4 More Ways to Get a Better Blood Draw

I’m adding on to a list I previously wrote, “How to be a Better Stick”

  1. Ask for a hot pack placed on your arm. The heat allows your veins to dilate and it’s easier for the phlebotomist to feel. Also, it feels nice since hospitals and doctors offices are freezing.
  2. If you’re allowed, drink a ton of water. The more hydrated you are, the better the odds of finding a good vein.betterblooddraw-mixedmartialartsandcrafts
  3. Keep breathing. It hurts but holding your breath makes it hurt worse. I’m speaking from personal experience on that one.
  4. Lastly, if they still can’t find a vein for a blood draw or for an IV ask for a specialist! Most hospitals have a vascular specialist who has a portable ultrasound machine to help them find one that does work. At the very least, this specialist also has numbing gel that he or she can inject and take away the pain temporarily. It doesn’t make you difficult or a wimp to ask. You’re not a pincushion and you don’t need to be treated like one.

Need something to squeeze? I highly suggest one of my tiny organs. They fit in the palm of your hand and can take a lot!

Fab Friday Finds #20


Fab Friday Finds #19



3 Things I Learned from Stupid Cancer’s OMGEast 2014

Saturday, September 27th Stupid Cancer held their annual OMGEast conference in New York City.


A “lull” in people

I had the distinct pleasure of attending and exhibiting as Survival Organs and I came away from the conference overwhelmed with positive feelings. Here’s some things I learned and why I wish I had attended sooner.

  1. The young adult cancer community is one of the most positive communities I’ve encountered. By nature, I’m reserved and not very physically affectionate. I think I got hugged over 100 times at this event and 200 fist bumps/high fives. cuterus-survivalorgans-mixedmartialartsandcrafts
  2. Ain’t no party like a cancer survivor party because cancer survivors know how to party. This rides off of number 1 above, everyone there was determined to have a good time. I was too exhausted to go to the after party conference but from what I’ve seen on Facebook, it was a ball.
  3. I didn’t have to explain myself. I was surrounded by 250 strangers and I left with 250 friends. I didn’t have to explain why I used humor to cope with my cancer. I didn’t have to explain what cancer is, why I got it at 25 and what that means on my outlook. I felt, much like I did rock climbing at the Gunks, like I was accepted for who I am, who I was and who I will be. And that person is loved.

As I said in my newsletter last week, I feel like Sally Field. youlikemeI read so much about being in front of your Right People, finding a “tribe” online
and the importance of fostering communities and not cliques. But to actually experience it? None of those articles came (or can come!) close to how it feels to be surrounded by people who love and accept you.

I can’t wait for Stupid Cancer’s 3 day CancerCon in Denver and OMGEast 2015!

Fab Friday Finds #18



I almost forgot that today is Friday! Here in Minneapolis, it is very blustery (what a great word!), rainy and grey. It feels like we’ve hit mid-autumn already. Here are my fab Friday finds for the week.

Knitter’s Review: Kung-Fu Knits & A Giveaway!

Guys, it’s been ages since I’ve knitted a stitch, let me be real. I think I found the book that’s cured my dry spell.

Click to view on Ravelry

Click to view on Ravelry

Designer and podcaster extraordinaire, Elizabeth Green Musselman aka DarkMatterKnits has made it her knitting mission to design stuff for men and boys, a (let’s be real here) neglected demographic. And this book?

It’s more than just a pattern book. Your kids may want to steal it.

There are patterns but there’s also a story of a little boy who goes and defeats a monster named Frostbite in a Calvin and Hobbes meets the Ninja Turtles sort of way. He doesn’t want to wear a sweater (honestly, who did at that age?!) so his creative mom knits him a gi, pants, a bag, throwing stars and a pair of nunchucks.

And since the throwing stars and nunchucks are made out of yarn, no one’s eye will be poked out.

What I also really like is Elizabeth’s use of yarn. All the samples are knit with Berroco Vintage, an acrylic/wool blend that I’ve used before. It’s warm without feeling like a piece of plastic, it’s affordable, and it’s machine wash and dryable! I don’t understand designers who use very expensive and easily dirtied yarn for children’s wear. Kids are grubby and have a knack for getting dirty and ain’t no one got time for handwashing out mud and grass stains.

You can buy a PDF copy via Ravelry, or a paperback version through Cooperative Press. 

You can also try your luck at winning a digital PDF copy right here. Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions.

Good luck and happy knitting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fab Friday Finds #17


September Schedule for Survival Organs


I’m hitting the road for the rest of September! Here’s where you can find me:

Fab Friday Finds #16


A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chemotherapy

Are you newly diagnosed with cancer? About to go through chemotherapy? I’ve compiled a list of helpful blog posts about chemotherapy.

There’s no reason for anyone to go through chemotherapy alone. Click on “contact me” above to send me an email if you’d like to learn more about chemotherapy and cancer.
PS Need a hug? Or just a smile? You can buy one here.