Thursday, October 6, 2011

Awareness- for this upcoming October and every moment after .....

Awareness- what does that mean to you? The word awareness means to be conscious or having an understanding or knowledge of something; to be well informed.
  • About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, and daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.
  • In 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
(statistics taken from

For me, it’s stopping almost about 50 times a day to think of my mother and her struggle with breast and then colon cancer. I am painfully and constantly aware of the massive, gaping hole without her here.  And so this battle is to me, a gigantic opportunity in remembering all of those women who are still fighting- every solitary day; afraid they won’t live to see another Christmas, birthday, New Year or see their grandkids or children grow up.

Breast cancer awareness month is for some just that; only once a year. It’s a quick prompt for that mammogram. But for many of us- it’s an all day- all year struggle with cancer. We are the ones that deal with this vicious enemy regularly. We’ve watched a loved one deal with cancer, or some have been through it themselves making a painful effort, a deep fight for just a little more life. And in becoming these warriors, we’re the ones that reach out anyway we can to help those who aren’t able anymore.

When I think of my beautiful and brave mom, I don’t want to just remember cancer and what she went through in trying to be here another day…. I want to reflect back on all the magnificent and precious memories she gave to her family and how she’d want us to go on. I want to make her proud by continuing to support and be mindful of all the women and families that must endure cancer still in their lives.

And so I ask you- Can you visualize how wonderful it would be if you could change one life? - Just one life? Inspire one mother, grandmother, sister, wife, daughter, best friend to get a mammogram. Or set up a group of to do the race for the cure. Collect all the Yoplait lids you can. Do something, anything that works best for you and your life.

You can’t know how amazing it is to help another human being – well, … until you march in that race while the gorgeous bald women watching on the side lines cannot walk anymore and they’re cheering you on- so grateful, thankful for your steps, your feet, your hope, your love and all of your support. And only then through the tears and the optimism you know why you’re here --and how truly important this awareness is.
Check these out: find a race, donate and/or support others!

Chocolate Cupcakes
·         1 ½ cups of flour
·         ½ cup of cocoa powder
·         ¾ tsp of baking soda
·         ¼ tsp of salt
·         ½ cup (1 stick) of butter – room temp
·         1 tsp of vanilla
·         2 large eggs –room temp
·         1 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter for a minute or two, add sugar and continue to combine on low with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer. When it’s creamy add eggs one at a time and then vanilla.
Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture (always starting and finishing with the flour) alternate with the milk until thoroughly combined.
Fill pans with cupcake liners – Bake for 20 minutes- then check, all ovens bake differently so you might want to check a few moments before. Makes 18 cupcakes 

Vanilla Buttercream

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
·         6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
·         1/2 cup milk
·         1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions:      In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency/ taken from martha stewart

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