Holiday Season!

We are grateful for all of the wonderful people we’ve met on this journey, many of whom are or have gone through exactly the same things we’ve gone through. They remind us that even when we are alone, we never have to be lonely.

Emotional Support!

Breast cancer awareness has resulted in hundreds of millions in donations to charities just in the United States alone. However, these funds have been almost exclusively applied to research for a future cure of the disease while emotional support to patients with life-threatening conditions who need immediate attention today has been largely ignored.

Lotus Survival Foundation believes that providing emotional support to women today is just as critical as searching for a future cure. Every woman deserves to receive emotional support regardless of socio-economic status and financial condition.

Positive Affirmations help!

Re-train the brain with positive affirmations and daily reminders. The more positive self-talk we have, the happier we are. We can make our positive self talk into a belief and habit. Each day say positives that work on your negatives. Example: I'm feeling sad and unsuccessful because I have been unemployed for over six months. Each morning when you wake up tell yourself how smart and successful you are. For added support say it in the morning and night. After a few weeks of saying this, it will become a habit and a belief. I have to admit the first few weeks I used this technique, I laughed at my positive talk but after 2-3 weeks of it, I believed my positive comments and it became a habit and I felt better overall.

Poem in tribute to Anita, my late mother-in-law

A Life Well-Lived
By Karen Michelle Raines
It went on forever, it seemed, without end,
The slow, steady stream of her family and friends.
And I was among them, my husband her son,
Accepting embraces from others who’d come
To pay their respects and bid her farewell,
Each with a favorite story to tell
Recalling her thoughtfulness, beauty and wit,
How young she still was, and how tragic was it
That cancer had claimed such a one so adored
By all who had known her and who had done more
Than most, they believed, in service to others,
Balancing all with her role as a mother
Whose passion for family she helped to instill
In all of her children as she fulfilled
Plans for reunions in which she’d take part,
Investing in each dedication and heart.
She savored such times with her family and friends
And the vacations she blissfully spent
Traveling to all but two of the states,
To beaches, to mountains, through deserts, to lakes,
Golfing, antiquing, playing tennis and teas –
She and her husband just happy to be
Doing whatever, wherever, together,
There for each other for good and forever.
The years of her cancer, two decades plus one,
She fought to ensure that it robbed them of none
Of what they considered life’s principal pleasures:
Time spent together, moments to treasure,
Service to God and to family and man,
Being and doing the best that they can
’Til finally the day had come, at long last,
Her future eclipsed by a richly lived past.
The things that eluded her, just out of reach –
A chance to see England and once more the beach,
A church confirmation she wished she could be
There for her grandson and his family.
Yet these were all minor, in contrast, she knew,
To all that she had and had loved the years through:
Her children, her grandkids, her husband, her life.
She loved being a mother, a grandma, a wife.
No matter what hadn’t been crossed off her list,
How blessed was she to be loved and be missed.

3 things to do when something unexpected happens!

Stop. If you feel pressured to make a decision, stop what you're doing. GIve yourself a chance to think before acting.
Assess your options. Don't waste time wishing things were different. Think about the best outcome in the given situation, the information you have at hand, and the available resources. Then lay out your options.
Move forward. Based on your new assessment, make a decision and commit. Even if the decision isn't ideal, accept that it's the best under the circumstances.

Breast Cancer Prevention!

To help prevent breast cancer and recurrence, it is important for all women to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many factors contribute to breast cancer recurrence; therefore, the risk of recurrence is different for every woman.
However, there are steps that all breast cancer patients can take that may increase their chances of remaining cancer free. The following checklist includes some of the important steps...

Click here for the checklist!

Pets are a wonderful support!

PAWS: Pets are wonderful support.
Check the articles on pet/people bonds, safely caring for pets when you're immunocompromised.
PAWS Website (click education, then library)


Help us by donating your extra concert, theater, food, and sports tickets to our Foundation. Find more information here.
Thanks for your support!

Key of Achievement

When you devote your life to achieving your goal, you will not be bothered by shallow criticism. In fact, nothing important can be accomplished if you allow yourself to be swayed by some trifling matter, always looking over your shoulder and wondering what others are saying or thinking.

The key to achievement is to move forward resolutely along your chosen path.

Testimonials of the survivors who participated in Lotus Survival Foundation's St. Petersburg Retreat. Nice to hear good things about the foundation and the retreat!

Images of days 3 and 4

Day 3
Day 4

Mind, Body, and Soul Retreat

By Tesh Parekh:

Mica and I are honored to be the part of Lotus Survival Foundation‘s first retreat in St. Petersburg, FL. We travelled with Claudia & Jose Aguirre and more than 25 cancer survivors from Raleigh. We are currently in Florida, photographing and videographing the complete retreat. The retreat will feature speakers and sessions to help the cancer survivors heal their mind, body and soul. We will be posting more images and video clips over next few days.

- Tesh and Mica Parekh

IWP Photography

Attend our Pink Carpet Event at the Mint Restaurant

Join us on March 24 for our Pink Carpet Event at the Mint Restaurant in downtown Raleigh to support our fundraising.

Get the details for the event" target="blank"> here.

Receive 10% off online purchase
Receive FREE copy of Facing The Mirror With cancer- A guide book to using Make up to make a difference
10% of all sales using code Lotus at checkout- will be donated to
* Lori Ovitz,author of
Facing The mirror With Cancer using Cover FX , will be doing a workshop at our May Retreat*

Article about Lotus Survival Foundation Retreat

Article about Lotus Survival Foundation Retreat
17 Feb 2011 8:55 PM | Claudia Aguirre (Administrator)
Very proud that we received a note saying that the retreat from Lotus Survival Foundation is a truly wonderful way to refresh and keep survivors motivated and at peace with their lives! Claudia was recently interviewed by the Daily Southerner about the foundation.

Chemical Free Deodorant: Great to use during and after Radiation Therapy

Great Chemical Free Deodorant: Great to use during and long term after Radiation Therapy.

When I was going through Radiation Therapy and for a very long time after I was extremely concerned about using deodorants with all the harmful chemicals. I was so afraid that they would easily absorb into the skin where I had my scars from removing lymph nodes and where my skin was tender and sensitive from the radiation. I found the best option to be by Nature’s Gate.

About Nature's Gate: Our Certified Organic essences are fresh from the field, locally grown in California on land dedicated to growing Nature’s Gate botanical essences. At the family owned Organic farm, each plant receives individual care, ensuring the highest purity and quality. The farm’s water source is derived from the winter rains and snow pack of the Sierra Nevada’s.

-Paraben Free

-No Propylene Glycol

-No Aluminum

-With Baking Soda to help neutralize odor

Parabens and Breast Cancer: The Link is Strong

Sometimes it’s tempting to ditch the no-paraben rule, especially if that pretty pink lip gloss is just what’s doctor ordered on a gloomy day. But even if the gloss is pretty, parabens themselves are perhaps the ugliest ingredients out there.

It was once believed that parabens, known as esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, are not stored in human tissue. However, scientific findings prove the contrary. When rubbed into the skin, parabens are rapidly absorbed and metabolized. They also accumulate in the human body. In 2002, parabens, due to their estrogenic activity were found to cause increased uterine growth in animals. The same study first linked parabens to proliferation of two estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells.

Two years later, parabens were found in breast milk and breast cancer tumors. In a 2004 study, tests found parabens in breast cancer tumors of nineteen out of twenty women with breast cancer. This study, while small and statistically insignificant, proves the ability of paraben preservatives to penetrate skin and accumulate in living tissue, such as breasts.

While keeping bacteria off, preservatives themselves often act as contaminants and powerful skin allergens. The hypothalamus, the ovaries, the thyroidundefinedparabens affect virtually every system, even though their action is much milder than that of natural estrogens and other xenoestrogens (synthetic estrogens that mimic natural hormones). In the body parabens mimic our own hormones and can have an endocrine-disrupting action.

Top Ten Foods to Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

You can make specific food choices to reduce your breast cancer risk according to new medical research. In other words, you can choose to proactively fight breast cancer now instead of waiting around to become another breast cancer victim. Unfortunately, most women receive their cancer prevention education from their oncologists (cancer doctor) after a cancer diagnosis.

Many of the foods on the list below are powerful antioxidants that protect your body from free radical damage. Free radicals, unless neutralized, cause mutations in your DNA leading to breast cancer. In general, it is best to consume antioxidants through food, but in some cases, it might be more effective to use supplements because you can get a higher dose.

Here are Top 10 Foods to Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer:

1. Carrots. Carrots have been shown to be rich in natural substances like falcarinol and beta-carotene that may reduce breast cancer risk. Falcarinol is inactivated by heat or cooking, so consuming raw carrots is important. Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring antioxidant that gives carrots their orange hue and is a precursor for vitamin A.

2. Green Tea. Green tea is rich in potent polyphenol antioxidants like EGCG that can help protect us from oxidative stress and inflammation. The recommended amount to consume is 2 to 4 cups per day, or you can take a green tea supplement.

3. Apples. Research studies report that apple extracts can support normal breast health in multiple ways. Interestingly, consuming higher amounts of apple extract provided greater support. In order to get enough apple nutrients for the full benefits, I recommend taking an apple extract supplement daily, plus eating 1 whole apple at least a few times weekly.

4. Fiber. Scientists believe fiber may support normal breast health in several important ways. Getting enough is very important, so aim for 30 or more grams of soluble fiber every day. You have to plan ahead to eat this amount. I blend a fiber powder into my daily protein shake. Raspberries, pears and apples are three of the best fiber-rich fruits, while oatmeal, corn, beans, nuts, and popcorn are tasty ways to get more.

5. Omega-3 Oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oil-rich fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines. Researchers have proposed several mechanisms for the breast supportive effects ofomega-3 fatty acids including support for normal immune system function and reduced inflammation.

6. Flaxseed. Flaxseeds can support normal breast health, not only because they contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, but also because they contain special substances called lignans. A key study reported that a high blood level of lignans might help support normal breast health.

7. Walnuts. Nutritional analysis of walnuts reveals that they contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols, all of which have been reported to support normal breast health.

8. Pomegranates. Pomegranate is a fruit with juicy ruby-red seeds. It contains many beneficial antioxidants in the same chemical class as green tea antioxidants. Scientists believe that the numerous substances in pomegranate “team up” to support normal breast health.

9. Broccoli. Broccoli is a member of the family of cruciferous vegetables, which have long been studied for the potential health and nutritional benefits. Laboratory studies suggest that two of the naturally occurring compounds in broccoli, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, might help support normal breast health.

10. Low-Glycemic Foods. A diet rich in foods with a high glycemic index have been reported to have negative effects on human health. Reducing sugary, high glycemic index foods from your diet is an easy way to support normal breast health. The best low glycemic or medium glycemic foods you can eat include lean protein, high-fiber cereals, fruits and vegetables, nuts, brown rice, pasta, and whole grain bread.

Research continues to show that we can make diet and lifestyle choices to reduce risk of breast cancer. While the foods above are important foods, they are not the only foods that might help. Other potentially good choices include vitamin D3-rich foods (salmon, shrimp, cod, and fortified dairy products), grapes (resveratrol), tomatoes (lycopene), spinach (lutein), garlic (allium compounds), berries (anthocyanins), and turmeric (curcumin).

Choose to start reducing your risk today. Be proactive. Fight now.

Coffee Protects Body from Cancer and Slows Down Aging

Coffee can be good for you!!! No matter what you have heard about coffee being harmful, moderation is the key to success, doctors say. Research conducted by American biologists revealed that two to three cups a day is more than enough to provide protection for the heart, slightly increase metabolism and even reduce appetite if you have excessive weight issues. Coffee has as much antioxidants as green tea, which means in theory it protects body from cancer and slows down aging.

Sweet Success

Until now, rhubarb's benefits were thought to be limited to taste. But the herb may hold promise as a cancer-fighter, according to researchers at Sheffield Hallman University and the Scottish Crop Research Institute. When baked for 20 minutes, British garden rhubarb showed a 167 percent increase in anti-cancerous polyphenols, chemicals that kill or prevent the growth of cancer cells.

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