Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Five New Facts you Should Know About the On All Fronts Blog

An inside look into the world of CBCF and the people connected to the cause.

Why blog?  When it comes to breast cancer, I was “there and did that” in 1991.  I am well and beyond grateful for the generosity and kindness of others who shared their intimate cancer stories and experiences with me, then and now.  Your tales have been real, inspirational, difficult, downright goofy, often hilarious and always food for the soul.

I hope that in blog-land, On All Fronts readers have found something of value.  Life moves on, and now I want to expand the blog to be for the entire Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF), to share more about the inside world of CBCF and so many fascinating people who are connected to the breast cancer cause.

Below are five types of articles that you can look forward to reading:

1.  Ask an Expert
Discover what words of advice are shared in personal articles about breast cancer written by survivors, researchers, fellows, students, donors, volunteers, medical practitioners, and friends or family members that are connected to the cause.

2.  CBCF Staff Highlights
Who are the people behind the Foundation and what are their experiences working for the cause?

3.  Breast Health
Read about the latest breast health and cancer news, information, advice, and programs.  What steps can you take to reduce your risk of breast cancer?

4.  CBCF Events
Get an insider’s look at the many events that CBCF offers.

5.  And of course... articles written by ME!

Don’t miss out on the action and be sure to subscribe to On All Fronts by typing in your email address at the top left side of this webpage.

Happy reading!

Judy Caldwell
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What a Day!

What a day!  Hundreds of women (in shades of pink) paddled, drummed, danced, toasted each other and celebrated with hugs, cheers and great memories.  We were quite the sight in flapper dresses, high tops, lycra, pink life jackets and pink feathered boas. 

On the same waters at False Creek where 22 of us learned to paddle 20 years ago, today's novices joined us for a circuit and a raft up in front of hundreds of our friends, families and fellow Abreast in a Boaters.  They stood on the shore beside our Memorial Garden and we all tossed flowers into the waters in memory of our paddlers who have died.

What a change.  Imagine, only two decades ago, my fellow "Originals" and I worried and wondered if our heavy duty, upper body workouts in the gym and on the water would cause lymphedema. 
It didn't. 

Instead what our groups' experience generated was a team of wildly enthusiastic, determined and skilled leaders who kick started an international phenomenon among women who had faced breast cancer.  From one boat, 151 teams are now active internationally What a story! Dr. Don McKenzie, the originator of the research that the first 22 participated in, cheered wildly when he reminded the party goers that instead of us being told what we should not do, we learned that we could lead full and active physical lives post treatments. 

Yes we can.  And we do it with mutual support and joy.

Yup, we can paddle and party hardy too!

Judy Caldwell
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - BC/Yukon Region

I'm So Excited

"I'm so excited
And I just can't hide it.
I'm about to lose control and I think I like it."

Saturday, June 13th, 2015.

The Pointer Sisters are blasting away in my head and I'm so excited too.  The 20th year celebration of Abreast in a Boat's amazing international success is this afternoon.  And I was fortunate to be an "Original" paddler at the very first paddle and competitions of Abreast in a Boat dragon boat paddling.

Today, once again, I get to churn the waters of Vancouver's False Creek with other "Original" teammates, novices and paddlers who have each faced breast cancer. Spitfires, all of them!

I'm dressed and ready with my first t-shirt, paddling gloves, sunscreen and most importantly, my old paddle with the names of my original team mates hand written, indelibly all over it.  Many of us will be partying and those who couldn't make it will be there in spirit and on the blade of my paddle.  It's a bit beat up, the varnish has dulled a wee, but it Still Works!  Yea.

 20 years — I'm so excited!

Judy Caldwell

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - BC/Yukon Region