drive does and while                                                                                                                    definite mental task might help take
                                                                                                                                      shoulder shrugging, hip rotating- you
women to empower themselves after a diagnosis            practicing your short game may be boring, it can                                                                                                                      away from you the kind of stress we
                                                                                                                                      get the idea.....! And of course I can
of breast cancer is to ask, “What can I take back?”      be the key to shaving strokes off of your game.                              always return to my book.                            What do you do                      all probably feel when our bodies are
As more women are diagnosed and ultimately                  Plan an extravagant golf trip. Tahiti? South                                 However, going to the 33 radiation                                                    in someone else’s control.... Doing this
survive breast cancer, they make decisions about         Africa? Scotland? Take your IRA, turn it upside                                                                                                                       turned out to be fun for me; it mellowed
who they will be and what kind of life they will         down and shake it. If ever there was a time to live
                                                                                                                                      treatments after my lumpectomy was
                                                                                                                                      somewhat different. I knew I must not
                                                                                                                                                                                            while waiting in                   the strange noises, and relaxed me.
lead after treatment. For some women this means          for today, this is it.                                                       move once I was lying on my back on                                                         If you like the idea of alphabetizing,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               you could put the names of your friends
going back to a job they love, while for others it
means going back to a favorite hobby.
                                                            When you start chemotherapy, let your doctor
                                                         know golf is a priority. An implanted port or
                                                                                                                                      the very narrow table. So I decided I
                                                                                                                                      needed to give my brain a task to do
                                                                                                                                                                                           a doctor’s office                   and relatives in order. Or think of your
   Every year, about 210,000 women are diagnosed         groshong, while wonderful, can interfere with                                that I could pick up and continue with                                                   teachers, starting in kindergarten, and
with invasive breast cancer. Odds of being diag-
nosed with breast cancer increase as we age.
                                                         your swing. Make sure your doctor takes this into
                                                         consideration when deciding on placement.
                                                                                                                                      on each visit.                                       or spending time                    remember gratefully a specific thing each
                                                                                                                                         Since I am a hymn lover, I decided to                                                 one has taught you. Or it might be fun
   Ninety-five percent of new breast cancer                 For many women, an axillary dissection or                                 arrange hymns in my head in alphabeti-                                                   to catalog food: alphabetizing herbs the
diagnoses occur in women over the age of 40              removal of a significant number of lymph nodes                               cal order. The first Monday, I thought of               on the table?                    first day, fruit the second, etc... and of
and 60 percent of women golfers in the U.S. are          is part of the treatment plan. This procedure puts

                                                                                                                                      all the hymns beginning with                                                             course one can always use that “time on
40 or over.                                              you at higher risk for lymphedema, or swelling of                                       (Amazing Grace, And Can it                                                    the table” to name and give thanks for
   Thanks to mammography and self-breast exam,           the arm, one of the disease’s most debilitating side                                    Be, Abide with Me, etc); - if I                  Here are                     our doctors, nurses, helpers and encour-
the chances of survival after a positive diagnosis       effects.                                                                                knew them well enough to sing                                                 agers! I’d love to hear from you if you
have steadily improved. Five-year survival rate             The National Lymphedema Network                                           them to myself I did so, - if not I went
has increased from 72 percent in the 1940s to 97         recommends post-mastectomy golfers wear sun                                  on to another one..... On Tuesday, I                   Rae’s Relaxing                    have invented some specific mental tasks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and want to share them!
percent today. At last count there are 2,000,000         block, insect repellent and gloves to avoid cuts                             started with

breast cancer survivors in this country. Of these        and blisters.
2,000,000, most do far more than just survive.              Other techniques that may be useful once you
                                                                                                                                                 (Blessed Assurance, Beneath
                                                                                                                                                 the cross of Jesus),
                                                                                                                                                                                           Radiation Rules!                                                —Rae E. Whitney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Scottsbluff, Nebraska
They work, love and get back to the basic business       have started golfing again include: putting your tee
of living with gusto and for more and more this          in the ground with your left hand when your right
includes playing golf.                                   hand hurts or sticking a piece of compression foam
   According to Betty Cuniberti of Golf for              into your golf glove if your hand is swollen.
Women Magazine, golf is natural fit for women
who have survived breast cancer. “We don’t
                                                            Remember the anonymous verse, ‘What Cancer
                                                         Cannot Do.’ It can’t cripple love, shatter hope, cor-
                                                                                                                                        we can survive.
                                                                                                                                        (continued from page 2)
discourage easily. We understand that life is not        rode faith, destroy peace, kill friendship, suppress
fair …we don’t wail, “Why me? Why me?” The               memories, silence courage, invade the soul, steal                              went about doing what I would have            got depressed. After going on anti-      and you are not alone. Remember that
question with no answer that is the first hurdle of      eternal life orconquer the spirit and for many                                 done, had I not had cancer.                   depression pills I almost feel normal.   there are survivors five, 10, 15 and even
cancer. We golfers see the unjust, the unlikely and      women it also can’t prevent them from playing golf!                              Radiation was next, really boring.          But what was normal? I would have        30 plus years.
the infuriating all the time. Then we have lunch.”                                       —Becky Kreman, RN, APRN-C, PhD                 But it was still something I could do         to make a new normal.                      We can survive. We have survived.
                                                                                                  Case Manager Regional West
   Betty has several tips for women who golf and                                                        Scottsbluff, Nebraska           to fight against the cancer. I had had a         If you have just been diagnosed,      We will survive.
have no intention of letting breast cancer stand in      Cuniberti, Betty (2004). Survival 101: How golf can bring you back, from a     lumpectomy, three months of chemo             starting treatment, going through
                                                         woman who’s been there. Golf for Women. Found at:                                                                                                                                                  —Kristi Bruner
their way:                                           and weeks of radiation. Now what was          treatment, just finishing treatment or                               Sidney, Nebraska
   When you go to the hospital for your surgery,         00409survival101.html                                                          I going to do? Tamoxifen would start a        a survivor for years, remember that
                                                                                                                                        year after my lump was removed. I             cancer is no longer a death sentence

                                                                                                            Winter 2007 BBN ~ 3       4 ~ Winter 2007 BBN

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