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No one ever thinks they will develop cancer. Cassandra Lewis-Moore was one of those people. The 34-year-old thought there was a possibility she would get diabetes as it'runs'in her family, but she never thought cancer would happen to her. But during the eighth month of pregnancy with her first child in October 2010, she felt a huge lump in one of her breasts. She knew something was wrong. She sought medical attention.
"It was very large, and it shouldn't have been there,"recalled Lewis-Moore."I'd never felt anything like that before. It didn't hurt, but it was very hard and very big. But because the breasts were so large you couldn't see it."
Because she was pregnant, her doctor ordered an ultrasound of the breast and concluded it was breast milk that would go away once she started breastfeeding. Lewis-Moore, a newlywed and her husband, Kevin welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Andreus, who they call"KJ"into the family. In the months after her son's birth, she noticed her breast size decreasing, but the lump getting bigger and protruding through the skin and not disappearing like the doctor had told her it would. It had started to hurt. It was a pain she chalked up to tenderness from breastfeeding. That was until the day she was playing with a then crawling"KJ"and like all babies do, he kneed her in the breast. The pain was excruciating. She remembers actually pushing her baby away from her so suddenly that she scared him. She thought about what the doctors had told her, and massaged her breast and put hot towels on it to help dissolve the milk. But it was the day that she took a"me day"in January 2011, and headed to the spa for a massage. As the therapist worked on her back, she said it was so painful she could not complete the therapy. That pain sent her back to her doctor.
Her doctor requested a mammogram. The result showed hardened milk. Her doctor requested a lumpectomy to remove the hardened mass, which was done in March 2011. The mass was tested and the result returned as Stage 2 breast cancer. The cancer cells were actually inside the hardened breast milk.
FRIGHT TAKES HOLD
Lewis-Moore was scared--not because it had taken so long to determine she had breast cancer--she was mad because she wondered what would happen to her family after she'd waited so long to get married and have a child, and then to be diagnosed with cancer while still a newlywed and a new mother.
"In my 20s, it was all about education and my career--so in my 30s, it was about getting married. And I'm the only girl and the last child in my family, so it was a big thing[for me to get married and have a child], and to be told this[that I had cancer]. I thought, what was going to happen to my family?"
Lewis-Moore began her battle with the deadly cancer cells. She celebrated her baby's first birthday one week before she began chemotherapy treatment. And she did her best to keep her energy up over the months of treatment for her child, who was too young to understand that his mom was sick.
"He just knows one day mommy had hair that he used to pull,"says Lewis-Moore who boldly sports a bald head no hair caps for her."The tough part was when we were playing one day and I had already started chemo, and he pulled on my hair, and a whole clump came out in his hand and fell on his face. He just dropped it and ran. He was scared. But other than that, mommy is still mommy. Sometimes, she can still play; sometimes, she can't because she's very tired."
She's finished with chemo, but will have to take additional treatment because she was diagnosed as HER2-positive. This is a diagnosis for people who have a protein called human epidermal growth factor that promotes the growth of cancer cells. HER2-positivebreast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. They're also less responsive to hormone treatment. However, treatments that specifically target HER2 are very effective.
"I'm going to have to do additional treatments, but they're not as severe as the chemo, and they want me to do radiation, and we're still setting that up."
The road to survivor isn't quite finished yet, but Lewis-Moore begs to differ. "I had a lump--the cancer was there, and they took the lump out, and the cancer hadn't spread."
Even though chemo was a downside, Lewis-Moore has come out on the other side with a friend--a 31-year-old who had to have an immediate double mastectomy because her cancer was spreading like wildfire.
"Chemo was rough; I will not lie,"she says."It is not rough for everyone, but for those who have the illnesses after the chemo, make sure you have a strong support system at home and at work."
BRINGING SEXY BACK
She is now on a slow road to bringing sexy back. She's walking at least 20 minutes a day as recommended by her doctor, and looking forward to the fabulous new breasts she will soon be getting. She had a partial mastectomy on one breast, but to put safety measures in place for her future, she wants to have a double mastectomy then get those"fabulous new breasts"with which will come a tummy tuck. The surgery she will have done, a TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction, which is the gold standard in breast construction, removes some of her stomach skin and fat, to reconstruct her breasts and fill them in.
As she battled the disease, she admits that she was not always as confident as she is today and says at one point, she really stopped trying and didn't bother with anything. But after a month or two, she said to hell with it--that she was going to live her life and have fun. She was going to dress up and go out and rock her bald head.
When she first started to lose her hair, which was natural, her cousin took her to his barber and she got a low haircut. The hair continued to come out, so she told her husband to shave off the rest. Right after she did that, Lewis-Moore, who works for BAF Financial and Insurance Bahamas Ltd., the coordinators behind Denim Day in the country for 14 years in raising monies for a cure, says she had to attend a company awards ceremony to which she wore a head-wrap. For a week she wore different head-wraps until she was hit by a hot flash at work. All she wanted to do was get naked, but she couldn't at work. The best thing for her to do was remove the head-wrap. That was the last day she wore one.
Removing the head-wrap liberated her and gave her confidence.
"I had another coworker who had breast cancer and her advice to me was to just wear makeup, but I couldn't wear that because I sweat too much, so I would just draw on my eyebrows if I remembered in the mornings. One morning, I woke up, was washing my face, looked in the mirror and said,"By damn, I don't have any eyebrows, eyelashes, nothing. So some days, I had eyebrowsâEUR¦some days, I didn't and I put on my lip-gloss, put on my earrings and was out the door."
The cancer survivor is excited for her future. And she says cancer does not have to be a death sentence. She says women need to take their health seriously and check things out because they know their bodies, and know when something is wrong. She encourages them to get bumps or moles that they hadn't seen before checked out.
For anyone who has been newly diagnosed with breast cancer or will be diagnosed in the future, Lewis-Moore says she has learned that you need to have a strong support system at home and at work, both of which she had.
Through her battle, Lewis-Moore was thankful for the support she received from her husband, and also thankful that he had a group of friends with wives, sisters or mothers that had breast cancer that he could talk to.
"It was tough, because being a newlywed and fairly young, and I didn't have urges. It just wasn't there. I was miserable in the sense that I did not want to be bothered and I did not want to be here."
But she says her husband's support, as well as that of her family--her mother traveled from Grand Bahama to stay with them for six months--and her aunts and cousins helped by keeping the baby some days and make certain she was okay, especially after days when she endured eight-hour chemotherapy sessions, helped her through the rough times. And her co-workers that knew what she was going through were helpful and very understanding.
"I never thought cancer would happen to me. I thought maybe I would get diabetes because that runs in my family, but never anything like this,"she says.
Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour, Grand Bahama Island's
premier resort and marina, invites couples to escape to the white sand
beaches for memorable and relaxing romantic getaways in true Bahamian
style. Couples will enjoy a private boat trip to their own deserted
island, two massages, champagne with chocolate covered strawberries and
daily breakfast and dinner for two.
Old Bahama Bay provides the perfect destination and travel packages
for couples seeking total relaxation in an exclusive island paradise
setting in 2011. The Bahamas resort, located just 55 miles east of Palm
On May 23, The Nassau Guardian rolled out its biggest scoop of the year, something its team of journalists had been quietly working on for many weeks -- the WikiLeaks cables.
The Guardian offered its readers a series of unprecedented insights into The Bahamas' foreign policy and domestic affairs, diplomatic, political, economic, social, and cultural matters through the eyes of U.S. diplomats cabling the State Department in Washington, D.C.
The range of subjects, issues and persons covered by The Bahamas cables was extraordinary. The range included The Bahamas' relationship with the U.S., Cuba, China, Haiti and CARICOM. It covered issues and actions relating to cooperation in the fight against drugs, matters of immigration and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force's capacity to deal with a huge influx of migrants, the state of the Detention Center, crime, LNG, local politics and personalities, the state of the economy and tourism, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the judicial system.
Politicians of all backgrounds, officials, pastors, businessmen, journalists and civil servants figured in the WikiLeaks Bahamas cache, which was made up of 415 U.S. cables relevant to The Bahamas (not all of them originating in The Bahamas) and totaled more than 367,000 words and 1,260 pages. They cover the years 2003 to 2010. The Bahamas cache is part of around 250,000 U.S. State Department Cables that were originally given to four publications around the world -- The Guardian , Le Monde, El Pais and Der Spiegel. The Guardian shared the cables with The New York Times.
It was obvious from the cables that these American diplomats have been trained to listen, probe and prod, massage egos, work sources, report, and write -- providing accessible and, at times, witty and elegant headings and sub-headings to inform, analyze and amuse -- as though they were full-time journalists.
Most of the time the U.S. sees Bahamians and matters under scrutiny through its own interests.
The Nassau Guardian accessed the Bahamas Cables through an arrangement with WikiLeaks -- an organization devoted to having government become more transparent and govern in the sunshine.
The arrangement involved no financial transaction and no financial obligations between the parties.
In deciding what to publish, The Guardian chose subject matters that were considered of public and national interest.
Though the Americans condemned the publication of the cables, both Bahamian and U.S. officials assured that the relationship between the United States and The Bahamas remains cordial.
Friday 5th March 2010 10:30 AM
John Bull hosts a Beauty Festival. Festival features international makeup artists and offers beauty workshops, complimentary makeovers (by booking), skin consultations, mini massages, mini manicures, product demonstrations, special discounts and free giveaways. . Start Time: March 5th at 10:30am End Time: Marh 5th at 4:00pm Where: John Bull, Bay Street For more information, contact 242-302-2800
The legislation and regulations the government drafted to guide its value-added tax (VAT) regime when it takes effect next July would tax over 80 different professions, cable bills and phone bills for all consumers, and electricity and water bills for businesses.
The Value Added Tax Bill 2013, and the Value Added Tax Regulations 2013, obtained by The Nassau Guardian, propose a flat tax rate of 15 percent on a long list of professional services, utilities and imported goods.
Financial services carried out for a specific fee, many financial transactions and insurance transactions and premiums, except for health and life insurance, will also be subject to VAT.
As has been widely reported, hotel rooms and food and beverage transactions would be taxed at a rate of 10 percent.
Condominiums that are part of a hotel complex, even if they're part of a rental pool, would be taxed as well.
However, some services and goods will be exempt from the new tax.
A variety of breadbasket items, educational institutions, daycare, after school, retirement, medical, and disabled facilities, religious institutions, charitable organizations and the sale or rental of a dwelling not part of a hotel complex would be exempt.
Games of chance, gambling and lotteries would also be exempt.
While the government has drafted over 160 pages of legislation and regulations, there are still a few things that have yet to be set in stone.
For example, the regulations propose a threshold for VAT being applied to electricity and water bills for commercial consumers.
This means that if a business consumes less than a certain amount of electricity per month to be determined by the government, it would pay no VAT; everything exceeding that as yet undetermined level would be subject to VAT.
The same is being proposed for businesses that consume public water.
While the draft legislation does not propose to impose VAT on these services for residential consumers, The Guardian understands that the prime minister will soon decide whether this will change, bearing in mind his party's pledge to lower the cost of electricity.
The government has also not decided on what the threshold will be for professional services to become VAT registrants.
The Guardian understands that currently the government is considering $100,000 or $150,000 as the threshold at which VAT will apply to those services.
The legislation also exempts professional services that are conducted for people who are not in The Bahamas in many instances.
Domestic transportation by land or water, other than in connection with a tour, would also be exempt.
VAT registrants who will be required to impose the new tax on retail transactions will be those businesses whose revenue exceeds $100,000 per year.
The VAT legislation and regulations are quite detailed and complex, but there are many areas that are quite straightforward.
What will you pay more for?
Expect financial transactions to impact your bottom line.
Financial services and transactions are not exempt from VAT if they levy a fee.
This includes, short-term insurance contracts; legal, accounting, record packaging services, and tax agency services, including advisory services; the provision of insurance, other than life or medical insurance; safe custody for money or documents; brokerage services; debt collection or factoring services and trustee services.
Also taxable would be the transmission of money or monetary value in any form; the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveler's checks; check cashing; currency exchange issuance, sale or redemption of money orders and traveler's checks and currency exchange and pay day advances.
Loans to consolidate finances from bank to bank will be subject to VAT if the repayment terms are in installments.
However, financial services provided to a person treated as a non-resident for purposes of the Exchange Control Regulations are exempt.
Accounting and record packaging services rendered to these institutions would also be exempt.
What won't cost more
Many basic food items will be exempt from VAT.
Beef, chicken, pork, sheep meat, horse meat, smoked meat, dried meat, salted meat, sausage, sandwich meat, corned beef and fish will be exempt.
Fresh milk, milk products, concentrated and evaporated milk, cream, cheese, dairy spreads and butter will also be exempt.
VAT will not apply to fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit.
Rice, fonio, quinoa, triticale, flour, cereal, cereal grains, cereal groats (like oat, wheat, barley and rye), meal and pellets will be exempt.
Soybean oil, ground nut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, castor oil, other oils used for cooking and vegetable fats will also be exempt.
Margarine, imitation lard and shortening will be exempt.
Cane sugar, beet sugar and white sugar will be exempt.
VAT will not apply to bread, noodles, couscous, bulger wheat or foods for infant use.
Mustard and mayonnaise, soups and broth will also be exempt.
Mineral water for infant use will have no VAT applied to it.
Laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, soaps and domestic utility goods will also be exempt.
Licenses issued by the government will be exempt from VAT as well.
Government agencies, ministries, departments, statutory bodies, local government councils, or other government entities that provide services that are usually taxable will be exempt from VAT if the services are of a nominal amount or they are not intended to recover the cost of those goods and services.
The Ministry of Finance will begin a series of intensive VAT workshops for the public starting tomorrow, Financial Secretary John Rolle said recently.
The workshops will come amid criticism over the proposed implementation date and questions about its impact.
The government has said VAT is necessary to bring down the government's massive deficit and get the country's spiraling debt situation under control.
Ministry of Finance officials estimate that VAT can generate about $200 million in annual revenue.Professions subject to VAT under draft bill1. Accountants
10. Athletic Trainers
21. Custodial engineers
22. Custom brokers
23. Dental Assistants
24. Dental Hygienists
32. Financial Analysts
34. Funeral Practitioners
36. Hair Dressers
38. Health Care Providers
39. Home Repair Service Providers
40. Interior Designers
42. Land Sales Developer
43. Landscape Architecture
46. Massage therapists
48. Naturopathic Doctors
49. Nurse Practitioners
51. Nursing Home Administrators
52. Occupational therapists
53. Occupational therapy Assistants
59. Physical Therapists
61. Physicians (MD)
65. Professional fundraisers
66. Professional Planner
70. Radiologic technicians
71. Real Estate Appraisers
72. Real Estate Professionals
73. Respiratory Care Practitioners
76. Social Workers
77. Speech-Language Pathologists
78. Stock Brokers
82. Timeshare Developers
83. Timeshare Sales Agent
84. Transient Sellers
87. Such other professions that the minister may add
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - Valentine's is just around the corner and we've got the perfect gift for that special someone in your life!
Try our Couples Cranberry Massage & Cranberry Delight Paraffin Pedicures.
Take a breather from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and step into a quiet paradise at Renu Day Spa.
- It's here!
Under the theme, "Repairing
a broken Heart...What a Gift", The Heart Ball Committee will host
48th Annual Heart Ball on Saturday, February 18th, at
Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort. This event will be held under the patronage
of His Excellency Sir Arthur and Lady Foulkes.
Awesome raffle prizes!
ticket for two to London, a round trip tickets for two to Canada coupled
with a hotel stay at One King West Toronto, a Men's Tissot watch,
a Ladies Double Heart Pendant, a John Bull gift basket, a gift basket
by The Perfume Salon, an annual physical, car rental, dinner for six,
facials and massages and many more prizes to be discovered when you
get to The Ball
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - Get the comfort you need with an affordable adjustable bed at Island Bedding and Furniture!
With its upscale features and congenial price tag, it's no wonder the
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the very latest in comfort technology. We appreciate your
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a deep breath, and savor the moment.
The Bahamas is a nation founded and built upon Christian principles. It is therefore expected that this week and in particular during the weekend, a vast majority of Bahamians will commemorate and reflect upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The reality is that the Easter story is one that we can all relate to in our personal and professional lives. The suspension of all rallies and political activities by all political parties in observance of Holy week is welcome news as it suggests a certain level of reverence for religion and spirituality by our political leaders . However, one can't help but wonder whether the candidates for this year's general elections, leaders and aspiring leaders in general appreciate the true cost of leadership with all of its triumphs and trials.
The life of Jesus tells the story of a man who was so sure of his calling from a very early age that even the temptation of being afforded the world before the debut of his ministry could not deter him from His ultimate purpose to save the world. He performed miracles and preached a gospel of repentance during his three and a half year ministry. However, Jesus received mixed reviews during this period and was not always accepted by all, but what is clear is that he bore the mark of a great leader and left behind a legacy for many generations to come.
The triumphant entry
The triumphant entry witnessed Jesus riding into the town of Jerusalem on a colt being greeted to shouts of joy and gladness from the multitudes that were present singing Hosanna unto Him. Leaders and aspiring leaders can learn a thing or two from this event which was well attended by genuine followers, disciples and sycophants. The irony of the Triumphant Entry is that the same crowd that praised Him within a matter of days ridiculed Him and called for his death. However, Jesus was not deterred by this because He was always sure of His calling and denied himself in spite of opposition. Leaders must be mindful of the vast audience that so easily massage their egos and appear to loathe them for such crowds are fluid and allegiances or positions are unpredictable.
Rejected by the system
The system indicted and convicted Jesus for his non-conformity with the status quo and His desire to bring freedom to the human race. The nature of the system is one that is comfortable with business as usual and taking a stand contrary to popular belief(s) is often frowned upon. A leader should be prepared to stand for his beliefs regardless of its contradiction to the general held notion and obvious opposition within the system. True leaders must be willing to be blacklisted for their beliefs to achieve their dreams.
Betrayals and denials
The betrayal by Judas and denial by Peter as clearly documented in the Bible will probably be recited multiple times during the course of this week. It is my hope that leaders, aspiring leaders and Bahamians in general accept the fact that they will have their fair share of Judases and Peters as they journey through life seeking to fulfil their God-given assignments. In the end as is commonly stated, we must be true to ourselves and be willing to walk alone. The betrayal and denial as noted in the preamble to the Easter story speaks to the role of greed, the love of money, loyalty and fear in discipleship and the following of any leader.
As Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He asked His Father to "let this cup pass over me", speaking in relation to having to go to the cross to be crucified and all of the humiliation that came along with that. The thought of the burden of a mission and sacrifices attached to achievement of a vision can be so overwhelming on a leader that he/she tries to abort the dream. However, great leaders persevere; they push through the challenges with the ultimate goal in sight and declare like Jesus did - "Not my Will but Your Will Be Done".
The road to the Crucifixion is a painful, agonizing and lonely one. Jesus bore and carried His cross alone as He journeyed to Calvary to the jeers and insults of the crowd. One cannot help but reflect on the radical shift in the scenery of the Triumphant Entry compared to that of the Crucifixion. It is no news that the people that once applauded your great works are very seldom around to rescue you from going to the cross. In fact, it is not unusual for these persons to be on the other end of the spectrum demeaning your achievements and person. The actual death of Jesus which marks the climax of the tragedy may come in different forms to leaders ranging to character assassinations, persecutions and losses. However, this is inevitable at some points in the life of every leader or aspiring leader.
We celebrate Easter because Jesus rose from the dead. Indeed the darkest of nights must always give way to the rising of the sun. In spite of it all, one thing that we can always be assured of is the fact that if you are willing, there is a resurrection after the crucifixion. Your mindset is transformed in the resurrection and you will become a stronger and better person as a result. Jesus' ability to be true to His ministry and His calling gave birth to the Christian church as we know it today. Consequently, there are millions around the world that follow his teachings and practice. Hence, Jesus left behind a legacy that has spanned over centuries. Indeed, this was the crowning moment for the cross that He had to bear.
Triumphs and trials are a bittersweet mix in leadership. But one must always be mindful that the goals they are seeking to achieve and the eventual legacy that they will leave behind, ultimately supersedes any temporal challenge that one may face. After all no student is greater than his master/teacher and Jesus taught us all how to become great leaders.
Arinthia S. Komolafe is an attorney-at-law. Comments can be directed at firstname.lastname@example.org.