Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Survivor Story: Michelle Bryant



Written and Contributed by Michelle Bryant

My name is Michelle Bryant.  I went for my yearly mammogram on May 9, 2014 and was told on May 12 that I need to come back for a follow up.  

I had the follow up on May 14, had a biopsy on May 20, and was called at work with a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ on May 22, 2014.  

I was so devastated.  I met with the surgeon and was given my options.  I had a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node surgery on June 5, 2014.  I was originally told per protocol that I would have to do radiation. 

On June 18, I met with the radiologist and was told I need 20 radiation treatments.  However, if chemo was needed, chemo would be first.  I met with the oncologist on June 19 and was told cancer is usually black or white and mine is in the gray area. 

They ended up having to do four tests to determine whether I was HER 2 NEU positive and unfortunately I was.  Because of being HER 2 NEU positive I have to do 18 chemotherapy treatments along with 20 radiation treatments, which I should finish next June or July because I go every 21 days for treatment. 

Six of the eighteen treatments consist of 3 chemotherapy drugs, and then 12 consist of 1 drug.  Thirteen days after my first chemo treatment I started losing my hair I found a Marilyn Monroe wig and decided to try it on because I thought it would be funny to play a joke on my daughter who loves Marilyn Monroe. 



I decided not to take it home because it wasn't my color or style.  As of today I have 4 out of the first 6 treatments completed and hope to be finished with this cycle on October 31st.  Three weeks after I complete this cycle I will meet with my radiologist to start my radiation and will continue with the one chemo drug for the next 12 cycles. 

I have been working during these treatments.  I take a couple days off during treatment time and hope to continue working through all treatments. 

It's definitely been an emotional roller coaster, but with the help of my family and friends I'm going to beat this.  When life gives me a hundred reasons to cry, I show life that I have a thousand reasons to smile. 



I look around and see that there is always someone less fortunate than me.  I'm going to keep on fighting.  Thanks for letting me be a recipient of Fight the Fight!

-Michelle

50% of the profit from all Fight the Fight purchases made from February 1st, 2015 through February 21st, 2015 will be donated to Michelle to help cover her medical expenses.


Thank you for taking the time to read Michelle's story and for supporting Fight the Fight.  You can share it with your friends by clicking one of the buttons below.....

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Reduce Your Stress



Recently, I have been going through a big change in my life.  As a result, my stress level has been much higher than normal, which is something that will happen to all of us at different turning points in our lives. 

When the dust settled, after a few weeks, I sat down and thought about how to bring my stress level back down out of the clouds and start experiencing a sense of normalcy again.  

Using the 3 tips below I was able to conquer my stress:

1 - Write Everything Down

Get all the clutter out of your head.  Once I starting doing this my stress level was cut in half almost immediately.  No more relying on short-term memory (of which of have almost none these days) to remember tasks, especially small ones that I need to complete.  What I call "Back of Your Mind Worrying" is taken out of play through the simple use of a notebook or note taking app. 

This tip is the most important take-away from this article.  GET IT OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND ON TO PAPER!

2 - Organize Your Tasks

Once you get in the habit of writing everything down, you will need to go back through your notes and make sense of it.  Sift through your notes and figure out exactly which things you wrote down need to get done.  Without organizing your tasks, in other words without creating a "to-do list," notes are nothing more than just words on paper (or in my case chicken scratch on paper)

3 - Plan Your Work

At this point your thoughts and tasks are written down, and you've created a list of tasks that need to get done to get you from Point A to Point B.  Now we need to plan exactly when we are going to work on each task.  For example, if a task needs to be done by Friday, we want to put it in our work plan on or before Thursday so we are not stressing to get it done on Friday morning.  For my work on FTF I have a google doc called "FTF Master Plan" where I list my work plan
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Stress, my friends, is not something to be taken lightly.  If we become stressed out enough for a long enough time period something bad is most likely going to happen.  Anything from chronically forgetting small tasks at work to developing serious health conditions are possible.  

Life is too short to be stressed, and most of the time stress is the direct result of choices we've made.  The good news is by making the simple changes outlined above in your life you can totally change the way you feel about your day-to-day life in a positive way.

"A diamond is a piece of charcoal that handled stress extremely well" - unknown

-Pete

Thank you for reading and for supporting Fight the Fight.  If you have a friend who may benefit from the info in this article you can share it with them by clicking one of the buttons below.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Team FTF Got Your Back



If you are reading this post and follow us on any social media site you are part of Team FTF whether you realize it or not.  This isn't an organization with million dollar financial backers.  Our clothing isn't sold across the country in big box department stores.  We only sell our items in ONE PLACE, and that's right here on our site.

We started over 2 years ago with nothing but a dream, faith in our idea, and boat loads of hard work.  We built our following one at a time.  And we fight the fight to continuously fund raise for those in need one small sale at a time.

What we do isn't easy, and it never will be.  The facts are that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and one day when we look back at all we've done we want to say that we did everything we could to help those people.  

Day by day you guys are helping to create a legacy for this small brand.  You guys are helping people more than you could ever imagine by putting on an FTF shirt.  By making that choice you guys are not only helping us build our legacy, you are also building your own as well.  

Fight the Fight is more than a brand.  It's a group of people who come together to support others in need.  Most of the time our customers don't even know the person they are helping personally.  

In other words, Team FTF has the back of people in need when they need help.  

As you embark on the rest of your week remember that you can have everything you want if you help other people get what they want/need.  

-Pete

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