A Poem: “HOPE”

imgresI found this poem in one of my newsletter I put out several years ago for women journeying through cancer and wanted to share it with you.
Hope is a candle in the night
Hope is a long respite
Hope is a feather…once lifted, it’ll only get higher
Hope is an oasis in a desert
Hope is a diamond in the dirt
                                Hope is everywhere yet hope is scarcely there
                                Hope is the dream of better days
                                Hope is the passion ablaze
                                Hope is beautiful
                                …and hope is tranquil
                                Hope is there for everyone
                                It is an asset that ALL has in abundance
                                       Copyrighted – Melvin T
The source of our HOPE is God and faith in Him.  May your week be filled with hope as you focus on the source of your hope.


“What Cancer Cannot Do” – a poem

I want to share a poem with you that I have repeated many times over the last twenty years.  The author is unknown, but you can tell he/she deeply understood the subject matter.  Before sharing the poem with you, I want to share how I came to first read it.

In January of 1995, just five months following my cancer diagnosis, my husband’s paternal grandparents sent this poem to me in a get-well card.  At the time they were in their late eighties.  Grandma lost both her mother and father to cancer when she was just thirteen!  They had watched their friends and family struggle with cancer over the years.  However, my battle seemed to hit them both very hard.  They had given money faithfully to a well-known cancer organization from the time they were married in 1920 in hope of seeing a cure for cancer.  Having their grandson’s wife diagnosed with cancer seventy-five years later was almost more than they could bear.  I believe the list of what cancer can’t do brought much hope to them and they wanted to share that hope with me.

Now, it is my turn to share that hope with each of you!

“What Cancer Cannot Do”
Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love,
It cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendship,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the Spirit.

If that doesn’t give you cause to shout for joy and cry tears of gladness – nothing will.

I am so thankful that ever one of these things is true – but, the one that I like more than all the rest is the fact that cancer CANNOT steal my eternal LIFE.  I have been cancer free for nearly 20 years now, but if I had died then…or, if I were to recur and still die of it eventually – my eternal life is not in jeopardy.

John 3:16 says it all.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everylasting life.” – NKJV

We are born and we die.  Those are the only two things we all experience!  If you are dealing with cancer right now, or have someone you love who is…share this poem with them.  I feel confident it will make the journey easier.  But if you need the confidence to know that you have a future in heaven spending eternity with God, I invite you to read the entire book of John.  You can also go to my website: http://www.bridges2beauty.net and fill out a contact form to chat with me and/or pray with me.




Thank You God for Breast Cancer

I will never forget the night before my first mastectomy. I was early October and the house was very quiet. As I sat in my favorite “God spot” – I was praying and contemplating what was about to happen. I think most everyone thinks they will go to the grave with all their body parts intact. It simply had never occurred that might not be the case for me. I began to quietly sob. What happened next is something I have a hard time explaining. As I quietly cried I felt arms wrap around me and heard the words, “You don’t have to cry, because I am right here beside you – but, you can cry it you want to”. I know it was God’s arms and His words saying He understood the “want to” of crying because of what I was going through humanly, but that I didn’t have to cry out of fear and discouragement. Of course, then I cried like a baby…a child of God who knew, like never before, that I was being taken care of.

You might ask why I didn’t pray for a miraculous healing. I did, during the weeks between diagnosis and surgery. I knew my Lord was completely capable of healing me and prayed to that end. However, I didn’t get a miraculous healing and I am thankful I didn’t. Do you think that an odd response? Possibly, but I know now that if I had experienced a miracle I would praise God for that experience always pointing to that time and place as where God met me. Without a miraculous healing I learned to see God in each step of my cancer journey and praised Him for every moment of every day He sustained me. I believe my faith grew unlike it would have had God instantaneously healed me.

I was healed enough by early November to begin grappling with doing chemotherapy. How could I knowingly “poison” my temple? Together, my husband and I decided to go forward with what the doctors were recommending, praying that we would know if and/or when the Lord told us to stop.

Following the second treatment, and just four days prior to Christmas, I began running a 105° fever. I was admitted to the critical care unit. Everyone knew I was infected with something, they just didn’t know what. As I lay in my hospital bed that first night, I felt completely helpless knowing I was too weak to even get myself out of bed and that I was at the mercy of the staff. Those of you who know me know what a “doer” I am. There was nothing I could “do”, making this the most difficult place to find myself. My feeble prayer was simply “please God protect me”.

Early the next morning the doctor told me that, although they still weren’t certain what I was infected with, they were certain I was allergic to chemotherapy. My spinal cord was shutting down. All my blood results were at critical stage putting me on the verge of death. At that moment I knew God had screamed “stop!” I could not and would not ever do chemotherapy again.

The following day the answer to what I was infected with came. Staph! Then it struck me – this infection named “staph” had saved my life. Had I not begun running a fever, indicative of the infection, I would have died quietly at home never knowing the death grip chemotherapy had on me. God saved my life with staph! Not something very many people can say…but, our God uses some pretty unconventional tactics, doesn’t He?

On Christmas morning I was released and able to spend the celebration of Jesus’ birth with my family. The story doesn’t end there, though. On New Year’s Eve day I was back in the hospital with an abscess. The infection was surgically removed and the wound left open to heal. As I belly-ached to a wonderful nurse friend, asking why God didn’t just clear up the staph with the intravenous drugs instead of needing surgery – she quietly explained that my route was the most effective way of getting completely rid of staph. Once again it was clear God was in complete control and I was the recipient of His blessings.

…and so, I began to heal.

“Thank you God for breast cancer”. Without it my faith would not be as strong; my life not as rich; and I would not have a passion to help someone everyday be ALL God made them to be. Anyone who says Christian’s use Jesus as their crutch doesn’t get that we, as followers of Jesus, are the only ones walking straight and tall while all the rest of the world walks with a limp. My faith is not a crutch – it was, and is, my source of strength, hope and daily joy through life’s valleys of the shadow of death.

I have much more story to tell, because it was eighteen years ago this month that I began sojourning cancer. I will share from time to time in posts, so check back often.

Menopause and Cancer

     I have had some wonderful medical providers in my life during the challenges of menopause.  They have been supportive, caring and innovative.

     Acupuncture can be an incredible treatment for the symptoms and effects of menopause.  I have found an acupuncturist who is thorough and always ready to listen to me knowing that I know my body better than anyone else.  My personal experience has been that, although acupunture does not alleviate all menopausal symptoms (it has for some, I know), it greatly reduces the severity of panic attacks and the depression that can accompany menopause.  I encourage you to try acupuncture and see what it might do for you.

     My gynocologist is constantly on the search for ways to treat and help her patients effectively and naturally.  Last fall during a routine visit we discussed the extremely severe symptoms I have suffered with menopause and she shared what the effects of low levels of iodine may have on menopausal symptoms.  She suggested I do an iodine-urine test to determine my level of iodine.  The results were that I was extremely deficient.  I went on potassium iodide and shortly saw some nice results.  Again, in my particular situation they were not glaringly great…however, any degree of improvement was much appreciated.  Check with your gynecologist or regular physician to see about testing your iodine level.  This may offer you some relief also.

     My mother shared an ad with me some months ago about a product called Femi-Yin.  At first, I was very skeptical because there has simply not been anything natural I could take since my five tumors were both estrogen and progesterone positive.  However, as I studied this product, asked my acupunturist, my gynecologist and an advisors at a Chinese herbal institute, I became confident that the herbs used in this formula offered a natural health product I could use.  The herbs used in the Femi-Yin formula help the luteinizing hormones and that has nothing to do with estrogen or progesterone.  Once again, I am happy to report that I have seen an improvement in the severity of my menopausal symptoms.  This product is sold by BioMed at http://www.biomed-health.com/proddetail.asp?prod=F50010, however, you can also google it to find other  company’s that carry it.   If you have any concerns about the product – do your own research. 

     I am not a physician and am only sharing what has helped me.  Please do not consider any of my writing medical advice.  I wish only to offer encouragement, compassion, insight and understanding.   Always check everything out for yourself and make wise decisions based on your team of medical professionals and your personal knowledge.   My hope is that one or all of these suggestions will be right for you and offer you R-E-L-I-E-F!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen


Menopause and Cancer

     Hello.  I wanted to chat this week about menopause and what it can mean to cancer victors Remember…I call survivors “victors” because we did not just get through our cancer journey – we were victorious in gaining strength, faith and hope as a result of our journey.

     If you are a victor of a hormone-based cancer such as breast, ovarian, uterine or cervical AND have started down the menopausal path…you know the challenges that you may face.  Tumors that are estrogen, or progesterone, or estrogen and progesterone positive deter us from taking any kind of hormone replacement therapy or natural products that might stimulate hormone production. 
    That scenario is where I find myself and, like you, I identify with the extreme hot flashes, night sweats and panic attacks that proceed a hot flash that feel like you are having a heart attack.  It has been two years for me and there are times when I just sit down and cry telling God I simply cannot do this anymore. 

     Thankfully, I have found a couple of great helps for this season in my life and want to share them with you.  Please check back Thursday for these helps. 
     For the rest of today’s blog I just want to encourage you to make natural health choices and use natural products including natural skin care products as much as possible.  By keeping the ingredients in your  health and beauty products natural and or organic you are simplifying what your body must deal with – and that is something your body will thank you for.   Also, take advantage of newsletters and articles that offer cancer facts, breast cancer support and natural health information.

…till Thursday,
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

A Road Map

     When it comes to beauty and health during cancer – I know what I am talking about.  Yes, I am aware that sounds very egotistic and prideful…but really…I do.  I have been on my own cancer journey and through it learned so much as it relates to health and natural beauty.
     Natural health and beauty through simple skin care regimens and natural beauty products were something I craved during my journey and the information and products were not readily available.  So, once I had regained my health I developed a road map to guide you and thousands of other women like you safely down this road.  I invite you to read this road map.  Beauty During the Cancer Journey is an  e-book that walks you through the journey from diagnosis back to health.   This easy to download pdf file is full of cancer facts and options you have, as they relate to beauty, offering caring support from someone who has journeyed before you.  

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen


Spring has Sprung!

     Spring is synonymous with colorful flowers, baby animals and budding trees.  It is an exciting time of the year…watching the world come back to life after the winter months.  I love how God makes each season special – and personally I am the greatest fan of fall here in Colorado.  But, spring is truly wonderful!  Bright green new growth everywhere and wonderful smells as fruit trees blossom!
     Maybe your spring isn’t starting out that wonderful.  You may have just been diagnosed with cancer and right now life, let alone new life, seems somewhat of a dream and nearly impossible to imagine. 
     I would like to offer encouragement.  Now, perhaps more than ever before, you need a solid faith in God the Father.  Yes, I am talking about an unwavering belief in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for your sins.  The Bible says that whoever will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.  Saved from what?  Eternal death without hope.
     Do you need hope today?  I would love to point the way.  Please contact me.  I will offer
caring, compassionate understanding as a cancer survivor.  Additionally, I can offer insight and knowledge as you begin your cancer journey.  Please feel free to check out my website at www.bridges2beauty.net  Let me know if you would like a half hour complimentary phone consultation. 

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

The Most Powerful Medicine Ever

    Whether you yourself are journeying though breast cancer, another kind of cancer, a life-threatening disease or someone you love – I want to share the most powerful medicine with you.

    This medicine is offered free – yes, free!  It is a well-documented fact that having a positive attitude can help healing both emotionally and mentally, but I am here to tell you that a positive attitude cannot be mustered up sometimes no matter how much you want to.  During my breast cancer journey I found the strength and positive attitude I needed, not within myself, but from my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
     I know it is considered a crutch, old-fashioned and down-right stupid by many to believe in Jesus Christ and everything the Bible says in this time of history.   We think of ourselves as enlightened, empowered and capable of  keeping a positive attitude all in our own strength, however – that simply is not true.  What IS true is that God has offered us salvation (healing spiritually, mentally and emotionally) through Jesus Christ’s death, burial and most importantly his resurrection. 
     During this holy week please drink of this powerful medicine.   No, you may not find yourself physically healed but you will find strength to understand that a positive attitude comes from knowing you are not in control and that you do not have to “fake” feeling and thinking positively.  It is this knowledge and assurance that your faith in Christ is all you need that will create a positive attitude to travel life’s journey. 

   Cancer support via organizations, books, articles, e-booksconsultations and natural beauty products to help you through the journey are all wonderful and even necessary – but the best, most powerful medicine ever – a positive attitude can only truly come from believing that Jesus Christ is God’s son and accepting His gift of salvation. 

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Help Where and When it’s Needed Most

  There is a lot of medical, emotional and practical information available for women journeying through breast cancer but it seems much of this information lacks addressing the basic issue of femininity during the journey.  
   I do not care how strong of a woman you are, nor how self-confident you are in your role as a woman – when you are faced with losing one or both breasts issues relating to your femininity will crop up.  As a breast cancer survivor I remember so well that during my personal battle, I was amazed to find that although I knew in my head that my femininity had in no way changed or decreased – my heart told me something different.  It was a healthy medicine for me to do all the things a women does to feel feminine during my journey such as dressing nice, applying makeup and fixing my hair.
   I believe, with all my heart, that doing these things helps improve healing and recovery.  Breast cancer support groups and organizations, breast cancer awareness products and written material such as articles, e-books and books offer invaluable information on these issues.   Please check some of these links out today – and come back to my blog Thursday for the most powerful medicine available during the cancer journey.

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen  

Where Do I Go?

     I promised on Monday that I would talk about another great natural skin care product line in addition to breast cancer awareness products, so here goes.

     Lily Organics made in Henderson Colorado offer simple, effective natural skin care products from cleansers to toners, to moisturizers, to masks.  Additionally, they offer Moisture Mist and a great facial oil called Kukui.  These products are great for anyone journeying through cancer because of their natural, organic ingredients.   You can find a great collection of Lily Organics products we have named the Cancer Care Collection at www.bridge2beauty.net/beautyandcancer.html

     The first, and I feel the most important source for breast cancer awareness products, is information from such sites as www.y-me.org, and www.susanlovemd.com   These sites along with Dr Susan Love’s Breast Book offer comprehensive information for those journeying through cancer along with other breast cancer awareness products.

     Newspapers, CURE magazine and other articles such as some of those on my site have lots of information available on how to detect breast cancer early, self- examination techniques and where to go if you think you may have a problem.   There are water-proof cards you can put in your shower walking you through each step of a self-exam.  Please remember that the best exams are done laying down but use the cards as a reminder to check yourself regularly.  Try to do your self-exams at the same time each month.   It you are still menstrating, do your exams one week after your period ends.  If you are no longer menstrating you may do it at any time of the month but be consistent. 
     Breast cancer awareness products are readily available.  Please take advantage of what is available to you and you may save our life or the life of someone you love. 

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen