Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lymphedema Lobby Days

Lymphedema Lobby Days provides an opportunity to meet members of Congress and advocate for the Lymphedema Treatment Act. The event is taking place this year from March 4th-6th in Washington D.C. Last year over 70 country wide lymphedema patients appeared to speak up about the cause.
Below is a direct quote from the Lymphedema Treatment Act website about the impact of this event:
Attending Lymphedema Lobby Days is one of the most rewarding things I have done. It was awesome to see so many people from all over come together to make a difference. Experiencing the judicial process was an eye-opener as well. I am so glad I came. ~Tonya
Unfortunately, it is too late to register for this event for this year. However, even though you cannot make the trip to D.C. you can still make a difference. Contact your local representative to request a meeting regarding insurance coverage for these necessary lymphedema compression garments. 
Instructions for setting up a meeting are provided in the link below:
Also, please click the following link for more information on the Lymphedema Treatment Act:


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Self-Breast Exams

At Thelma's we often see that breast cancer had been detected by a simple self breast exam. It's a fast and easy way to stay on top of your health, and an early diagnosis is helpful with treatment. All women should give themselves a monthly self-breast exam, however, women over the age of 40 should also have a clinical exam every other year. The more aware you are of your body the better you are at detecting problems before they get too complicated.

One can give a self-breast exam in many ways in the comfort of your own home!

1.) In the shower with flat fingers, feel every part of the breast. Be aware of any lump, it will be hard,
about the size of a pea. Not all lumps mean cancer, but it still is an early detector for issues.

2.) Inspect your breasts in the mirror with your arms at your sides and then raise your arms over
your head. Look for any (new) abnormalities such as swelling, dimple of skin or changes in the nipple. Next, place your palms on your hips and flex chest muscles and exam the size on your breasts. Very few women have equal sized breasts, so knowing this information will allow you to note if there are any changes.

3.) While lying down put a pillow/towel beneath the right shoulder with the right hand behind the head. Take note of the distributed breast tissue and if there are any irregularities. You can do this by starting at the top of the breast and moving your fingers in a clock direction around the entirety of the breast (see chart below for other patterns). Then proceed to check the left side in the same manner. Be sure to feel and check the size of the nipple as well.

Doing these simple exams monthly can help you stay in tune with your body, and be aware of changes before your check ups with your doctor.

Below is a link for further explanation, as well as diagrams, of how to proceed with a self-breast
examination. breast-exam/?gclid=CjwKCAiAm7LSBRBBEiwAvL1- Ly0-

Image from

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 Health & Fitness

Excited to start New Year’s Resolutions? 
Can’t “weight” to go to the gym?

*Every resolution stems from a personal goal, of which will need thoughtful plans for proper success!

What are fitness trends that can be seen in 2018?

With all the technology that has come out to monitor fitness, it has been predicted that 2018 will be returning to the basics. For example:
  • One should look for returning to activities such as resistance training and yoga. Something else suggested is participating in the nostalgia of jumping rope. Although we think of a child’s game, jump rope has become highly popular in adult lives!
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an extremely effective and quick way to establish great health and fitness, even within a busy life. HIIT circuits can be found all over the internet, and typically involve circuits of which utilize multiple parts of the body. 
    • These workouts are geared to be very intense, so make sure to start small and build yourself up! Begin with one HIIT circuit a week, and moderate interval training a few other times. One could aim to build up to three HIIT circuits a week given some time! Just for perspective, 10 minutes of proper HIIT training can be equivalent to 45 minutes of moderate interval training!!
  • Another great trend to consider is group classes at your local gym! This is a great way to start your fitness lifestyle without feeling as if you are in it on your own. There is a culture with classes, as most people find passion in certain exercises and often return weekly. Try a spinning class, or kickboxing, but pick something that suits you and you will look forward to attending!

What are fitness tips that can be utilized in 2018?

  • Make a plan!! Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t overwhelm your schedule with exercises that are out of range for yourself. Also, with workout plans, start slow at the beginning and allow yourself to build up. This is a commitment and you want to make it work with you and your weekly habits.
  • Strength train more! Many of us think the answer to weight loss is tons and tons of cardio. While cardio is great for the body, lifting weights allows our muscle to tone into the leanness many of us desire. Lifting weights allows your body to burn calories even after your workout, while cardio consolidates it to only the time spent.
  • Try more compound lifting as opposed to isolated movements. Isolated movements would be activities such as dumbbells. While this is a good workout, compound lifting utilizes multiple areas of the body. Some examples of compound lifting are lunges, squats, deadlifts, and push-presses.
  • Never skimp out on eating food that is good for you. The body burns properly when given the right fuel!

Therefore, what eating habits should be considered in 2018?

  • Eat mindfully! One doesn’t need to necessarily count calories or keep a food journal, but do it if it works for you! However, simply being mindful of what you are eating, how often, and cutting down on snacking will drastically improve eating habits.
  • Monitoring what you eat can be done by cooking at home. This way you know what is going into your food, and you can incorporate more lean proteins and healthier carbohydrates. Don’t forget to taste the rainbow and add colorful vegetables and fruits to every meal!
  • Don’t deprive yourself of food you love! Are Taco Tuesday’s your favorite day of the week? Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. Throw black beans into the dish, and use a spring mix instead of iceberg lettuce. Buy low-fat sour cream, and only use half of a taco seasoning packet! Simple alterations can greatly impact the nutritional value we take out of a meal.
  • When at the store, “shop the perimeter.” In most grocery stores the fresh produce is around the outside of the store. Get your greens, fruits and proteins without getting stuck in the middle isles of tempting boxed goodies. Plan your meals around freshness, even if that means small trips 2-3 times a week instead of one big run.
  • If you are not a breakfast person, something to consider for your mornings is tea and infused water. Many nutrients come from tea and infused water, however, if you love your coffee try and drink it black!

Fitness and eating healthy can only go so far, though. We need to remember to take care of ourselves. According to Essentially Women, women who have completed breast cancer treatments can struggle with sleeping issues. A goal to aim for is 150 minutes of activity a week, translating to 20 minutes a day. This amount of time spent on weekly activity has been proven to make a difference. 

A healthy lifestyle includes eight hours of sleep, walking every chance you can, finding time for yourself, appreciating the little things in life, and practicing random acts of kindness! Change can be scary, but allow yourself to embrace everything you have to offer and find out how happy a healthy life can make you.





-MaryKate Frey, Social Media Consultant at Thelma's