Category Archives: Miscellaneous

January 2017

It’s always good to look back, if briefly, over the year gone by and take stock. So often the “busyness” of business can get in the way of a long-term perspective. This time of year always has me thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.

What about you?

Here are some of mine.

Let go of the self-beating. – It is hurtful and unproductive. Life is too short. Cancer survivors know this on a very intimate and gut level, yet many of us repeat those “not good enough” critical words to ourselves regularly. With the cancer diagnosis itself, I have had to let go of the guilt or worry that I caused it somehow, too.

Let go of the past. – I can’t change it. It is time to forgive others, forgive myself and move forward. If there is something that can be fixed by some kind of verbal or actual reparation, I try to do it. As for the rest, it makes more sense to look forward rather than backwards.

Resolve to help. – Cancer can encourage someone to be extremely self-focused – at least that is one of the ways it affected me. Now is the time to give, to look outward, around us and to help where we can.

Resolve to live – Focus on the people around you. Focus on nature. Create and work on your personal bucket list. There is always someone or something around us to enjoy. Get out there – one step, one breath and one moment at time.

Resolve to take care of yourself – Yes, this includes a healthy diet and exercise but it also means, for me, moderation and no self-beating for backslides. Be gentle with yourself. After everything you have experienced, you deserve it.

Resolve to be grateful – Every day, find three things to be grateful for. Do try to cultivate this habit – you will find yourself to be happier!

I am not going to make a longer list. Six is plenty! I wouldn’t remember more anyway! With these resolutions in mind, I will look life in the face in 2017 and say, “Bring it on!”

What resolutions are you making this year?

– Director Alex Peterson

Happy Holidays 2016

Christmas is approaching at the end of a very stressful year for everyone and I find myself wanting to think about the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives. As Founder & Director of ChemoWize I see women from young to old coping with the news that they have breast cancer. While I enjoy fussing about in ChemoWize Corner, our thrift store located in Wrightwood, as well as outreach at local schools and Farmer’s Markets, fundraisers and other
events, the real pleasure of my volunteer work is the women.

Women can be wise, empathetic, brave and philosophical – and also very funny. It is a privilege to be a small part of their journey, and to share both laughter and tears. I have learnt an enormous amount from women I have met through ChemoWize, beneficiaries, practitioners and volunteers alike, and have great respect for their ability to deal with what life brings.

Staying with the positive theme, we need to remember that at least 80% of women now survive their breast cancer – a massive improvement over the last 20 years – attributed to screening mammography, improved adjuvant therapy and increased awareness by women themselves. An enormous amount of research continues to be done. The ability to identify multiple genetic markers on the cancer now enables oncologists to help decide what the most appropriate treatment is for a woman after her surgery, identifying women who currently may not appear to require chemotherapy, but are at high risk, and also identify women who may seem to require chemotherapy, but are actually at low risk.

If, in these worrying times, with the added pressure of Christmas approaching, I have failed to lift your spirits, I have a suggestion. At the risk of sounding facetious or frivolous – if you are feeling low, may I suggest that you rent or buy the musical ‘Mamma Mia’. Fast-forward to the song ‘Dancing Queen’, turn up the volume really loud, share the joy in those women young and old – and dance as if you are still 17!

It works for me every time!

My best wishes to you all for the festive season and thank you for all the support you have given my organization.

Alex Peterson

Happy Thanksgiving!

I for one am happy to still be here with my loved ones and friends for yet another season of gratitude. I am focusing on being grateful for the family and friends who are still in my life – whether they have or have had cancer or other health problems. Being grateful that I am still here to celebrate life.

The older I get and the longer I survive, the more I realize how much of life really happens just between my own two ears and simply is my perception of the events that come up. I am luckily hardwired as a glass-is-half-full person, but that doesn’t mean I can’t work on improving my attitude of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving

Cancer reminded me to practice the skill of slowing time down and allowed me to get better at living in the moment – listening to music, practicing meditation, playing my instrument, having fun, and cultivating calmness and gratitude. As a survivor, I wish I had learned these calming life lessons sooner but it is never too late to get life in perspective and think of something to be grateful for every day.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Alex Peterson – Director

Blue Cut Fire Relief Efforts

blue-cut-reliefChemoWize Corner collected donations for the Blue Cut Fire Relief operation this month.  In co-ordination with Timberline Lions Club, 21 pick up trucks were filled to bursting with clothing, bedding, shoes, toys and household items.  Our volunteers organized donations on site.  Thank you Liz Wolf Spade, Tamie Keen, Kristina, Camille Gawryluk, Brenda Bautista. Michelle Schriener, Julie Park, Alexis Colony, Gayle Mahler, Stephanie Langmade, Eric Magana, Jenny Zumkley and everyone else who has pitched in so far. Thanks also to SnowCreek Dry Cleaners – Carol & Randy,  Timberline Lions Club President Carl Smith and drivers Terri & Judy Wright.

We Need Your Help

We need $1000!

Our July fundraiser “Rock The Lives We Love” became a remembrance for our beloved Adrianne, who passed away the week before the event. We did not raise the anticipated and much needed funds.

In August, as well as being evacuated for a week, ChemoWize spent a lot of time and resources on the Blue Cut Fire.  Many items from the thrift store stock were given to the families who suffered such terrible losses.

Additionally and unfortunately our thrift store ChemoWize Corner was robbed on Wednesday!  A female customer managed to take $120 from behind the counter.

To help us pay our bills to help women in need, please consider a direct donation securely via this website – just click on the donate button and you can help via PayPal, using a credit or debit card.  $5, $10 or $20 donations add up quickly!

Donations can also be mailed to ChemoWize, P.O. Box 429, Wrightwood, CA 92397 or dropped off at ChemoWize Corner, 1255 Apple Drive, Wrightwood (at the top of Park).