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One-fly fishing tournament on Bitterroot set for charity

FLY FISHING — Put some purpose in your fishing by joining a field of 30 anglers for the Bitterroot Valley Cast One for Hope single fly fishing competition.

The Oct. 4-5 event is a fundraiser to benefit Casting for Recovery, a non-profit organization offering support and educational retreats for women with breast cancer.  

It's not for everyone — entry fee is $1,000 — but the fee includes a kickoff party at a stunning Bitterroot riverside home, a full day guided drift boat outing, lunch and a celebration dinner at the Stock Farm Club.

·Cast One for Hope –Bitterroot Valley Single-Fly Fishing Event

·Oct. 4-5, 2013

·Hamilton, Mont.

·Fundraiser for Casting for Recovery

·Registration is open!

Bush Shaves Head For Cancer Victim

President George H.W. Bush with Patrick (last name withheld at family's request), 2, in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush this week joined members of his Secret Service detail in shaving his head to show solidarity for Patrick, who is the son of one of the agents. The child is undergoing treatment for leukemia and is losing his hair as a result. (AP Photo/Office of George Bush)

Question: Do you think you'd look good with a shaved head?

Sister’s Shaved Head Creates Row

Melanie Strandberg shaved her head to support her sister, Marisa Lowe. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

There was no doubt in Melanie Strandberg’s mind when her sister was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. She had to shave her head. She’d already done it once. Marisa Lowe, now 24, was first diagnosed with cancer in February 2012, and Strandberg shaved her hair to support the sister she calls her best friend. This time, when 25-year-old Strandberg’s employer told her she had to hide her bald head with a wig, there was no doubt in her mind what she had to do: She resigned. In a move that rapidly went viral, Strandberg quit her job as a salon supervisor at La Rive Spa at Northern Quest Resort and Casino last Thursday/Kaitlin Gillespie, SR. More here.

Question: Would you shave your head to support a friend diagnosed with cancer?

Woman Quits Job To Back Sick Sister

A Spokane woman who shaved her head as a show of solidarity for her sister who has cancer quit her job at Northern Quest Casino after she was made to feel embarrassed for shaving her head. Friends and family who shave their heads in support of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are sometimes told to cover up because their look is offensive. In this case Melanie Strandberg wouldn't stand for it, and her stand has sparked a firestorm of support from the worldwide cancer community. Melanie's sister Marissa has cancer. First it was ovarian but now cancer has attached her sister's colon. "She's amazing; she's the most amazing person I know," Strandberg said. Marissa's chemotherapy treatment starts this Thursday so, two weeks ago, to show her support for her sister, Strandberg shaved her head/Colleen O'Brien, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question: Am I the only one here who thinks Northern Quest Casino botched this situation, big time?

Study: Sunscreen Slows Aging

New research offers convincing proof that daily sunscreen use can slow the signs of aging and protect against cancer to boot. Wait. Daily? Yes, every day, the whole year round. Of those who took part in the years-long research and were assigned to use sunscreen daily — and presumably said in earnest, "Yes, we'll rub this on every single day" — most of them cheated. The researchers knew that because they periodically weighed the bottles of sunscreen. The team said that about three-quarters of those assigned to use sunscreen daily actually applied it three to four days a week, according to the Associated Press/Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you use sunscreen every time you're at the beach or have more skin exposed than usual?

Shopping: This One’s For the Girls

Life can be cruel. Erin Broughton Hughes and her mother, Claire, are both undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer. Erin, a single mother of two young boys, has a heart condition as do both of her sons.

As you can imagine, medical costs and bills are already piling up, so a group of local vintage vendors is putting together a tag sale tomorrow at the Bigelow Gulch Grange, north of Spokane.

Donations have poured in and the organizers have been busy gathering and pricing hundreds of items that will be for sale. In addition to gently used and household goods, toys, furniture, accessories and vintage items, raffle baskets will also be available.

By all accounts, tomorrow is going to be cold. But the sale, spearheaded by Unexpected Necessities' Jennifer Walker, offers a chance to do something that will leave you feeling a warmer and at the same time do some real good.


Note: If you are not able to make the sale, please consider making a donation to the Erin Broughton Hughes Benefit Fund. Drop by any Spokane Teachers Credit Union location and ask to donate money to the Erin or send a check to Kim Leighty at 3228 W Alice, Spokane WA 99205. Make the checks out to the "Erin Broughton Hughes Benefit fund."


Where: Bigelow Gulch Grange, 7001 E. Bigelow Gulch.

When:  Saturday, (Tomorrow) Nov. 10 9am-4pm


Cancer Survivors Increase By 1/3

The number of Americans living with cancer will increase by nearly a third to almost 18 million by 2022, according to a report released on Thursday by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Researchers found that even though the incidence rates of cancer are decreasing, the number of cancer survivors is on the rise due to a growing - and aging - U.S. population. The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age. The report concluded that the expanding population of cancer survivors makes it increasingly important that the medical community understand their unique healthcare needs/Debra Sherman, Reuters. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes of a woman applying makeup after losing hair during chemotherapy)

Question: Have you or a loved one survived cancer?

Take the time…save your life

Two people in my life have undergone surgery for cancer in the last 24 hours. Both cancers were found through diagnostic screening: colonoscopy and mammogram.

Our lives are so busy and we think we can put off those procedures – uncomfortable as they may be. But cancer cells wait for no one and move silently until we take notice.

 Make a call, get the appointment, drink the stuff they give you before the colonoscopy and take a friend to the mammogram and then go out for lunch. Whatever you need to entice yourself to honor the promises made to others to take good care of yourself.

I made that promise and eight years ago a routine mammogram found wildly aggressive cancer cells. I am here today. Oh, the joy I would have missed had I thought that my daily routine was more important than pausing for that screening test. Those silent cells would have killed me.

 Make the appointment – a gesture of love toward your family as well as toward yourself.

(S-R archives photo: cancer survivor George Karl encourages people in the fight against the disease.)

Aspirin A Day Keeps Cancer Away?

Many doctors recommend that patients take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk for a future heart attack or stroke. Now three new studies suggest taking the cheap powdery pill every day can also reduce a person's risk for cancer, or prevent the disease from getting worse in patients who already have it. The studies, all led by Professor Peter M. Rothwell, a professor of clinical neurology at the University of Oxford in the U.K. are published in the March 20 issue of The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology/Ryan Jaslow, CBS News. More here.

Question: Do you take an aspirin daily?

Beauty Queen Cuts Hair For Charity

Miss Chugiak-Eagle River Debbe Ebben poses for a photo on Wednesday in Town Square Park in Anchorage, Alaska, as a moose lies near a tree in the background . Ebben, who will compete for the title of Miss Alaska in June, had her head shaved to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which gives grants for child cancer research. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

Question: Is there a cause that would prompt you to shave your head to raise money for?

Future Of Snakepit In Jeopardy

Rocky Mountain Oysters have been on the menu at the Enaville Resort since the 1950's. Now, the dish, as well as the future of the Snakepit, are in jeopardy as owners Joe & Rose Mary Peak battle health issues. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Joe Peak (pictured) remembers the first time he walked into the Snakepit. “The bar was three deep with loggers and miners,” Peak said. A jewel- bedecked, elaborately dressed woman tended the bar. Paintings and stuffed animals and Western memorabilia covered the walls and hung from the ceiling. Smoke thickened the air. It was January 1978. “It was surreal, it really was,” he said. “A pretty rowdy bunch.” Within weeks, he owned the place with a partner. Since then, Peak and his wife, Rose Mary, have kept the Snakepit, aka the Enaville Resort, open virtually every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas – a place for a meal, a drink (legal or otherwise), some gossip, a dish of complimentary huckleberry ice cream and a blast of wood-hewn “atmosphere”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever eaten Rocky Mountain oysters?

Health Issues Force Snakepit To Shut

The future of the historic Enaville Resort (also known as the Snakepit) is uncertain now that owners Joe and Mary Peak are both battling cancer. Visitors to the famed eatery/tavern found this message on a whiteboard under the word "CLOSED" printed in capital letters Friday: "Due to ongoing medical issues we will be closed for some projects. It has been our sincere pleasure to serve you since 1978 - 2 days closed each year! Stay in touch … Rose Mary & Joe need your support." In a Coeur d'Alene Press weekend story, Peak, who has operated the Enaville Resort with his wife since 1978, said he had a stem cell transplant in his battle with cancer and his wife is in Hospice care. He said quietly: "I don't know what we're going to do." The Shoshone News-Press is asking readers for testimonials for a special edition to be devoted to the Peaks. You can read a 1997 SR story by Bekka Rauve about them here. And see a 2007 video by Annie Bishop here.

Question: When did you last visit the Snakepit (Enaville Resort)?

Idaho Teen Dies After Birthing Son

In this Dec. 6 photo, Jenni Lake's son, Chad Michael Lake Wittman, drinks from a bottle at the family's home in Pocatello. Jenni Lake, who decided against treatment for tumors on her brain and spine so she could carry the baby, died of cancer on Nov. 21, 12 days after giving birth to Chad. (AP Photo/James B. Hale)

Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy the month before her 18th birthday, though she was not destined to become just another teenage mother. That much, she knew. While being admitted to the hospital, she pulled her nurse down to her at bed level and whispered into her ear. The nurse would later repeat the girl's words to comfort her family, as their worst fears were realized a day after Jenni's baby was born. "She told the nurse, 'I'm done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe,'" said Diana Phillips, Jenni's mother/Jessie L. Bonner, AP. More here. (AP photo)


Transplant recipients at risk for 32 kinds of cancer

As if it's not stressful enough to wait, receive, recover and pay for an organ transplant these days, the National Institutes of Health reported this disturbing news yesterday:

Organ transplant recipients in the United States have a high risk of developing 32 different types of cancer, according to a new study of transplant recipients which fully describes the range of malignancies that occur. Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and their colleagues evaluated medical data from more than 175,700 transplant recipients, accounting for about 40 percent of all organ transplant recipients in the country. The results of this study appeared in the Nov. 2, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cashy’s Tumor Returns

Cashy Hyde is one of those kids you don't forget. When I met him in April, he was about to turn 3 and didn't seem to have a care in the world. He was playing with his brother, climbing on his dad's lap and, generally, just being a kid. Behind those big brown eyes (and, gorgeous long eyelashes), you could barely see a hint of all that he'd been through. He played quietly while his dad told the tale of a brain tumor diagnosis, more near-death experiences than you can count and of the uncertainty of knowing whether or not your child would live until morning. Mike Hyde also told me — unflinchingly — of his decision to give his Cashy cannabis oil in his feeding tube to help ease his pain and cure his nausea. It was easy for Mike to tell the story - he believed in what he did. And, his son was finally cancer-free with his whole life ahead of him/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

DFO: This one hits close to home. I have a child who was diagnosed with a cancer tumor at 3 months old. I know what it's like to sit in a waiting room while a doctor operates to save his life. And what it's like to watch him sick in a hospital room as a result of chemotherapy when the world goes on around you.

Question: Have you ever thanked God for the health of your children?

INW News: Fighting Cancer Homeless

Alicia Ponce-Myers, 12, has spent the past month in a Sacred Heart Children's Hospital room recovering from cancer. Alicia and her family, from Tonasket, Wash., are homeless and lived in a tent. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Bennett: Can You Hear Me Now?

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Harmon Killebrew Ends Cancer Fight

Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew says he will no longer fight esophageal cancer and is settling in for the final days of his life. The Minnesota Twins released a statement on Friday from Killebrew, who was diagnosed with the disease in December. "It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end," the former Twins and Washington Senators star said. "With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors' expectation of cure"/ESPN.com. More here. (AP file photo: Harmon Killebrew poses with a statue of him unveiled near Target Field in Minneapolis April 3, 2010.)

Question: Did you know that baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew is from Payette, Idaho?

State bar to honor Clark posthumously

Spokane lawyer John Clark will be honored posthumously this week by the Washington State Bar Association.

Clark's wife, Superior Court Judge Ellen Kalama Clark, and son, Steven Clark, will accept Local Hero Award on his behalf Friday during a meeting of the WSBA Board of Governors at the Davenport Hotel. 

Also honored will be Spokane lawyer Paul B. Mack.

Clark, a legendary local defense lawyer known for representing clients pro bono, died of cancer last October. He was 58.

“John was always an advocate for the oppressed and downtrodden,” according to a prepared statement by his law partners, James Domanico and Robert Crary. “He exemplified his professionalism by giving back to the community, his friends and his clients, who would soon become his friends. John was instrumental in changing the law on a number of occasions and was also first in line to help a fellow attorney.”

Said Spokane County Public Defender John Rodgers, “All of my contacts with John and the many people he influenced reflect a person whose candor, diligence and motives surpassed our highest standards of professionalism and greatly benefited on our legal community.”

In March 2010, the Spokane County Bar Association presented Clark with the Smithmoore P. Myers Professionalism Award; the same month, Clark was named an honorary member of the Spokane County Public Defender’s Office.

Robotic surgery the way of the future…

Good morning, Netizens…

As many of you know, my wife Suzanne recently was diagnosed as having uterine cancer, which suddenly drove the fear of God into both of us. Fortunately, thanks to Sacred Hearth and Cancer Care Northwest, we had caught the cancer in its earliest stages, and she was faced with a hysterectomy which, by itself, could have been a prolonged and very expensive operation. However, this picture of the robotics table which has dramatically decreased the amount of time patients routinely spend in post-operative cancer surgery and has made the world of difference to patients of a wide variety of maladies.

She went into surgery on a Monday and returned home in two days, which is an abrupt comparison to two to three weeks. Instead of an lengthy midriff incision there were five tiny slits less than four inches across; she was actually on the table for less than two hours, and was in recovery, conscious and talking to me within hours.

As we found out, not all surgeries can be done robotically. In some instances, due to abnormalities inside the abdominal cavity, while the surgeon may begin the procedure robotically, they may have to abort the robotic procedure and be forced to perform the surgery manually which takes longer and is more expensive.

Suffice it to say, Suzie has returned to work now and is nearly healed. We were so fortunate, in that the surgery was done professionally, with a high degree of professionalism, and thanks to this wonderful device, she is now recovered and on her way to well-being for which we are eternally grateful.


Suzie is back home!


Good evening, Netizens…


End of day three…


Closest to my heart is that my Suzie is back home from The House of Pain on the South Hill, having had her cancerous uterus removed during a robotic surgical procedure two days ago. I must hereby make a promise to myself, that in the near future I will diligently explore the technology involved because, despite all I may have stated in the past about the cost of surgical medicine in Spokane, in this instance having a 3 million dollar piece of state-of-the-art equipment installed at Sacred Heart easily saved us as much as ten thousand dollars or more.


Removal of a woman's uterus, fallopian tubes and associated reproductive organs using the old-fashioned surgical means, sometimes meant a woman could spend as much as a week to three weeks abed in the hospital, depending upon complications. The robotic technology reduces that painful time to under three days. In two short days after her surgical procedure, Suzie is back home, sitting up unattended and walking; gingerly, but walking nonetheless.


I can only speak glowing volumes about the quality of care we received from Cancer Care Northwest http://www.cancercarenorthwest.com/ and the physicians who attended to Suzie since our ordeal began. Suzie's oncologist, Dr. Melanie Bergman, spent a fair amount of time explaining the procedure and answered all our questions in a gentle, caring manner before and after the robotic procedure.


We are not out of the woods quite yet, though, as there is still a pathology study to be completed, making certain that the cancer has not spread, and that there are no further complications. We are keeping our fingers crossed. I will keep everyone informed as we continue through this process. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.



To explain my absences and other things…


Good morning, Netizens…


Thank God it's Friday!


I have studiously avoided mentioning anything related to the ailment that Suzie and I have known about for nearly a month, simply because Suzie did not want to make a “big thing” out of it, and seriously wanted to avoid any public notice. Unlike your truly, she is extremely reticent about sharing the details of her personal life, and until she finally began sharing bits and pieces of her malady, I was content to always let her have her way, and I remained closed-mouth about her cancer and the diagnoses we have received, other than a few friends who I swore to silence upon a number of dire threats.


However, once she let the cat out of the bag, telling a few friends about what was going on, and when one of them immediately blabbed all she knew to the rest of the free world, I no longer felt I had to sit on my hands, hence this morning's entry.


For you see, Suzie has uterine cancer. As opposed to the initial diagnosis, which scared the bejesus out of us both, we now know that on a scoring scale of one-to-ten, ten being the highest severity, she has scored a one, and according to her oncologist, thus is an excellent candidate for robotic surgery. If all goes according to the plan, she will actually be in the hospital for a day while they perform the actual surgery robotically, with an in-home recuperation period of as much as a month. According to the oncologist, if everything works as planned, she has an excellent chance of total recuperation.


Both of us have extensively researched not only the kind of cancer she has on the Internet, and all the possible treatment methods that modern medical science can give us, but even the type of non-invasive removal of her uterus and all the other female plumbing that procedure may include. We are both quite confident that everything will work out, and that everything that can be done has already been done or will be done within the next few weeks.


However, this ordeal has been frightening, to say the very least. I have lost track of the number of hours we have spent sleepless, tossing and turning as we contemplated unraveling our lives together, and of all the ugly possibilities that could take place. I will keep everyone updated as we approach the closure of this arduous affair.



Payette’s Killebrew Battles Cancer

Former Minnesota Twins baseball player Harmon Killebrew poses with a statue of him unveiled near Target Field in Minneapolis in this April 3, 2010, file photo. Killebrew, a native of Payette, Idaho, played major league baseball for 22 years and was the American MVP in 1969 and lead the Twins to the World Series in 1965. The Hall of Famer issued a statement today re: his battle with esophageal cancer. More here. (AP Photo/Andy King)

Question: Who is the greatest athlete to come from Idaho?

Paddlers float program for cancer kids

PADDLING — If you’re looking for inspiration tonight, check out the free First Descents program at the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club meeting.

“The River Ward” is a documentary that chronicles the experiences of four individuals as they attend a First Descents week-long kayak camp for young adults with cancer. First Descents was founded 10 years ago by professional kayaker Brad Ludden to help cure young adults of the emotional effects of cancer and empowering them to regain control of their lives by experiencing outdoor adventure therapy through kayaking, rock climbing and other outdoor adventure sports.

The program starts at 7 p.m. at the Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland.


Defense lawyer John Clark dead at 58

The common man has lost one of his best advocates.

John Clark, a prominent local defense attorney, died this morning following a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

Earlier this year, the Spokane Bar Association honored Clark with the 2010 Smithmoore P. Myers Professionalism Award for Clark’s passion in working — often without pay — to help residents in legal trouble.

“There was once a comment made by Gandhi,” said Robert Crary, Clark’s partner of 30 years told The Spokesman-Review in March “that nobody is beyond redemption. It’s the way (Clark) looks at the world.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse’s story here.

Reed scheduled for cancer surgery

OLYMPIA — Secretary of State Sam Reed will have cancer surgery Monday in Seattle, his office announced this morning. He’s expected to return to work after a brief recovery period.

Reed, 69, was diagnosed recently with the early stages of kidney cancer: “Thanks to early detection and diagnosis, my doctors say my prognosis for successful surgery and recovery is excellent.” 

Relay for Life Touches Lives

The live band could be heard across town.  The fireworks erupted and ignited in the dark of night.  A huge crowd of people marched around the track.  Simply said, Greyhound Event Center was bustling with a cause Friday night: cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s annual event, Relay for Life, was held in Post Falls overnight Friday and well into Saturday.  This memorable event started at six o’clock Friday evening and ran until noon Saturday.  Volunteer groups, schools, clubs, families, and individuals gathered together to remember those who have passed on, commend those who have survived, and celebrate the cure the future promises.

Those participating were asked to raise funds by having others pledge money for the cause based on the number of laps the participants walked around the track.  In addition, groups collectively raised funds with activities, sales, and concessions.  The unbelievable monetary and social support for the American Cancer Society makes Relay for Life memorable and unique.

Second Round of Chemo for Chatterbox

chatterbox on May 22 at 10:50 a.m.

Chilian Sea Bass. Blackened for the hubby & birthday boy (who turns 16 today)…maybe a little lemon pepper for me. The stomach is a little queasy today. 2nd round of chemo yesterday.

Please join me in keeping Chatterbox in our thoughts and prayers.

Husky: Media Foster Cancer Scare

The media seem to have their focus on cancer recently, constantly giving the public updates on studies and causes. With all of this flying at us at once, how can one possibly take it all in and therefore heed the advice given? Jade Goody (pictured), a British reality show star who got her fame on “Big Brother,” is a 27-year-old terminally ill cancer patient. Her cervical cancer spread to her liver, groin and bowel, and she has said she will die during March. She’s done various interviews about her illness and even wed her husband on TV Feb. 22. “I’ve lived in front of cameras,” Goody told the Daily Mail Reporter. “And maybe I’ll die in front of them”/Kelsey Husky, UI Argonaut. More here.

Question: Kelsey Husky goes on to say that studies show that cancer is more survivable than ever. She goes on to say that the media should provide updates on possible cures rather than focus largely on dying patients. Do you agree?

Former state Rep. Mary Skinner dies at 63…

Former state Rep. Mary Skinner died this morning at her home in Yakima, less than a year after announcing that she was stepping down from her legislative seat to battle colon cancer. She was 63.

Elected to the House in 1994, Skinner served 14 years in Olympia, including two as vice chair of the House Republican caucus. The daughter of migrant workers in California, she spent virtually all her life in the Yakima Valley, moving to Wapato with her family when she was 3 months old.

Among the bills she championed in Olympia: double fines in school zones, a car seat safety law, hiring a state poet laureate, and extending insurance coverage to cover colon cancer screening. She pushed for state money to revamp Yakima’s downtown, including the Capitol Theatre.

Skinner was diagnosed in early 2006, undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After a brief remission, the cancer returned.

Skinner was married for 40 years to Henry Harlow “Hal” Skinner Jr., a surgeon. Dr. Skinner died Jan. 17 at 88.

The two will be honored at a joint funeral service, which is still being scheduled.