Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Win a round of golf at Winged Foot Golf Club and help a Friend in Need

Dear Friends,

Today I ask for your support for a wonderful woman, Sue Memhard.  Sue is the Founder of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation, and is also two-time breast cancer survivor, now in treatment for her third time.  The Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation is dedicated to providing financial assistance and resources to women in integrative cancer care. Sue started the EHCF as she was struggling with her cancer related bills and found numerous other women who were in need of financial assistance and support during cancer care.  Now, Sue has accumulated some substantial bills for uninsured medical treatments and expenses and is at a critical stage in treatment.  As Founder, Sue is not eligible for our grants.  She needs your support to continue with treatments.  As Director of Grants for Emerald Heart, I often find a need greater than which we can provide for.   In this case, it is our very own Founder/Executive Director who needs our help.

We will be selling raffle tickets in the form of tax-deductible donations for Sue via Lend a Helping Hand charity.  Lend a Helping Hand assists individuals faced with a catastrophic illness or life altering diseases raise money to pay for uninsured medical costs.  The lucky winner and two friends will enjoy a round of golf and lunch at the famous Winged Foot Golf Club.  Won’t you please consider buying a tax-deductible raffle ticket today and help us reach our goal of $20,000?

Tickets are $50 each, and you can buy multiple tickets or increase the amount to “purchase” more than one ticket, and increase your chances of winning. A drawing will be held on October 12th, 2011.  Ticket sales are limited to 200. When you register, please provide the email address to which you would like to be contacted if you are the winner.

If you have any questions, please email Elyn Jacobs at

To buy a ticket:
Go to:  

Click the DONATE button under Sue’s photo and bio, and follow instructions for Paypal or your credit card. In “Special Instructions” put “GOLF”. You will receive a receipt for your taxes.

Thank you in advance for your generous support.

Best regards,

Elyn Jacobs
Director of Grants, the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation
The Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation is dedicated to providing financial assistance and resources to women in integrative cancer care.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Information is Power

Information is power. It can help you to successfully navigate the cancer journey. Every individual and every cancer is unique.  Knowing your options and obtaining the necessary information is critical in order to make the right choices for you, for your cancer.   The right plan, as well as the right team, can make all the difference in mortality as well as in quality of life.
To read my blog about finding the right team, please visit:

 You have more options than you think when choosing a treatment plan.  Conventional (allopathic) medicine offers surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other medical interventions to battle cancer.  For many, this is the route to take.  For others, surgery may be acceptable, but radiation and or chemotherapy either are not an option or are not acceptable to the patient.  Some will take the integrative approach, combining conventional with alternative therapies, and some will choose to use only alternative methods.   Keep in mind that within these modalities, there will be further decisions to make, for example which of the surgical options or chemotherapies would be best.   Information is power.

Today we have genetic testing that enables the oncologist and patient to make more informed choices for a treatment plan.  For example, when considering Tamoxifen, one might request a test such as Mamaprint or a CPY2D6 test.  These tests will help your doctor to determine if Tamoxifen would be effective for you.  When chemotherapy is advised, the patient and doctor have many options.  The oncologist will recommend the course of treatment that he or she feels would be best for your cancer.  However, often times this requires a trial and error period during which the patient starts and stops many different drugs in response to tolerance and effectiveness. 

Now we have molecular-level diagnostic testing which can help oncologists receive more information on an individual’s cancer, and to develop a more personalized cancer treatment plan.  One resource for this is  Since each patient’s cancer has a specific genetic and molecular signature, this group focuses on how that may affect its response to different treatments. Identifying the biological markers driving a particular cancer may help to determine the best treatment option.

CellSearch, a circulating tumor cell test, helps doctors determine the prognosis of patients and offers a reading of tumor information so that oncologists are better prepared to care for their patients.  My hope is that these tests can also aid patients in their decisions for surgical and alternative options.

Now, it’s great that we have all these tests, but the next challenge is how do we make people aware of them? The buzz is on amongst the online support sites.  Some of my favorites for support and advice are:

Today I came upon a new site,  Their goal is to help patients understand how their cancer is unique and why it matters.  Cancer is not just one disease, so cancer treatment must be tailored to the individual cancer and circumstances of each patient. They believe that sharing this knowledge can inspire and empower patients to seek out the most appropriate treatment for their unique situation.  Right up my alley, you know how I like that word empower.

For more information on genetic testing and Cell Search, please visit:
Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, the Director of Grants for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and a breast cancer survivor.  She helps women diagnosed with cancer to navigate the process of treatment and care, and she educates about how to prevent recurrence and new cancers.  She is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Positive attitude

There has been so much controversy over the need for a positive attitude.  A positive attitude does not mean you have to be upbeat about your cancer or prognosis.  It simply means that if you convince yourself you are going to die, then it could just become a self-fulfilling prophesy, and the reverse…if you convince yourself you will live a long-healthy life, you are on the road to achieve this goal.  I recently benefitted from Reflexology, so I decided to blog about the benefits.  However, in picking up a book on Reflexology, The Art of Reflexology by Inge Dougans, I came upon some words I wish to share.   I have much confidence in modern medicine, and I sincerely believe it has its place.  I owe my life to my cancer team, but I have also suffered greatly from doctors treating other issues.  The narrow-minded view of treating symptoms with little regard to the true cause of the problem has caused me much pain and suffering.   My wish is for people to be offered the option of combining the best of conventional medicine with the benefits of complementary medicine. 
The following is adapted from a portion of The Art of Reflexology, a Totally New Approach Using the Chinese Meridian Theory.
Disease (is) not an entity but a fluctuating condition of the patient’s body, a battle between the substance of disease and the natural self-healing tendency of the body.             HIPPOCRATES

Holism is a recently rediscovered concept in healing.  According to the holistic approach to medicine, health is defined as a positive, glowing state of mental and physical well-being, not merely the absence of disease.  Prior to the advent of modern medicine the manifestation of disease was recognized as being the result of disharmony in the physical, emotional and spiritual spheres, and health perceived as a balance between these three.  Thus no symptom or disorder could be treated in isolation.  Holistic healing methods, therefore, always treat the person as a whole.  They do not work specifically on an impaired organ or malfunctioning system, but on the whole person with the aim of mobilizing the body’s own healing powers to restore the organism to a state of equilibrium.

For thousands of years it was accepted that illness resulted from a disturbance in man’s internal environment.  Then came the orthodox scientific approach dominated by the germ theory.  It has been the focus of medicine ever since.  Once it was known that micro-organisms could invade the body and flourish into specific diseases, the search was on to seek out, identify and combat them.  Man came to be perceived as a sum of working parts and the approach to disease dominated by symptomatic diagnosis and palliative treatment. 

The germ theory has been quite convenient, as most of us prefer to believe that illness is the result of external forces.  This approach is now seen to be far too simplistic.  The failure of the germ theory to combat the vast and intricate realm of disease has resulted in increased interest in, and demand for, natural therapies; therapies which recognize that the problem of health and disease does not lie in identifying symptoms but in the greater understanding of people and their needs as individuals.

Disease is generated by a combination of circumstances both inside and outside the body.  The main object of holistic healing is to help correct the life condition that predisposes a person to disease.  A vast number of factors can initiate disease—particularly in our modern, highly industrialized, polluted environment.  Yet one of the most important factors in the development of disease is state of mind.

The mind is immensely powerful and the relationship between mind and body should never be underestimated.  Because all life is based on energy, health is considered to be the harmonious interplay of energies within the body.  Negative thoughts and emotions restrict the free flow of these energies, causing congestions which ultimately manifest as disease if not corrected.  It is now widely accepted that a positive attitude is a major step towards creating a healthy body.  This is so eloquently expressed by Dr Randolph Stone who said: ‘As you think, so you are.’  He wrote in Health Building: We become what we contemplate.  Negative thoughts and fears make grooves in the mind as negative energy waves of despondency and hopelessness.  We cannot think negative thoughts and reap positive results, and therefore we must assert the positive and maintain a positive pattern of thinking and acting as our ideals.

Igne has a new version of this book, The New Reflexology – A Unique Blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Reflexology Practice for Better Health and Healing. This edition also has a small section on breast cancer relating the issue to specific meridians.

Please visit my new website

Elyn Jacobs

Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Inc. and a breast cancer survivor.  She helps women diagnosed with cancer to navigate the process of treatment and care, and she educates about how to prevent recurrence and new cancers.  She is passionate about helping others get past their cancer and into a cancer-free life.