August 18, 2018

CAS 16

Everyone could use a little encouragement from time to time.  
There are a bazillion reasons someone might need a pick me up from going through an illness, relationship woes, working through a big life decision or just feeling a little lonely or unappreciated #teenagerswilldothattoyou
Wouldn't it be nice to have a stash of cards you could send to a friend or loved one who could use a bright spot in their day?  Our challenge is here to help you with that.  
On the 18th of each month we will start a new challenge with a new inspiration photo.

The rules are simple:
1. Using any products from your stash, make an *encouragement card* inspired by the photo or colors or both. It's totally your choice!
2. Link up here by 12am EST on the 13th
3. Share with your friends and followers so we can get the word out about our challenge.
*so, just what exactly do we mean by an encouragement card??
Anything that would brighten someone's day from I'm thinking of you, to sending you hugs to consolation and everything in between!*

One person will win a $25 gift code to use on anything in the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps store.  
All products are welcome! Seriously, use anything you have in your stash, but if you use CAS-ual Fridays stamps or dies on your card, Michele will DOUBLE your prize!!!


August 17, 2018

Calling All Sistahs August Reminder


3 years ago today I discovered a lump that turned out to be malignant in my left breast while doing a routine self exam. I had suddenly become 1 in 8. I wish they would post another number for survivorship. My gut tells me the number is way better than 1 in 8 and I'd really like to be part of that statistic instead!
This blog, and the Calling All Sistahs line of stamps and dies, designed to be able to donate 50% of its profits, was born while I was dealing with the decision making process of my diagnosis. 
It can be daunting but if you catch it early, I promise you that you'll want this task because choices go away with each stage.
Because of this, I have been so blessed with the friendship and support of a few truly amazing women who join me each month to help spread the word about awareness and the importance of early detection. 
They are my Sistahs. And they are your Sistahs too! 
I am not the only one with a story to tell. I simply started this platform.
I've invited our sistahs to tell their stories too hoping it will resonate with you. 
Are you doing your monthly self exams? 
Are you up to date on your mammogram? 
Have you taken time to take care of you and book a doctor's appointment?
Did you even know you need to do these things??
You matter! I can't stress that enough. 
Please read this story...she's here to tell it because she caught it early too!!

"For the better part of 2013 I spent my time between home and driving two hours to be with my mother at least once a week as she was under the care of Hospice. Many trips back and forth, back and forth. 



On October 16th while in the shower, I found a hard lump on my right breast. Did I immediately call the doctor…. no. I waited a couple of days because basically I didn’t want to deal with it. I had more important things to take care of…like my mom. 



A couple of days later I see my doctor. She did an ultrasound in the office and said it looked like nothing. Whew…what a relief! However, just to make sure, she wrote an order for a more thorough ultrasound. This is where the fun begins getting the insurance to approve this test and that test. What a nightmare! There is no sense of urgency with insurance companies. 


The extensive ultrasound was finally performed, and you guessed it, they found something unusual. Next, they wanted a biopsy…of course more waiting around because of the insurance. Into week three now I finally get the biopsy where I was in one of the fanciest Breast Cancer centers in Tampa Bay. They give you plush robes and slippers…I mean really, what could be so bad?!? While I am laying on this table with soft lighting above and a nurse holding my hand, the doctor performs the procedure. I walked out of there scared to death and now more waiting. 

Remember my mother? I am running to these appointments between making trips to see her. I was a wreck. We are now into the third week of November and mom is comatose and not expected to live through the weekend. Then while making dinner for my parents I get the dreaded phone call from my doctor…yes her personally, not a nurse, so of course you know it’s bad news. She wants to see me the following day to make some decisions. I drive two hours to see her, make the decision to do a bilateral mastectomy (because I am not going through this again), then call my dad who puts me on the speaker phone so the whole family can hear what I have to say. 

I am now a statistic. I am 1 in 8. 

One in eight women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The next morning, I put on my big girl panties and drove back to be with my mom and hold her hand as she passed away that night. I felt CHEATED! I may have been 53 when this happened to me, but I wanted my mama to see me through this. 

The rest of my story is like many other women who have walked this walk. Surgery, then meeting with Oncologists until you find one you absolutely love because let’s face it…this is the person that is going to get all that cancer out of your body and you will be like best friends for the next few years. The initial treatment of chemo lasts about four months, but because I was HER2 positive that meant I received yet another treatment that lasted 12 months. Then a maintenance drug. At my four year check-up, we discussed all the great percentages of women living longer who take the maintenance drug beyond the fifth year, so we have decided to continue with that treatment. 

I chose not to do reconstruction…Flat is fabulous and that’s my new normal. My curly hair came in straight (what the hell?), but that’s my new normal. I still have chemo brain after four years, but that’s my new normal. I am just thankful that I am here today, loving my family, watching my grandsons play soccer and living my life knowing that each day is a blessing. 

I am a survivor because my mother taught me how to check my sistahs in the shower. I caught it early. She saved my life."  
-Penny Ward








Come back tomorrow to join us for a new Encouragement Challenge!

August 15, 2018

CAS15 Winners

It's time to announce our newest batch of winners for the Calling All Sistahs Encouragement Challenge.  aka CAS15  This month we have a first.  I don't vote on winners unless there is a tie, so after tallying the numbers I looked to see which card I would choose.  We have had ties before, but this time the tie is between 2 cards made by the same person

Drumroll please.....

The winner of a $25 gift certificate to CAS-ual Fridays Stamps is: 

JANE



You can find her first card HERE.


Check out her second card and leave some love HERE.

Email Michele at info@cas-ualfridaysstamps.com to get your gift code to the CAS-ual Fridays store!
Don't forget to pick up your winners badge!!!