Alkaline Water For Yoga During Breast Cancer Recovery

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alkaline Water For Breast Cancer

Alkaline Water and Breast Cancer Yoga will support a “Healthy & Hopeful Lifestyle” for breast cancer prevention and recovery. With this in mind, we have chosen an alkaline water system that produces the highest quality alkaline water available. Alkaline water compliments and should be used in conjunction with our yoga product lines (i.e. books, CD’s & DVD’s)
Alkaline Water Complements a Yoga Practice, we have found that staying properly hydrated is a simple necessity of overall health. We provide FREE Alkaline Ionized Water to all students before and after class. We believe alkaline water complements a Breast Cancer Yoga practice. Since introducing alkaline water to our community we have received positive comments about marked improvements in overall stamina, health, and recovery.

  • Microclustered:  After passing through an electric current, the number of water molecules will be reduced from a cluster of 12-15 molecules to 5. It is literally "wetter" water and can be absorbed into our tissues 5x more efficiently. This is an increase of as much as 62% more oxygen reaching our cells!
  • Anti-oxidant:  When carcinogens enter our bodies, free radicals are formed. These scavengers are "hungry" for an electron and they will create imbalance in our bodies by taking an electron from a perfectly healthy cell. It would actually be better if they killed the cell, but instead they mutate it and cause an area of our body, liver, kidney, skin, brain, blood, to become out of balance. Ionized water has been restructured to have an electron available to complete free radicals before they can cause harm.
  • Alkaline:  The minerals that our bodies require for the very basic function of digesting and assimilating our food are readily available in alkaline water because they are electrically charged(electrolytes). There is as much as 40% more calcium in this restructured water. Magnesium, potassium, and sodium are also increased. More people are becoming aware of the importance of having a more alkaline body and the role that your body's pH plays in overall health.

Most of our body is water so it makes sense to put clean pure healthful water in to replace what we expel.
For more information about the many uses of a Alkaline Water System or how to get a machine in your home, please visit 

Yoga Retreats Have Great Benefits

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Everyone, at some point may feel the stress and strain of everyday life, either with work or in personal relationships. Yoga retreats can be perfect opportunity in relieving theses pressures, and providing time off and away to rejuvenate. 
Taking an opportunity, like going on a yoga retreat to recharge our emotional and physical batteries may change our entire outlook on life, and how we deal with others. It may be the place that stimulate positive change in our eating habits, physical workouts or personal interests.
Yoga retreats provide an opportunity to do lots of yoga and to get personal attention from your yoga teacher, meet new like-minded people and/or relax. 
Yoga retreats take place at special sanctuaries, or havens usually out in nature where you can relax your mind, and let go of daily tasks and routines.You can expect to eat delicious healthy foods and catch up with  rest or maybe read a good book. Either way home coming will be most pleasant after feeling quite satisfied. 

Realising a Dream

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Through the cancer hell that has been the last few months, some amazing things have happened.

 As a result of taking part in a BBC documentary called It’s Good to Sing about the Tenovus Sing for Life choir, I had the good fortune to meet someone I can call a true friend. He had seen me on the programme and struck up a conversation whilst I waited pick up my son from school, and he waited to collect his grandson. Quite soon we found we had a mutual love for music. His name is Rod Thomas and I was fascinated by his recording stories from back in the 60s and 70s. He suggested I write a song with him one day and I thought it would be lovely to create one for my wife Cathy - a really different kind of personal legacy. Even though I had done my grade six on piano and played drums in a few bands in the 70s, 80s and 90s I was very rusty. Armed with a basic knowledge of chord progressions I, along with Rod started to fashion a song. It wasn’t easy but with Rod’s expertise I found it gradually got easier to learn my way around intro, verse, bridge, pre-chorus, chorus and so on. We both had small, virtually identical home studios and we would ship ideas back and forth until we were pleased with the final result. Ultimately we had a demo which was finished off in a professional studio before I played it to Cathy.

The song Always It’s You was born in August 2011. It was slightly rushed as I was heading off for a three week family holiday to Scotland and Cathy knew nothing about us writing the song. I kept it secret as I wanted to surprise her. I had to leave Rod to liaise with the studio which was four thousand miles away, whilst frantic texts were flying between the Highlands of Scotland to South Wales! We were very pleased with the final result. The words conveyed perfectly how I felt about Cathy, and how she had supported me through my treatment and the effects of my cancer. The music fitted the lyrics so well. The demo was completed using a male singer and he did a superb job. The day we got back from Scotland the demo was ready for Cathy to hear and took her by complete surprise. She was delighted and moved by the fact that with Rod’s help I had created this song for her.

In September 2011 I was contacted by a producer, Greg Lewis, from the ITV current affairs programme Wales this Week. He had seen this blog and wanted to have a meeting with me and Cathy to discuss the possibility of following me for six months to gain an insight into what it is like living with terminal cancer. I was happy to do it as long as the programme was as positive as it could be. I told Greg about how important my music had been in giving me a focus on something other than cancer and I told him about the song I’d written for Cathy with Rod. He said he’d like to incorporate some of that into the programme so in November 2011 Greg started to film us and as we got to meet and talk regularly he became a good friend. He even donned a hat for our meeting after the chemo had left me practically bald.

In March 2011 I joined Twitter and began to tweet about my cancer and my life in general. I met a lady called Heather and we became the modern day equivalent of pen pals. I told her about my musical history including the fact that I had once played drums in a band with Donna Lewis. Heather was a fan of Donna Lewis and was already corresponding with her on Twitter and she told Donna that she was in touch with me. Donna asked Heather to pass on her e-mail details to me and I sent her a short message to say hi. She sent me back a long e-mail telling me about what she had been up to since the days we were in the band together, her life in New York now that she was a well known artist, and some of the people that she had been lucky enough to work with. We started e-mailing each other and catching up on each other’s lives. I told Donna about my cancer and my involvement with Tenovus and I told her I’d written the song for Cathy with Rod. I also told her it would be a dream come true if someone like her could record the song and maybe release it as a charity single. Donna was quick to say she’d love to do it as she was born and bred in Wales, her parents still live in Wales and her Mum is a cancer survivor. I also decided that I would write to Trevor Horn to tell him my story and tell him that Donna had agreed to do my song and asked him to produce it. “If you don’t ask you don’t get” is one of my mottos! I was surprised and delighted when I received an e-mail back saying that he would be happy to do it.

Donna asked if I would mind if she asked a friend of hers Gerry Leonard, who just happens to have been David Bowie’s guitarist, to play guitars on her version of the song! He was on tour with Suzanne Vega at the time but had a break in the tour and could spare the time. It all seemed too amazing to be true. A week or so later Donna sent me a rough recording of her version of Cathy’s song. We listened to it the morning of my third cycle of chemo and we both bawled our eyes out we were so blown away by it. We got Rod over the next day to listen to it and he was delighted with what Donna had done too.

Something that had been a dream was rapidly becoming a reality. I met with Tenovus and told them what had happened with the song so far and asked them if they would be happy for it to be released as a single to raise funds for them. They were surprised and delighted with what I had done and chomping at the bit to get involved. 

Two days after my meeting with Tenovus and just when we started to worry that it might be too difficult for Trevor Horn to fit producing the song into his busy schedule, a mixed version of the song produced by just the man arrived in my in-box. A day later Donna e-mailed me to say that she had asked Bob Ludwig the “Master of mastering” if he would master the track and he was also happy to get involved.

I still can’t believe that these world famous people in the music industry got behind my dream, I am so grateful to them for giving up their time to do this. I am also proud that with Rod’s help I will be able to leave a legacy of love to my wife and some much needed funds for the charity Tenovus who have supported me and my family so much during my cancer journey.
The single Always It’s You sung by Donna Lewis, is released today 23rd May and will be available to download on iTunes and Amazon for just 99p - so download it! All the famous people involved have waived their rights to the song so the money raised will go to Tenovus, the charity so close to my heart. The more of you who download the song and tell your friends to do the same, the more chance there is that the song could get into the charts - another dream come true for me!

The TV programme will be aired on ITV Wales on Tuesday May 29th at 19:30 as part of the Wales this Week series, its title is Do Not Go Gentle. Cathy and I will be watching a preview later this week. It is quite an emotional programme. We both hope it will help people to see that you can still live even when you are dying.

Free workshops aimed at breast cancer prevention in African American women

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breast cancer affects African American women disproportionately. Early detection can save lives—attend a Believe! Breast Health Awareness Workshop. Learn about breast cancer screening resources and guidelines, how to do a breast self-exam and where to obtain no-cost/low-cost mammograms in Alachua County.

Workshops are presented by community health educators (CHE) who were nominated by local churches and trained through the program Believe! Preventing Breast Cancer through Churches. Refreshments will be served.

Upcoming Workshops:

When: May 25 on Friday at 6 p.m.
Where: Mount Olive AME Church, 721 SE 8th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
CHE: Vivian Filer of Mt. Olive AME Church

When: May 26 on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Where: Rohi Deliverance Ministry, 7042 NW 10th Place Gainesville, FL 32608
CHE: Jerona T. Cohens of Rohi Deliverance Ministry

When: May 30 on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Where: New Beginnings Church of God By Faith, 2800 NE 59th St., Gainesville, FL 32609
CHE: Christine Dorsey of New Beginnings Church of God by Faith

Believe! is a community and faith-based collaboration initiated by WellFlorida Council and is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. For a complete list of Believe! Breast Health Awareness Workshops visit

Big Decisions

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Hywel was discharged from hospital (in his words: “escaped from that hell hole”) on Friday April 27th 2012, weak as a kitten but quite vociferous in his opinion that he is never going back there again. I have been forbidden from ringing the GP if he is poorly and if ever he tells me off for making any small mistakes in sorting him out like putting water through his feeding tube a bit too fast or forgetting to have something in the right place for his feeding regime he says “please don’t send me back to hospital!” I don’t want to subject him to that horror again but it does put me in a really difficult position, I am not medically qualified to make judgements about Hywel’s needs and to be honest at times the responsibility frightens me.

The first week after Hywel came home was spent trying to get his feeding regime and pain management back on track. He slept a lot but we did gradually build his nutrition up to a reasonable level and his energy levels started to improve. In that first week Hywel had an exciting meeting with Tenovus about his music and a TV programme that he has been involved in; on Tuesday May 1st and on Wednesday  May 2nd there was a scan to see whether the chemo he’d been having had slowed things down. We had a meeting with his Macmillan nurse on Friday May 4th, where we told her about his awful hospital stay and discussed what alternatives there might be if he was poorly again. On Saturday May 5th two good friends of Hywel’s took him to an exhibition in Bristol. He was out for around six hours. The friends took a wheelchair and Hywel had his first day out without me in ages. He was not very keen on the idea of being in a wheelchair but admitted that he could not have managed the day without it so it was an ok experience. I went mad in M&S whilst he was out! Well, it was my birthday the next day so I thought it was alright to treat myself. The day of my birthday, Sunday May 6th, Hywel was so exhausted from his day in Bristol, he spent the day in bed. Luke, Carly and Jon had made a big effort for me which was really sweet of them. They came over at lunch time and set up a buffet and a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to me with Elliott, in both English and Welsh - our family tradition. A few friends popped in for short visits plus my Dad and his partner Jayne. Hywel was just too tired to join in, he stayed up in bed. So all in all it was a fairly quiet day. I tried to be enthusiastic but I don’t think I did a very good job of it as I was missing Hywel being a part of it. Hywel finds special occasions are just so hard to bear as they are a reminder of future occasions that he will miss out on. I felt the same that day, I didn’t want to be ungrateful, but I just wanted the day to be over and done with really. We had a quiet day bank holiday Monday May 7th then Tuesday May 8th was the dreaded results day.

We got to Velindre for Hywel’s 11:15 appointment and sat in the waiting room for a short time before being ushered into a side room for our consultation. We don’t know why we weren’t just left in the main waiting as we then waited about half an hour for the Doctors to come in. We saw our Consultant’s Registrar who just said that Hywel’s blood test results were good and asked how he was feeling about having his next round of chemo. Hywel said that he wanted to know the results of his scan before making any decisions about that. He was still trying to pick himself back up after the week in Royal Glamorgan so wanted to make a fully informed decision about his next lot of treatment. The Registrar went off to track down the results and we had a brief chat with the specialist nurse whilst we waited. Dr Hana, Hywel’s consultant, came into the room ten minutes later. She had the scan results, the cancer was continuing to spread and some new tumours had appeared. One in Hywel’s salivary gland which we had had our suspicions about, one under Hywel’s right arm, and one at the top of his collar bone. It was a real blow again. Hywel had endured gruelling treatment since January and it had had no effect on the cancer’s progression. We talked through what options there were now, Doctor Hanna thought it might be worth trying the other chemo drug that Hywel had had in 2010 - a drug called Gemcitibine- it would be a shorter infusion but he would have it twice over a twenty one day cycle - on day one and day eight of that cycle. Radiotherapy was also suggested for a future date for after the chemotherapy.

We had a quiet day the following day and managed to get Hywel’s food intake up to over 1600 calories so felt we were making some headway there. Hywel had started to feel a bit stronger after his hospital ordeal. On Thursday  May 10th we arrived at Velindre for a short infusion of chemo - we were at the hospital about two hours instead of the six hours with the previous chemo. We got home around one o’clock; by four o’clock Hywel had to go to bed as he felt dreadful, shivery and dog tired. That was it really until yesterday (Tuesday  May 15th) lunchtime. This new chemo knocked him sideways. He spent most days in bed. He was too weak to lift his head off the pillows some days. It was a real challenge for me to get fluids and nutrition through his feeding tube, he just wanted to be left alone and regularly told me that he longed to go to sleep and not wake up. The chemo took Hywel to a very dark place when he was awake, he was angry and quite abusive verbally, there was also a day when he sent the contents of his bedside cabinet crashing to the floor, that same evening he decided that he should be left alone to sleep downstairs and he wouldn’t allow me to help him take his medication. So I stayed upstairs out of his way and fell asleep, only to be woken by my son around midnight as Hywel was calling for me. I then had a load more abuse because Hywel didn’t know where his pain medication was - I’d left it all out for him in the kitchen but he didn’t have the strength to get it - and because I’d fallen asleep and not heard him call. This time I just helped him to take his painkillers wordlessly and slept on the other sofa in the lounge even though Hywel was insisting I should go back upstairs and leave him alone. I knew deep down it was the chemo causing Hywel to be so difficult and he was upset and deeply apologetic the next day. It was still really tough to have to deal with and I couldn’t help but feel upset and hurt by Hywel’s words and actions. By Monday Hywel was still in bed and too weak to get up. He said he wanted to wash but was too tired to have a shower or bath. I suggested that I could help him to have a wash in bed, he was adamant that he didn’t want me to bathe him. I suggested asking the district nurses to help but he was having none of that either, so somehow I managed to get him to undress and have a quick shower. He felt better for being cleaner but took three or four hours to get over the exertion.

That evening he said that he was not having chemo again he felt that the new regime was completely destroying his quality of life. We were both upset as he thought he was letting us all down but he just didn’t have any fight left in him. I told him none of us felt let down, that he has been fighting hard for the last five years and we don’t want him to feel pressured to keep on with a treatment that is so hard it is making what time he has left so full of anguish. We agreed that he should wait until the day before the next chemo to be sure he wanted to stop. Tuesday May 15th Hywel did maage to get up around midday as we had some friends and family visiting, but he was exhausted after that.

Today (May16th) he had to go for another scan at the Royal Glamorgan hospital. We left the house early as parking is difficult. There were no spaces left in the disabled bays but we did eventually manage to park up. We sat in the car waiting for his appointment time, several times Hywel wanted to forget the scan and just go home, but he went ahead with it. I’d contacted the ENT consultant that morning and managed to get Hywel fitted into a clinic straight after his scan. We wanted to see if anything could be done to stop Hywel’s right eye from watering and causing pain as the tumour in his salivary gland is causing some paralysis in his face and he can’t shut it properly. The scan was an hour late but we were seen pretty quickly by the ENT team. They were so good, they completely understood and were supportive of Hywel’s decision to stop the chemo, they agreed he needed some time to try and get his strength up through proper nutrition which would hopefully help him to feel better. Hywel has some ointment and drops to help his eye and in a few weeks he can have a short session of radiotherapy on the tumour in his salivary gland to try and control the symptoms of facial paralysis. Today has been a really emotional day to top off a really tough few weeks, as the decision to stop chemotherapy is a big decision and has not been undertaken lightly. This type of cancer is incredibly cruel, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life and I am just an observer so cannot possibly know what it is like for Hywel - he has shown such resilience, dignity and strength throughout his cancer journey, making his decision today is another fine example of this.

Cancer Connections May Meeting

Monday, May 14, 2012

Please join us on Wednesday May 23rd for a presentation by Susie Lyons, palliative care social worker, and Kimberly White, dialysis social worker, of the V.A.  They will be discussing the withdrawal of dialysis support when it ceases to improve the quality of life for the cancer patient.

We meet from noon to 1 p.m. at the Hope Lodge.

Please RSVP to Barb Thomas ( by Monday May 21st if you wish to be counted for lunch; a $3 donation is requested.

Happy Mother's Day From Breast Cancer Yoga

Sunday, May 13, 2012

National Cancer Institute Research to Reality Cyber-seminar: Making it Last: Sustaining Public Health Programs in Your Community

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WellFlorida will host a viewing of this Cyber-seminar, Tuesday, May 8 from 2-3pm.  Please RSVP to if interested in viewing the cyber-seminar at WellFlorida. Please see the information below.  

Positive public health outcomes can only be achieved if effective programs are sustained over time. However, sustainability is an ongoing challenge for public health programs, and for practitioners and researchers alike. This challenge is compounded by the fact that many things affect sustainability, including financial and political climates, factors in the organizational setting, and elements of project design and implementation.

The National Cancer Institute’s May Research to Reality (R2R) cyber-seminar will explore public health sustainability -- the challenges and facilitators, frameworks and tools for practitioners and researchers, and examples of sustainable programs from two communities. Dr. Mary Ann Scheirer will provide an overview of sustainability and a framework for public health programs and research. Then, Dr. Doug Luke will share a new sustainability assessment tool developed for practitioners. The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool provides public health programs and their partners with a reliable way to measure their capacity for sustainability. Finally, Drs. Susan Tortolero and Alice Ammerman will join as panel discussants to share examples of how the available tools and sustainability models can be applied to public health programs, including the successes and challenges their own Prevention Research Center programs have faced.

Join us for this exciting and relevant topic with some of the key leaders in this field. This cyber seminar was planned in collaboration with the National Prevention Research Centers (PRC) Evaluation Committee.

Register Now!
Please click on the following link for more information and to register for this event: Following registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the toll free number, web URL, and participant passcode.

This cyber-seminar will be archived on the Research to Reality (R2R) web site at approximately one week following the presentation. If you have missed any of the past cyber-seminars, you can view them all on the R2R Archive ( Watch the presentations, and join in the discussions ( For more information on the cyber-seminar series please email

Lindsey K. Redding, MPH
Associate Planner
Community InitiativesWellFlorida Council, Inc.
1785 NW 80th Blvd., Gainesville, FL  32606
Ph: (352) 313-6500 ext.105