Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Project prevent cancer--diet--lycopene

Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? The argument continues over which the tomato may be. One point in which there is no argument is in the fact that -be it fruit or vegetable- it is considered to be the top dietary source of lycopene. Why should that matter? What exactly is Lycopene? Lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family of phytochemicals. A who of what? Carotenoids are natural pigments found in plants and animals responsible for the red color of tomato, watermelon and pink grapefruit. Phytochemicals are what is involved in the chemical process of plant life and the chemical compounds produced by plants. More than 600 known natural carotenoids are synthesized in plants. More over, Carotenoids are antioxidants that play an important role in health maintenance. They reduce the impact of the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Lycopene, phytoene*, phytofluene*, and beta-carotene* belong to this group. Lycopene has a unique structure that is responsible for its ability to protect us from harmful oxidizing agents called free radicals.*

Free Radicals are implicated in cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration and other age related diseases. A review of different studies have shown that the more tomatoes and tomato products people eat, the lower their risks of many kinds of cancer. In fact, a diet rich in lycopene may also be heart protective.

Lycopene rich foods help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol slowing the developement of atheroscierosis. (Say that word really fast) Atheroscierosis- --associated with the formation of atheromas-deposits of small fatty nodules on the inner walls of the arteries, often accompanied by degeneration of the affected area..arterial plaque.**

Studies show that not only does eating vegetables high in lycopene reduce the risks of some cancers, and provide a strong antioxidant it is shown that combined with other carotenoids it may help reduce sunburn. Among the many possibilities of Lycopene's benefits studies have returned with mixed results bringing the need for more studies.

Lycopene does not get converted into Vitamin A. The health benefits of Lycopene are attributed mainly to its powerful antioxidant properties. Lycopene is commonly located in the cell membranes. It plays an important role in preventing oxidative damage to membrane lipids, influencing the thickness, strength, and fluidity of the membrane. Maintaining cell membrane integrity is key in prevention of disease.

Lycopene is not formed in the body. It is obtained by eating foods rich in Lycopene such a tomato products. Some of the foods rich in Lycopene are:

Cooked tomatoes int he form of ketchup, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, and tomato juice.


Red Peppers-capsicums



Dark colored grapefruits



Lycopene is best digested when it is consumed in cooked tomato products rather than fresh tomaotes. Studies indicate that heat processing released up to 2.5 times the lycopene from tomatoes. Because lycopene is fat soluable it is better absorbed by adding a small amount of oil.

A high intake of foods containing Lycopene are not known to cause any ill side effects however excessive consumption can cause a deep orange discoloration of the skin. Some research indicates that cigarette smoke may cause lycopene to become oxidized. This may explain in part the research findings that cigarette smokers who take carotenoid supplements may have an increased risk of cancer or heart disease.

It is possible that lycopene may increase the cholesterol lowering effects of some medications. Some cholesterol lowering medications lower the blood levels of carotenoids. In addition, margarines enriched with synthetic plant steroids such as Benecol or Take Control may decrease the absorbtion of carotenoids. Olestra, a fat substitute may also reduce the absorption of carotenoids.

Signs of lycopene deficiency due to an inadequate intake over a period of years may set the development of several chronic diseases( such as heart disease and cancer) due to increasing the body's susceptibility to damage by free radicals.

*phytoene, carotenoid found naturally in tomatoes. Findings indicate it acts in synergy with lycopene in prevention of cell damage.

*phytofluene, carotenoid found naturally in tomatoes. Recent findings indicate it works in senergy with lycopene in prevention of cell damage.

beta-carotene, a carotenoid found in many fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes. Used by the body to produce vitamin A.

* Free radicals are aggressive chemicals that occur as part of a normal cell metabolism but their numbers in the organism increase when it is exposed to damaging environmental influences. Free radicals have been implicated in accelerated aging and the development of degenerative diseases.

*Atheroscierosis definition thanks to Webster's New World College Dictionary fourth edition.













Sunday, June 26, 2011

the Irreplaceable Flag

My husband's dad was a veteran. He served on a submarine during the world war. When he passed away he was given a military funeral complete with flag draped coffin. The flag was given to his current wife, my husband's step-mother. He had hoped that she would give him the flag, but she didn't. She also did not by all accounts take care of this flag. In her behalf she had some difficulties not fully understanding all things as most people do. She eventually was placed in a facility for those with Alzheimer's because of her wandering.

My husband asked about the flag. Sadly, no one knew where that flag was. When her home was cleaned, that flag was not there. The flag that had covered his dad's coffin, was missing, lost.

My husband's dad passed away a few months after we met due to complications of Diabetes. I never really got to meet or know the gentleman. Only through the memories of my husband and his sisters did I learn about him. What I did know, was how badly my husband wished that he could have gotten that flag. Many years passed before I decided to do something.

For a while I had been contributing editorial articles to a local newspaper. I decided that I would mention that flag in one of them. The column that I submitted ran on a Thursday. Sunday morning when I went in to church a gentleman approached me. He had an interesting thing to tell me. Seems that several years before this man's son was at a yard sale. While there he noticed an American flag. Knowing that his dad had a flagpole in his yard he decided to purchase this flag and give it to him. The minute the man saw the flag's size he knew that this was a flag for a military coffin. Knowing he couldn't put it on his flagpole he instead packed it up carefully and stored it in his closet. If I thought that this could be the missing flag he would gladly give it to me. I told him that I would love to see the flag and he promised to bring it the following Sunday.

During that week my prayer was that this would be the flag and that I would be able to recognize it because of the fact that since my husband's step mother had not taken care of the flag and that his sister knew that it had been stained that this flag would carry those tell tale stains.

The minute the gentleman handed me the flag, there they were. Small, but there. I knew, I just knew the minute I had my hands on that flag, I had the right flag.

I had been told how my husband's step-mother had always been happy to help a church and was quick to donate things without thought. Apparently she had donated this flag at some point and it had ended up in this person's yard sale long years later.

I did not tell my truck driving husband I had found the flag. I tried to fold it, almost getting it right, and then purchased a display box for it. Then, I waited.
                                    (I chose this photo out of respect for my husband's privacy)

Aliens are watching my mom..so says the psychic

I love my family---we can find ourselves in some interesting situations. Take for example--

We live next door to my parents. That is a good/bad situation, mostly good. If nothing else there are times it can be highly entertaining. Mom will walk up and stand at the gate into my yard and chat. She doesn't always come in because I have this big lovable dog that she fears may make her fall. Not intentionally but just by trying to get close for a pet.

So, she comes up yesterday to chat. In the course of our conversation that runs the gamut of everything coming and going she drops this bombshell. Aliens are watching her.


Care to explain that one mom.

Now, I will admit up front that I do not believe in all these psychics sending out letters, getting on television, with their shops lining the side of the road. I do not do taro cards, ouija boards, follow my horoscope or any of that. Do I believe that there are people who may 'know' things? Well, yes. But these are people with a gift that is used respectfully, with full intent to do good not to exploit and scare vulnerable people.

Some how or other mom's name got on several psychic's lists. She gets the usual mail offering all the advice, help, information....for a price. And that price is not usually cheap. Thankfully my mother is not one to be scammed or frightened easily. The letters all go in the trash, some-during winter months-go straight into the fire. I'm not sure when she got the letter she mentioned but she just told me this story.

She received a letter from a psychic that she did not name. In this letter she was told that she was being watched by Aliens. Not aliens--illegal or otherwise--from other countries. But Aliens from........outer space. Not just one alien, but several. These aliens have been watching her, they have good news for her and want to help her. For a price this psychic can help her contact these aliens and find out the information that they are holding for her..wanting to share with her. All this psychic needs is a check or credit card number for xxxxx amount of dollars.


Looks as if mom isn't going to get any alien help..but the psychic isn't going to get any of her money either. Please excuse me now, I need to go and find my aluminum foil cap. The aliens are watching...well mom, but she does live right next door..

Saturday, June 25, 2011

project preveting cancer-diet-Alpha-carotene

There is no real Fountain of Youth, no magical potion to keep us young forever. There are no pills or lotions that will erase time. We can search, dream and wish- but to live longer and look better it will take work. Yes, there's that word-work.

The work that we will discuss here is a continuation of the previous blogs on diet on how a nutritious diet may be beneficial in preventing cancer among other diseases and aging problems. So, while there may not be a Fountain of Youth, there are ways to stay healthy longer. One of those ways is by following mom's advice from so long ago-"eat your vegetables".

As stated before Beta-Carotene is an important antioxidant in the body, protecting the cells from free radicals. Studies have shown that Beta-carotene has help in Alpha-Carotene. In some studies it is thought that Alpha-carotene may be even stronger than Beta-carotene.

Alpha-carotene, one of the most abundant carotenoids in the North American diet. It is a "provitamin A" compound. It is among approximately 50 carotenoids able to be converted in the body into retinol, an active form of vitamin A. It is approximately half the vitamin A activity of beta-carotene.

Alpha-carotene can be found in yellow-orange fruits and vegetables and dark-green vegetables. Some of the foods are:

Sweet Potatoes





Winter Squash

Turnip Greens

Collard Greens

Romaine Lettuce


Fresh Thyme





Green Beans

These foods should be eaten raw or lightly steams for the best benefits.

Alpha-carotene is good for the cells protecting them from free radicals which break down the bodies cells and can lead to disease. It has been shown the ability to stimulate cell communication. By promoting proper communication between cells, carotenoids may play a role in preventing cancer. Alpha-carotene enhances the function of the immune system. There are thoughts that it may play a role in the prevention of the following diseases:

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Age-related macular degeneration


Angina pectoris

Cervical dysphasia

Lung cancer





Skin Cancer

Cervical cancer


Laryngeal cancer

Rheumatoid arthritis

Studies have shown that people with the highest levels of Alpha-carotene in their blood had a 39% lower risk of premature death from any cause, including cancer.

The Deficiency Symptoms of an inadequate intake of Alpha-Carotene can lead to chronic disease. It increases the chance of free radical or tissue damage. This could result in heart disease and cancers. Prolonged deficiency in the diet can lead to vitamin A deficiency. A high intake of carotenoid-containing foods do not have a toxic side effect.

What might contribute to a deficiency? Carotenoids -a fat soluble substance need the presence of dietary fat for proper absorption in the digestive tract. Your alpha carotene levels may be impaired by a diet low in fat or you may have a medical condition that causes a reduction in the body's ability to absorb dietary fat. Among the conditions are pancreatic enzyme deficiency, Crohn's disease, celiac sprue, cystic fibrosis and more. If you do not eat enough fruits and vegetables or if you smoke or drink you may have lower levels of alpha-carotene.

What medications or nutrients effect alpha-carotene? Cholesterol-lowering medications referred to as bile acid sequestrants lower blood levels of carotenoids. Margarines enriched with plant sterols, Olestra, a fat substitute added to snack foods, may decrease the absorption of carotenoids.

So there it is-if you want tolive longer and healthier, eat your vegetables. Especially those brightly colored.













Friday, June 24, 2011

operation preventing cancer-diet-selenium

Continuing the conversation on how our diet makes a difference in our health and how it can go a long way in preventing cancer along with a variety of other diseases. So far we have discussed the super antioxidant Gluthatione and Beta-Carotene which becomes Vitamin A in the body. Two things that are essential in helping the body remain healthy by ridding itself of free radicals.

To learn about the benefits of selenium we must first learn-what selenium is. To find the answer to that I have again been traveling around the internet in search of information. What I found is that selenium is a chemical element, non metal and related to sulfur and tellurium. It is a mineral found in soil, naturally appears in water and in some foods. It is in every cell of our body. The amount of selenium found in food depends on how much is in the soil where the food is grown.

Selenium-an important nutrient's benefits are wide as it is one of the most potent immune boosters and antioxidants around. Fighting against the free radicals that damage our DNA. Often included with glutathione, Vitamins C and E it fights against a variety of disease. Two of which are cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that it benefits non-cancer patients by helping prevent its development. Selenium contributes toward promoting normal liver functioning, slows aging and has been used to fight viral infections. Selenium protects against toxic metals in the body-including mercury. It neutralizes alcohol, smoke and fats in the body. There is evidence it helps in the treatment of autoimmune disorders, in the treatment of male fertility, it reduces inflammation and promotes eye health. The list goes on.

According to the web site; www.nutritional-supplements-health-guide.com a five year study has been carried out at Cornell University and the University of Arizona. The study showing that people who were taking 200mcg of selenium a day were 63% less prostate tumors, 58% less colorectal cancers, 46% less lung malignancies and a 39% overall decrease in cancer deaths. In other studies it has shown promise in helping prevent other cancers also showing promising results in battling leukemia. Scientists are also studying using selenium in the battle against many other diseases.

Where you can find selenium. Rich sources are:

*Brazil nuts

*mushrooms (button, shitake, reishi)

*fish (cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, smelts, red snapper,swordfish, tuna)

*seafood (lobster, oyster, scallops, shellfish, shrimp)

* blackstrap molasses

*brewer's yeast


*cheddar, cottage, and mozzarella cheese






*herbs (alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, fennel seed, ginseng,raspberry leaf)

*meat (beef, chicken, lamb, turkey)


*sunflower and mustard seeds

*vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, radish, spinach)


*wheat germ

*whole grains and wholegrain products (oats, barley, brown rice, rye)

***information from www.healthsupplementsnutritionalguide.com

It must be noted that while taken correctly there should be no side effects. However if taken in excess it can become toxic. Some symptoms of selenium poisoning are:

*abdominal pain


*decreased cognitive function


*garlic breath odor

*hair, nail and tooth loss

*hyper salivation

*muscle spasms




In extreme cases it can be fatal. The general agreement is that in adults an upper level daily limit of 400mg is safe.

There are some risks in taking selenium.

*side effects-At normal doses there are usually no side effects. An overdose can cause the above symptoms.

*Interactions-may interact with other medicines and supplements, such as antacids, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, niacin, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and birth control pills.

*skin cancer-selenium is associated with a risk of skin cancer. People at a high risk of skin cancer should not take selenium.

*diabetes-one study found that people who took 200 micrograms a day were 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. It is unknown if selenium actually causes the disease.

**from www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11

As with all foods, vitamins and supplements along with the benefits, there are risks. With careful consideration and planning--and talking with one's doctor--the correct supplements and dosages can be scheduled. In actively taking control of what we put into our systems we can greatly reduce our risk of cancer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

herding (baby) geese

Behind the plant where I work is a small, man made pond, enclosed in a chain length fence. The water is almost always a deep green color thanks to the algae. It's original purpose was to be a supply of water in case there was a fire. This is an old plant-remodeled and renovated, but its been around for longer than I can remember. The pond is fairly close to the building and there is a large well maintained field between the pond and the road.

All that to say that earlier this year a pair of geese showed up at the pond. Beautiful birds they are fun to watch. Then one day I was only seeing one as I left each day. I feared that something had happened to the other. The something was that they decided to raise a family. Mom, dad and five babies.

As soon as I found out I brought my camera to work the next day and after work I got my camera from the car and began to capture the babies in photograph. Dad wasn't too happy about it at first but I made sure not to get too close.

Then I was informed that something had gotten one of the babies. It was sad but even in fenced enclosures things happen. Especially since as the young ones got old enough mom and dad were taking them out into the field to eat.

Today as I was leaving I decided to try and get some photos. I walked around the pond to where I thought they were only to find that by all appearances something had gotten another of the young ones. The rest of the goslings were outside the fence while mom and dad were on the inside. I snapped a couple of quick photos and then decided to try and help the little ones find the way back inside the fence.

Circling around behind the babies I began to walk forward slowly. The young ones looked at me funny but started walking in the right direction. Dad was hissing at me the entire time. The babies moved forward slowly thankfully not deciding to head out in some odd direction. They finally reached the hole under the fence and looked at it oddly. I moved forward again talking away as I hoped to get them under the fence. As dad would hiss I would tell him to chill, it was alright. The first two babies went under the fence but the third bumped against the bottom of the fence then began backing away quickly and headed for parts unknown. I got back behind it and managed to persuade it to go in the right direction. It only took a moment before it found the deeper part of the hole under the fence and slipped quickly back inside the fence.

Mom and dad examined the babies and finding no problems settled in for a rest.

And I left for home thinking I had done my good deed for the day-

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

project cancer prevention-diet-beta-what's its?

I am a three year cancer survivor. I have many friends who are currently fighting cancer or survivors as well. That being the case, I have sought to find ways to do everything I can to prevent my cancers return. One of those things is to educate myself on a better diet and just what that is. I am also sharing some of what I have learned in these blogs in the case that there is someone else out there that may be interested in knowing more as well..for what ever reason.

In my research I have discovered that our body needs certain things to help it function at its best and to fight off diseases including cancer. One thing that we have heard mentioned many times through many different venues such as television and magazines is the word 'antioxidants'. To put it simply, that is the good stuff that helps to get rid of the bad stuff in our body. In my last blog I discussed Glutathione, today its Beta Carotene.***

Beta Carotene-nope, not a character out of Star Wars or any other futuristic type movie. So what is it? Beta Carotene is a powerful antioxidant that is transformed into Vitamin A in the body. Beta Carotene, an immune booster that is associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Helpful in preventing the hardening/ thickening of arteries and reduces blood cholesterol. Studies show that beta carotene helps in a long list of diseases some of which are macular degeneration, head aches, heart disease, to name a few. It can be used to improve one's vision and improve skin conditions.

A Harvard University study showed that if you were to consume 50mg of beta carotene daily it cuts in half the risk of heart attack and strokes.

Beta Carotene commonly found in almost all the green, yellow, orange vegetables and fruits. The web site www.nutrition-and-you.com/beta-carotene.html has the following list:

Some of the common vegetables.frits/herbs/nuts per100g of weight with the highest content of B-carotenes are:


Brussel sprouts 450 mcg

Carrots 8285 mcg

Collard greens 3842 mcg

Endive 1500mcg

French Beans 379 mcg

Kale 9226 mcg

Lettuce 5226 mcg

Mustard Greens 6300 mcg

Pumpkin 3100 mcg

Spinach 5626 mcg

Sweet Potato 8509 mcg

Swiss Chard 3647 mcg

Tomato 449mcg

Watercress 1914 mcg


Apricots 1094mcg

Cantaloupes 2020mcg

Guava 374mcg

Mango 445mcg

Orange 71mcg

Papaya 276mcg

Persimmon fruit 253mcg

Plums 190mcg

Watermelon 303mcg


Basil 3142 mcg

Cliantro 3930mcg

Parsley 5054 mcg

Thyme 2264mcg


Pistachio 332mcg

Walnuts 12mcg

So, if you want help in battling heart disease, respiratory system problems, cancer.strengthen the immune system, diabetes,cover you from the radiation from the light of the sun s well as help with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Load up on some of the foods mentioned above or a supplement..if you allow your vitamin A levels to drop the body suffers.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Project Cancer Prevention-more on foods and something called, Glutathione

I scoured the internet searching for information on foods that we eat and what they do as far as preventing cancer. From various studies I read these are some of the findings. There was also the information on the foods that one should avoid due to the body's reaction to them, and their possible promotion of some cancers.**

As was stated in the first blog..to help oneself be healthy, one must eat healthy. I did mention some of the fruits and vegetables that are good choices. Today we'll go into a bit deeper depth on why.

Free Radicals. No that isn't a new rock music sensation, nor is it an unruly mob bent on destruction. Wait-- maybe it is an unruly mob set to damage your body's cells. Free radicals are the by product of cell metabolism have unpaired electrons in their outer orbits, causing them to pull electrons from other cells, damaging them. To inhibit the collection of these free radicals one needs a substance known as antioxidants. A substance that is found in a variety of foods.

So, where do we find these antioxidants? If you're one of those folks that as a kid turned up your nose with an emphatic "YUCK" you aren't going to like this next part.

Cue theme music for super hero here. According to many of the studies that I have read medical science categorizes Glutathione complex as a 'super antioxidant'. Without this, we would die. Glutathione (glue-ta-thigh-on) otherwse known as GSH is not found in food sources as it is made only by our bodies. Studies show that Glutathione is a 'super' antioxidant, an immune booster, detoxifier, anti-ageing, skin-whitener. Glutathione reduces the chance of developing cancer, improves mental function, increases energy and improves heart and lung function.

The following foods help our body to make Glutathione and boost its levels in our system.





Raw Eggs



brussels sprouts






several spices including

Curcumin (turmeric)


and cardamom

and even fresh unprocessed meats

Your body 'handcuffs' the toxins in your system to glutathione then excretes it out of the boy usually via the kidneys and urine. Processed foods, microwaved, junk foods, these are toxins to our systems. The chemicals in these create free radicals that require a lot of antioxidants to neutralize. We are also exposed to toxins in the air, radiation,carcinogens, stress to name a few. All this shows that it is not only important but essential that we eat the foods necessary to increase the levels of Glutathione in our system, our health depends on it.



livestrong.com/258892-how to prevent cancer through diet and the foods that fight cancer



Blessed, a collection of God given inspirational poetry by Rebecca Stepp Revels is available now @


and now also at

Amazon, Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble .com

The Legend of Dragon's Doom:a Young Warrior's vow, by RS Revels is available @


and other online sites

also @ Bookin' It, your mobile bookstore @ www.bookin-it.com

Available now @ http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/blessed-in-his-promises/12670945:

Blessed in His Promises

All books available @ Poor Richard's Book Shoppe @ www.PRBookShoppe.com


Sunday, June 19, 2011

project prevent cancer-code 1-- diet

Preventing cancer. What can we, as ordinary people do? Just as there are many different types of cancer, there are many different things that we must do. First and foremost is work hard to educate ourselves. There are many different avenues of getting the information we need to arm ourselves. Any of the agencies that work toward research, assistance and cures should be able to offer information. Libraries, doctors and of course the internet.

Once you have your information it will be obvious that- with all probability- there are going to have to be some life style changes. After being diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2008 I have worked diligently to prevent a reoccurrence by making some of those life style changes myself. One of which is diet.

I am a recovering junk food junky. I do not say that lightly. There was a time when I could put away large bags of candy in a day. I once consumed an entire pan of home made fudge on my own--in one day. My diet consisted of donuts, pastries, chocolate and more chocolate. Processed sugar was my best friend. With coffee running a close second. When I was undergoing the radiation treatments I discovered that my body could not tolerate the processed sugar or the caffeine. It was then that my diet began to undergo its transformation. One that continues today.

I learned to combat my sweet tooth's cravings with fruit. A slice of watermelon calmed in quickly. My daily meals soon became much more healthy, filled with fruits and vegetables. It can be more costly to eat healthy, but if you can grow your own or have access to farmer's markets that helps cut down on the cost tremendously. Over the course of time I have learned that by adding these to my diet will boost my immune system. Some fruits and vegetables can also help fight and destroy cancer cells. Many studies have been done and come up with the following standings. While there are the concerns that it hasn't been fully proven that diet prevents cancer, changing one's diet does definitely make a difference.

Eat a diet consisting of a bigger variety of foods in moderation.

Some of the foods that will help, broccoli, collards, dark green leafy vegetables that contain cancer-fighting phytochemicals and high levels of glucosinolate according to studies can inhibit the buildup of carcinogens that damage DNA, or by altering cell-signaling pathways.

Avocados, rich in glutathione a substance that attacks free radicals, supplies potassium, and is a strong source of beta-carotene. Carrots and pumpkin also contain beta-carotene. Beans, chili peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, teas,,,

The list continues, each item with their own particular cancer fighting properties. Rather than list them all, it is easier to suggest a diet that is varied, high in fiber with five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Drink plenty of water to help keep the body hydrated and to flush out wastes.

Vitamin supplements can also help in getting the needed nutrients into your system.

Avoid or at least limit meats high in fat, hydrogenated oils, foods high in fats, deep fried foods. Limit your alcohol intake. Remember to eat in moderation. Eating several meals a day is better and keeps the body's metabolism working more efficiently.

So that apple a day thing--could actually be true..

simple things (thank you dad I love you)

To learn from you

simple things

to learn how to fish

also a lesson in patience


to learn, how to wait

for just that right chance

and snag the moment

as we snag that fish

To learn from you

simple things

to learn, how to tell a tale

tell a joke

to hold the listener's attention

until the moment the punch line is delivered

to learn


as we hold the moment

To learn from you

simple things

caring for the animals that is our charge

keeping them fed and watered, training them

teaching us

not only how to care for pets

but in a sense, teaching responsibility

to make us ready

for children of our own

To learn from you

simple things

taking care of the material things

putting them away

making sure they are in safe locations

we learn, how to make things last

right up until that last moment

when there is no more

to know, we have not been wasteful

with what we hold

To learn from you

simple things

like love, respect for others

to laugh, to play

to work and learn

simple things

that make this life

more special

thank you dad

for those lessons

on all the simple things

Blessed, a collection of God given inspirational poetry by Rebecca Stepp Revels is available now @


and now also at

Amazon, Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble .com

The Legend of Dragon's Doom:a Young Warrior's vow, by RS Revels is available @


and other online sites

also @ Bookin' It, your mobile bookstore @ www.bookin-it.com

Available now @ http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/blessed-in-his-promises/12670945:

Blessed in His Promises

All books available @ Poor Richard's Book Shoppe @ www.PRBookShoppe.com


Saturday, June 18, 2011

when I was younger- honeysuckle memories

When I was young(er) there were only four houses on the Dirt Road. When I was younger, there was no such thing as video games and movies on demand. What we had was a great big world to play in, and that was what was expected. That, was what we did.

As you came down our dirt road there was our house, my grandparent's home, woods and then the other two homes. The last one was where friends lived. Between my grandparent's home and the last home we had created trails. The main trail was wide, it was used often while riding our bikes. We would make a big circle from our grandparent's down the path hang a right and go back up the road to start all over again. Off to one side we had built a nice ranch-type club area. The other side held trails that lead off into the woods.

It was along these trails that we were adventurers, set out to create imaginary fun. We were guides, discovering new lands, new lifeforms and rediscovering old. We hiked mountains, through giant ferns and swamps. We fought monster mosquito and snake. We had an amazing amount of fun.

Summer is, was, and always will be my favorite time of year. I know its incredibly hot, but I can deal with the summer heat much better than I will ever be able to deal with cold. Shorts, bare feet and freedom. Vegetables straight from the garden, drinking from the garden hose, riding bikes with hands held high. Sweet freedom with a summer sun beating down. Spitting watermelon seeds and wading in the puddles left by summer showers.

We spent time making up new ways to play old games. And we rode those, one speed- brakes in the pedals- bikes, without helmets, without tons of protection, without shoes. We controlled the road and we controlled the trails. We attached streamers and cards. We rode, we fell and we got up again. We rode through puddles and over rocks and through the trails in the woods. One of the things I loved on those trails were the honeysuckle. You could smell them long before you got to them. When I found out that you could also pull the flower from the vine and drink the nectar I was overjoyed.

The honeysuckle quickly became integral in our adventures. I lost count on how many times it was those flowers that 'saved' us from one imaginary misadventure or other. We have honeysuckle vines growing along the far side of the fence. My husband doesn't understand why I refuse to allow him to cut them down. There is no way I can explain how what he considers a weed, was a summer time lifesaver so long ago. Once upon a time.... and the memories..continue

condensed version of my story

I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. I am currently cancer free. I have written about this many times and in many places. It is not my intent to worry this topic to death. My intent with these writings is to discuss not only treatments and their effects on the cancer fighter, but ways to prevent cancer as well. I will start these from the beginning of my experience.

In 2007 I went for my first mammogram around Thanksgiving. While all I knew of mammograms were the horror stories I have been told I went in unafraid. Embarrassed, but unafraid. After all the mashing and squeezing I was told that since it was my first mammogram and they had nothing to compare to that I would probably be called back. If that happened not to be afraid. I was called back and it was scheduled for the day after Christmas. So while others were out scooping up the big deals I was once again getting mashed and mangled. After the first set of images the technician went to show them to the doctor. I was asked to wait. Coming back she wanted another set of images. Then another. Returning she told me that I could get dressed but that they wanted an ultrasound. Walking back to the waiting area she tried to carry on a conversation but failed. She said it was routine, but it was obvious that it wasn't. After the ultra sound I was told I could get dressed and leave and that my doctor would be in touch.

When they called, I was told I needed to see a surgeon. It wasn't confirmed, but there was a chance it was cancer. It was a couple of weeks before I could see her. Leaving work I went to the office and waited. She was running behind so the wait was long enough to cause me to become nervous. After the initial conversation and examination she too wanted an ultrasound. Almost immediately she found what they had seen on the mammogram. She was surprised they had actually saw it because of how small it was. She gave me the alternatives I had, one of which was a needle biopsy. It was decided that the needle biopsy would be done. That area is not made for having needles stuck in it. I'll be the first to admit- that hurt. She then told me I could get dressed and that they would schedule my appointment for the following Tuesday when I would get the results.

The results was that A-typical cells were present. That did not mean I had cancer, but usually when A-typical cells were present, then so was cancer. I was going to need a surgical biopsy. That meant a lot of questions and tests to prepare for it. Blood work an MRI and x-rays later and soon I was walking into the out patient office for the surgery. My husband was with me, and stayed with me until they sent him to the waiting area. Pushed into the operating room the last I remember is that huge assortment of bright lights, then nothing. Waking up later I was offered crackers and a drink. Told I could get dressed and leave my husband brought me home. I was so sick. After losing the crackers and drink I made it to bed where I stayed.

The biopsy left me in pain, but I took care of it with over the counter pain relief. Thankfully work was easy on me. A week later I was back in the surgeon's office. She came in with an assistant confirming what I already knew. She came over, sat beside me on the examining table and told me, I had cancer. Matter of factly I told her, she knew what it was, and where it was- take care of it.

Another round of tests and questions and the day arrived for my surgery. My husband drove me to the hospital. Being that he was out of work and had an interview so he left as soon as my mother arrived to be with me. The youth minister from our church dropped by and stayed with mom for a while. I was poked, I was prodded I was stuck by needles to mark the area. I was given special hose to wear to help prevent blood clots and being I was freezing- given warmed blankets. After talking with many people, hearing explanations and instructions, pushed from room to room, I was finally pushed into the operating room. Again, the lights were the last thing I remember. Later when I awoke my husband was back. I was again given crackers and a drink. Shortly afterwards I was allowed to dress and go home. Where I again went to bed and stayed.

I returned to work two days later. Given instructions that my job was to point and instruct only. I liked that part. Going back to the surgeon's on the third day I was told that I would soon be seeing the oncologist for the initial meeting. She released me to return to work and gave me another appointment to return to see her. She was going to send in for a certain test to be done on a specimen to see whether I was going to need radiation and chemotherapy or just radiation.

I have a great respect for my surgeon for her abilities and her personality. I found the same respect for my oncologist. It took several weeks but I found out I was only going to need radiation. To me, that was enough. The treatments though necessary were embarrassing. They also left me with no energy what so ever. I found that I could not handle drinking the cup after cup of coffee nor any of the many junk foods that I so loved. When I tried there was no sugar rush then crash- there was just the crash. My diet was about to change drastically along with a lot of other things.

Right about the time I was finishing my radiation treatments I participated in my first relay for Life. No one thought I'd be able to stay the night but I was determined and I did manage to stay.

Here it is 2011, I have been cancer free since my surgery and treatments. Over the course of time I have seen, heard and learned a lot. That is what I hope to share. In the hopes that others will be able to better handle their own battle, or that the battle may be prevented to begin with.