My daughter Mackenzie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in January 2014. Despite being the most common form of childhood cancer that has a very prescribed protocol with better-than-most survival rates, the diagnosis petrified me. My nine-year-old had cancer.
Nothing could have prepared me for all that would mean in the next two years, but there were a few things that helped my family navigate this new world. I share the following in hopes that it will help others in similar situations navigate their journeys.
Helpful advice from a registered dietician -- just in time for National Nutrition Month
Why is your weight the first thing people often notice about you? What’s so important about being weighed each time you have an appointment with your health care team?
Well, a healthy weight is crucial during cancer. Body weight is one of the vital signs or body measurements that are monitored during cancer treatments. Just as blood pressure and pulse reflect your health at one point in time, your body weight pattern too gives insight into your health. Changes in your weight may come from the side effects of your cancer, treatment plan, food intake and/or your body’s increased nutritional needs.
Corporations usually have enough on their plate, just taking care of business, but at least one has found a creative way to also help generate millions of dollars to fund blood cancer research, education and patient services.
Outerwall, the Seattle-based company behind the Coinstar network of coin-counting kiosks, partners with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through a “Pennies for Patients” program that has thousands of schools raising money for the cause. School teachers, administrators and volunteers simply take their donations to a Coinstar location (there are 17,000 around the nation) and select LLS as their charity. Almost 90 percent of Coinstar kiosks include LLS, and consumers direct about 85 percent of their charitable coin donations to LLS.