My View on Faith

My View on Faith

I have been spending a lot of time this past week avoiding the news and watching a lot of Netflix. The main character in “Call the Midwife” said something that really resonated with me…

Faith cannot be questioned, only lived. And if I could not grasp it then, I felt its heartbeat, which was love. ~Call the Midwife

I am so very grateful for the emotional support I have received throughout my cancer journey.

Here is a photo of a very special delivery my husband found in our driveway earlier this week – Kindness Rocks personally painted for me by former co-workers with my old real estate Team (and even some of their kids!) It really lifted my heart.

My next project is coating them all with clear outdoor sealer and making my own Kindness Rock Garden for those who walk or drive by, hoping to share the beautiful message of kindness and hope with others.

My faith in my oncology team and my own inner voice, led me back to immunotherapy treatment earlier this week. I don’t know what is going to happen. The one page I will try to update if there is anything new, is my About Me page. This is my last post to my blog because I have decided my focus during this time needs to be on other things.

And no matter what happens when, I hope people will consider a donation to my husbands 100 Mile Ride to benefit Closer to Free 2020 this fall. I am alive and able to write this final blog post today thanks to the beneficiaries of the Closer to Free fundraising, Smilow Cancer Hospital!

Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course ON SALE!

Botanical Skin Care Course

The HERBAL SELF-CARE FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT COURSE from Herbal Academy is now ON SALE!

Usually $129.00 it’s currently ON SALE for $89.00!

Check it out if you are interested in learning more about how herbs may be used for managing stress.

Enroll in the Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course

Perhaps you’ve seen products for sale at Farmers Markets or while online shopping and you thought “I could make that!” Well you can! Learn more with the Botanical Skin Care Course

Enroll in the Botanical Skin Care Course with the Herbal Academy


This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Keep Washing Those Hands!

Keep Washing Those Hands!

I am fortunate that thanks to my past job as the VP, Treasurer and Secretary of The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild many years ago, my family has been using true handcrafted soap to wash hands and bathe for a long time! My daughter even makes her own cold-processed, hand crafted soap from organic ingredients. But I also like a good, certified organic liquid or foaming soap especially in our guest bathrooms and next to the kitchen sink.

So I am pleased to share my recommendation for Vermont Soap!

Please check out my suggestions on my Amazon Affiliate Links below!


This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Closer to Free & Stand Up to Cancer Fundraiser!

Closer to Free & Stand Up to Cancer Fundraiser!

FUNDRAISER!

This Stand Up To Cancer bracelet feels to me like the perfect choice to launch my personal fundraising for the Closer to Free Ride 2020!

Pura Vida Bracelets® writes:

Help us Stand Up To Cancer with the purchase of this bracelet, and show you’re supporting research to find the newest and best treatments for all cancer patients.

For each bracelet sold, they are donating 5% of the purchase price to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and I am donating 100% of my commissions* to The Apito Team fundraising for the Closer to Free Ride 2020!

Learn more about Stand Up to Cancer


This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Effective March 8, 2020 – All my commission from the purchase of the Stand Up to Cancer bracelet from Pura Vida Bracelets® using the link above (until the Closer to Free Ride 2020) will be donated to The Apito Team fundraising efforts. *My commission rate is 12.04%.

Essential Oil – Safety First

Essential Oil – Safety First

Are you curious about incorporating the germ fighting benefits of aromatherapy into your lifestyle when you have pets, young children or medical issues which need to be considered? It’s pretty easy actually, when you have issues like this it’s important to treat the environment, and not the individuals who live in it.

A good example of this practice is when teachers are concerned about germs in the classroom but should never, ever expose their students to the chemicals in essential oils What they do is diffuse a blend of essential oils which have scientifically proven effects on killing germs, after the children have gone home for the day. Then the classroom is aired out with fresh air before the students return. So the environment is treated, not the children who may have allergies, asthma, or be subject to adverse reactions to direct inhalation.

In the home especially, parents really need to be aware that direct inhalation of essential oils should only be done after careful research and not casually!

Until a couple of years ago we had both a bird and a dog as pets, so I did not actively diffuse any EOs in the living room where the bird lived. Our dog was elderly so he stayed only on the main level so in those rooms I only used DIY cleaning products or passively diffused EOs which were “food” based essential oils like lemon or orange. That way the dog would not be exposed to concentrations higher than if we were peeling oranges or squeezing lemons for foods we ate.

Passive diffusing of essential oils is a really simple, gentle and easy way to get started with aromatherapy environmental fragrance.

You can put a cotton ball into a ceramic dish and just drip a few drops onto the cotton ball and allow the warmth of the room to cause them to evaporate into the room. Another alternative is a bowl of warm water with EOs floating on top.

Ready to try aromatherapy?

To learn more please watch this video. NOTE: if you are planning to move beyond passive diffusion in a room and want to try direct inhalation, please read more about the essential oil you are thinking about using first, some are not appropriate for direct inhalation as they may irritate the mucus membranes or lungs. Direct inhalation as an essential oil application method is contraindicated for asthmatics and those with respiratory allergies.


This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

“AMRITA AROMATHERAPY MEDICAL DISCLAIMER POLICY – The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration (FDA). The products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice. Amrita aromatherapy, Inc. Does not participate in any testing on animals or condone animal cruelty in any form. Our company strives for the health and well-being of our planet and all of its residents. We avoid using any GMO ingredients in our blends. We aim for the most natural of products possible.”

Home Fragrance with Amrita Aromatherapy

Home Fragrance with Amrita Aromatherapy

I am pleased to announced that I have joined the Amrita Aromatherapy Affiliate program!

Why Amrita?

“AMRITA IS A USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC BUSINESS

In 2001, Amrita became the first essential oil company in the United States to make the transition into carrying certified organic essential oils and become certified as a company. Every product listed on the website as certified organic has been grown, harvested, distilled and handled without chemicals and other toxic ingredients, according to the USDA/NOP standards.

Botanical purity is only the first step when Amrita sources essential oils. To verify purity, Amrita uses gas chromatographic analysis with chiral columns– the most reliable tool for selecting oils that are 100% derived from the botanical species indicated. All 140 essential oils are tested using gas chromatography and other tests.”

As a cancer patient I am very careful about the chemicals I expose myself to, whether it is in personal care products, environmental fragrance or around the house with cleaning products.

My cancer has metasticized to my liver, so I only use small amounts of the safest EOs to aid in relaxation or help set the mood for restful sleep. So the first article I wanted to write about this topic is using essential oils for Home Fragrance!

Most candles and those commercial fragrance products fill the air with toxins, either synthetic fragrances made from petrochemicals or other ingredients designed to make the scent linger in the air and not evaporate as quickly. Those chemicals are linked to diseases like asthma and often cause health problems like headaches, migraine or nausea.

That is where replacing these products with essential oils can be a better, safer, alternative.

A good nights sleep really is critical to maintaining wellness and healing body, mind and spirit so setting the mood for a good nights sleep can be helped with the use of EOs. If you are new to aromatherapy start slow. Example, a couple drops of EOs on a cotton ball on a saucer next to the bed to add a relaxing aroma to the room. Using essential oils this way is like having a candle in the room, or using a lotion that might be fragrances. You are not delivering a “therapeutic” dose to the body, but creating a safe and relaxing environment.

I recommend starting any journey with using essential oils with the very safest, certified organic oil. So one good place to start might be with the USDA Certified Organic Lavandula angustifolia; BULGARIAN LAVENDER OIL. And NEW customers save 10% on Amrita!

“Use essential oils only in diluted form on the skin and never internally. Always be careful when using essential oils with children. Give them only low doses, or better, consult a qualified aromatherapy expert before using. Always use essential oils with care and only under the proper guidance of an expert while pregnant or if you have liver damage, epilepsy, cancer or other serious health problems.”


“This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”

Check out the sales – this link may be time sensitive!

50% off select items at Amrita Aromatherapy

Rare Disease Day 2020

Rare Disease Day 2020

Today is Rare Disease Day 2020

Eight years ago I was a 50-something who took no medicine except Metamucil! I had just made a big career change and got my real estate license. I still freelanced designing websites for local non-profits and artists and like today, I blogged about topics of interest to me and sold web services online.

Today I’m one of the rarest of the rare – someone with two rare diseases!

In November 2012 I was diagnosed with the rare cancer called uveal melanoma, a rare ocular melanoma (eye cancer). Since then I have tried to share information about this disease and encourage people to get annual dilated eye exams because while there are risk factors, there are often no symptoms of this deadly cancer.

This cancer spreads in 50% of patients within the first 5 years. I was diagnosed with MUM (metastasized uveal melanoma) just 2 weeks after my five year anniversary. In December 2017 I received my first treatment for the tumor in my liver, an immunotherapy treatment Ipilimumab (Yervoy) plus nivolumab (Opdivo). In January 2018 I was admitted to the hospital with grade 4 adverse effects from the ipi/nivo treatment. I write about that in an about me page. One of the side effects was a second rare disease, Myasthenia Gravis. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare but life-threatening adverse event of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI).

Last month I started immunotherapy treatment again, this time just Nivo. Unfortunately my bloodwork before this weeks infusion showed that I am experiencing adverse effects, there is an enzyme in my blood which shows my muscles are being broken down. So I am watching for any physical symptoms and getting bloodwork weekly. So that is the advice I share these days with my fellow patients, share any unusual symptoms with your oncologists right away because the side effects of treatment can often be treated successfully. Sharing Rare Disease Day is not easy for me because it is a reminder that my days are limited. My rare disease does not have a cure. But hopefully by taking advantage of every possible treatment I can keep living with cancer as long as possible.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am really looking forward to 2020.

I have new hobbies and a very helpful focus on finding Good Things to share both on this blog and on the My Good Things! Facebook page!

Updates on my personal medical condition will be reserved for my About Me page going forward. New information about treatments, clinical trials, or updates in general about Uveal Melanoma will continue to be shared with the members of the Facebook Group I started, the Uveal (Ocular) Melanoma Patient Support Group.

Kindness Rocks at the Riverfront Community Center

Kindness Rocks at the Riverfront Community Center

Earlier this month on the anniversary of losing my father, I was feeling emotional and thinking about the things that give me comfort, and I had an idea. I really get a lot of emotional healing from painting rocks for The Kindness Rocks Project. I usually donate my rocks to my cancer hospital program, Smilow Rocks.

In between hospital visits, I occasionally drop a rock at the Kindness Rock garden located at my local Official Kindness Rocks Project Certified School, Hopewell School.

But what about when there is snow or ice and the spots outdoors are simply not accessible?

I thought of the Riverfront Community Center here in Glastonbury, CT. It is the home of the Glastonbury Senior Center. I realized that among many other family heirlooms, I had inherited one of the bowls my children painted back in 2001, as Christmas gifts for their grandparents, Aunts and Uncles.

I posted on the Glastonbury Rocks Facebook Group about my idea, and a fellow rock painter gave me the name of a contact person in the town Social Services Department. So last week I put all the small rocks I had painted in the bowl, bought a frame and made a sign. I dropped everything off at the Social Services office and it’s all set!

My hope is some seniors take a rock to keep or one to share, and others paint rocks to add! Because as the official Kindness Rocks Project saying goes…

One message at just the right moment can change someones entire day, outlook, life!


If you are interested in donating rocks, just stop by the Social Services Office at the Riverfront Community Center and add them to the bowl! Thank you in advance for spreading kindness to our community!

Sue Apito, #goodrocklove
Ambassador for The Kindness Rocks Project®
#tkrpAmbassador