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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NTX Blood Cancer Conference: Pediatric-Focused Sessions


BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: The North Texas Blood Cancer Conference is pleased to re-introduce a number of pediatric-focused elements to the break-out session line-up.  These sessions are filling quickly so do not delay in securing your seat in one of these sessions:

Too Young for This: Talking to Children about Cancer
Caitlin Arndt, CCLS, Children's Health
9:45 a.m. - 10:25 a.m. Session

A Zone of Our Own: Adolescent & Young Adult Panel Discussion
Fort Worth Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Council
10:30 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. Session

What's New in Pediatric Blood Cancers?
Paul Bowman, M.D., Cook Children's Medical Center

11:15 a.m. - 12:25 p.m. Session

Why, Mommy?  Parenting a Child With Cancer
Brittany Blake, M.S., CCLS, Medical City Children's Hospital
2:45 p.m. - 3:25 p.m. Session


The North Texas Cancer Expo is also hosting a number of events designed for children, including a kid zone, arts and craft area and a pet therapy center.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

NTX Blood Cancer Conference: Healthy Eating and Treatment Success



Living Your Best Life is the focus of both the North Texas Blood Cancer Conference & NTX Cancer Expo in three weeks.  A number of studies indicate that what a person eats during and after their cancer treatment can impact how successfully they respond.  The conference and expo will both feature demonstrations and break-out sessions about how to eat healthier.

As a taste of what’s to come, here are ten tips for healthy eating throughout your cancer journey:
  • Although blood cancer is, based on current research, unpreventable, this does not mean you should stray from a healthy diet. Throughout treatment and recovery, your nutritional needs will increase, so it is imperative that you meet them.
  • Always speak with your general practitioner, dietician, or another qualified medical professional first, as they will know what is best for you as an individual. Consider referencing this guide once you begin this conversation and throughout your treatment, should you develop eating issues.
  •  Take this as an opportunity to explore new sources of essential nutrients, such as bean-based tofu as another source of protein or quinoa to gain more fiber. Additionally, don’t be afraid to try modified recipes that supply the nutrients while adhering to your new dietary limitations.
  • With the previous step in mind, determine any food intolerances, new or old, and plan your diet before you begin treatment. Having a well-stocked pantry before treatment begins eliminates the stress of shopping when you simply cannot.
  • Avoid any potential for food contamination. Store and cook meals properly, and avoid any foods that cause infection. If it could make you sick when you were healthy, avoid it during treatment.
  • During treatment, you must maintain a healthy weight. Drastic weight loss implies malnutrition. Keep your weight even or gain it back through the following healthy means.
  • Chemotherapy has been known to drastically change your appetite. This can vary, as you may develop unusual cravings or find even your favorite foods have an unpleasant taste. Consider using the following adjustments if the flavor is slightly off or if the food simply tastes wrong.
  • The inability to eat during treatment is common. However, remain hydrated and ingest what you can to get the extra calories and protein you need.
  • If you do not develop eating issues, this does not mean your treatment is not working. Eating difficulties affect some patients but not others, as it varies on a case-to-case basis.
  • Once you are in remission, if your diet was limited during treatment, continue healthy eating but try to vary it as you adhere to your doctor’s nutritional advice. Learn where your tastes and food preferences are now in comparison to where they were before treatment.
Seats in the healthy eating session are filling very quickly.  If you would like to save your seat, register today at www.ntxbloodcancerconference.org




Thursday, August 11, 2016

Team 5 Alive: The Decision to Fight

David Nesbit during treatment.
Team 5 Alive is on its way to raising $250,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through a full year of fundraising with Team In Training (TNT).  David Nesbit, the team's honored hero and inspiration, thinks back to his days in treatment and how it motivates him now.

"Six years ago, August 2010; I was enjoying the summer like everyone else.  I wasn't thinking much about my leukemia because the wait-and-watch period which I was in simply was not that bad.  My body was doing a good job of keeping my levels in check naturally.  Every month since I was diagnosed in 2009 became a little easier mentally.  Maybe, I get to do that wait and watch thing for years, I would tell myself.  I started to talk about it more freely, my confidence was building, and I didn't feel like a sick person.  That summer, I was training with TNT for my second event, had gotten healthier, shed some pounds...life was OK.  Then, in August, my cancer turned aggressive. 

In a matter of days I was having excruciating neck pains, little bumps were popping up under my skin, extreme fatigue, and night sweats.  I got scared, again.  That same pitted deep in the gut feeling of mortality was poking its ugly head up again in my mind.  Now it seemed real.  

People die from leukemia, what if it takes me?  
What if chemo ravages my body and I can't be present for my family or I can't work? 
What if I lose my hair?" (I was really worried about that!). 

After a couple of days of processing these kinds of questions, I remember asking myself, 'David, what are YOU going to do about it?' And just like that, I decided to fight.

It was very much like a boxing match.  Chemo was coming.  And every round of chemo was a round in the ring.  I could go on the defensive and take the blows and just try to get through. Or, I could fight back.  I chose to fight back.  Everything that chemo and leukemia would want to do with my body, I would do the opposite.  If I felt nauseous, I would still go to work. If I felt tired, I would spend more time with my girlfriend (who is now my wife, Kelly Nesbit!) and family, and push through.  Many times immediately after chemo treatment, I would go running.   I was going to show leukemia and chemo who was boss of this body.  Me.   

That part of my journey reminds me constantly of our amazing Team 5 Alive.  They push through, they don't stop.  Summer is a tough time to train and fundraise.  The heat and humidity right now is simply awful to run in.  There are vacations, kids off school, etc.  There are so many things that can distract.  But somehow, every week we see the Team fundraising total going up.  And every Saturday morning I see Facebook and Instagram flooded with selfies and team pictures of our Team out training in the heat.  They don't stop.  They don't give up.  Team 5 Alive is relentless.  I have a TNT shirt that has the word 'relentless' in big red letters on the front. It reminds me of our Team. That is my favorite word to describe our Team 5 Alive: Relentless.

Oh, and I never lost my hair.  Go Team!" 

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Kelly and David Nesbit are the co-team captain of Team Five Alive.  The Nesbits and their teammates will be posting monly as they work to raise $250,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of  David's fight.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

North Texas Cancer Expo: Main Stage Schedule Released



 JUST RELEASED: MAIN STAGE SCHEDULE

The Inaugural North Texas Cancer Expo on September 9-10th at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas will feature 30+ vendors and a main stage with a number of demonstrations and sessions  The expo's theme "Living Your Best Life" focuses on how patients and survivors of ALL cancer types can take steps to improve their lives during and after treatment.  

Expo attendees are welcome to stay the whole day or just drop in for part of the day.  The event is free but registration is required.

 Friday, September 9th
3:30 p.m. - Music by Rhett Butler, LLS Patient Navigator
4:00 p.m. - Health Through Juicing, Chris Devero
4:45 p.m. - Laughter Yoga, Presenter to be Announced
5:30 p.m. - Official North Texas Cancer Expo Ribbon Cutting

 Saturday, September 10th
8:30 a.m. -   Chair Yoga, Chelsey Charbeneau, Mastermind
9:30 a.m. -   Health Through Juicing, Chris Devero
10:30 a.m. - Dental Health During and After Treatment, Garrett S. Nelson, DDS
11:30 a.m. - Cooking Demonstration, Katherine Lawrence, Food Saved Me
1
2:30 p.m. - Nutrition & Plant-Based Cooking, Dr. James & Andrea Conway 
1:30 p.m. -   Practicing Mindfulness, Mari Woodlief, Mastermind
2:30 p.m. -   Finish Your Race, Don Armstrong, Author and AML Survivor
3:00 p.m. -   Music by Rhett Butler, LLS Patient Navigator

The North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is organizing this event and it runs concurrently to its North Texas Blood Cancer Conference.  



Register today to attend this action-packed event:
www.ntxcancerexpo.org

Thursday, July 28, 2016

NTX Blood Cancer Conference: 5 Things to Know about the Keynote Speaker

KEYNOTE SPEAKER ANNOUNCED:
Kenneth C. Anderson, M.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The North Texas Chapter is honored to have Kenneth C. Anderson, M.D. of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as the keynote speaker for the 2016 North Texas Blood Cancer Conference.  Dr. Anderson is a pioneer in multiple myeloma research and very involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and its vision of creating a world without blood cancers.  

Below are 5 things you may not know about Dr. Anderson:

1. Dr. Anderson is part of the LLS Screen to Lead Program
2. He is personal friends with Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and they are
partners in cancer research
3. Dr. Anderson's mother was a nurse and that inspired him to get into medicine
4. When Dr. Anderson started to focus on the treatment of multiple myeloma the disease had very few treatment options

5. Dr. Anderson was the first person in his family to earn a college degree



Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Dr. Anderson speak by registering today for the FREE North Texas Blood Cancer Conference.

Friday, July 22, 2016

NTX Cancer Expo: Frequently Asked Questions


NORTH TEXAS CANCER EXPO FAQs
September 9-10, 2016
Sheraton Hotel – Dallas, TX
www.ntxcancerexpo.org

WHAT IS IT?
The North Texas Cancer Expo hosted by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a FREE two-day cancer expo featuring more than 30 vendors and a main stage with nonstop educational sessions and entertainment.  The focus is how patients and survivors can live their best life.  The information provided will be beneficial to patients and caregivers of ALL types of cancers. This event runs concurrently with the North Texas Blood Cancer Conference. 
Registration for the North Texas Cancer Expo does not automatically register an attendee to attend the North Texas Blood Cancer Conference.  The Conference is open to the public but a separate registration is required.  Register online at www.ntxbloodcancerconference.org

WHEN IS IT?
Friday, September 9, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHO WILL BE THERE?
Vendors and experts presenting information and tips on how to Live Your Best Life, wellness experts, cooking demonstrations, book sales, health and beauty vendors, nutritional resources, a Walgreens “Ask the Pharmacist” panel, healthcare cancer representatives, nonprofit organizations and more!

WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON THE MAIN STAGE?
Live cooking demonstrations, a Walgreens “Ask the Pharmacist” panel, tips on fitness during and after your cancer treatment, book readings, meditation, live music and more!

 WHERE IS IT AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The expo is completely FREE!  Registration is required and can be completed online at www.ntxcancerexpo.org.  The Cancer Expo and Blood Cancer Conference will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas (400 Olive St., Dallas, TX 75201).  There are special room rates associated with the conference and details can be found on the website.

I HAVE QUESTIONS. WHO DO I ASK?
Reach out to Seetha Modi at Seetha.Modi@lls.org or (972) 996-5905


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Five Alive: Race to Raise $100,000

Gifts LLS staff left on the Nesbit's doorstep after reaching
their original goal of raising $100,000
Team Five Alive, led by Kelly and David Nesbit, are celebrating in this month's post.  Read as Kelly gives an exciting update on the status of their race to raise $100,000 in one year.

"Have you ever been in a situation that you wanted something so bad you can almost taste it?

I can only imagine how it might feel for someone that hears the news that they have been diagnosed with cancer. They want to be cured so bad! Or for the individual that is going through chemotherapy for the last time. They want for the treatment to have worked – so bad they can almost taste it!

For my amazing teammates on Team 5 Alive that are training for endurance events, I wonder how many times they wanted something so bad? I am willing to bet that things like this cross their minds: I wish the temperature was cooler! I wish we didn’t have to do so many miles! I wish my legs or feet didn’t hurt! I can’t wait for this to be over! SO BAD! While I know they go through a fair amount of struggles during training – I also know they do it because they want a cure for blood cancer – so bad they can almost taste it!

Team 5 Alive made a commitment last February to lock arms and begin our journey to raise $100,000 in 12 months... AND WE DID IT!!! This is in celebration of my husband’s 5 years in remission. (He walked out of the chemo room on July 13, 2011 for the last time.) We knew that if we achieved our team’s fundraising goal that we would then be able to designate a research grant for blood cancer. As I type today – we accomplished that goal in less than FIVE MONTHS.  Now, we are setting our goal for a much larger target - $250,000! 

Stay tuned as we continue to share our progress. Next month our very own Honored Hero, David Nesbit, will share with you his personal journey as a blood cancer survivor and his connection with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Team in Training."


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Kelly and David Nesbit are the co-team captain of Team Five Alive.  The Nesbits and their teammates will be posting monly as they work to raise $250,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of  David's fight.