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Hi Ladies,

It’s October; Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I’ve decided to start off this month’s Blog in honor of my friends and family who have either fought the disease and won, lost their battle, or who are currently fighting the disease. It’s a feisty and ruthless disease that too many women are confronting.

In fact, I had my own scare when I was 22 years old. One day, I found a lump in my left breast. It was scary as hell. I have breast cancer in my family, and until I saw the doctor and got some answers, I did not sleep. At all. Even my husband, (who was my boyfriend at the time) became so desensitized to “feeling me up.” I mean, he felt my left boob like twenty times, and said, “I don’t like the way that feels.” Doctors later, x rays and mammograms later,  it ended up being what is called a “fibroadenoma,” which is a benign tumor. I am checked yearly by my gynecologist and breast surgeon. So far, so good.

But the actual disease itself has effected my family personally, and so when I owned my business, I donated a percentage of my yearly sales to different breast cancer efforts. My aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 39 years old, and subsequently lost a breast to the disease. The wonderful news; she is cancer free for fourteen years now! If you ask her why, she attributes her good health to many factors. To name a few; yoga, good eating and a healthy lifestyle. She feels so much of our health has to do with our mental well being combined with keeping our physical selves active and healthy. I have to tell you, I think she may be onto something.

To understand how ruthless this disease is, let this stat soak in: One in 9 women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime and one in 28 will die of it. Frightening.

 In fact, a lot of research is coming out today on amazing preventative measures we women can take to ward off the disease. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer (National Cancer Institute).

I’ve given you the statistic, and the numbers are staggering. So, what can we do, each and every one of us, to try and help PREVENT the onset of this illness?

Diet & Exercise Prevention Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention:

Among the easiest things to control are what you eat and drink and how active you are. Here are some strategies that may help you decrease your risk of breast cancer (Mayo Clinic):

  • Limit alcohol. A link exists between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. How strong a link remains to be determined. The type of alcohol consumed — wine, beer or mixed drinks — seems to make no difference. To protect yourself from breast cancer, consider limiting alcohol to less than one drink a day or avoid alcohol completely.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. There’s a clear link between obesity — weighing more than is appropriate for your age and height — and breast cancer. This is especially true if you gain the weight later in life, particularly after menopause. Experts speculate that estrogen production in fatty tissue may be the link between obesity and breast cancer risk.
  • Stay physically active. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and, as a consequence, may aid in breast cancer prevention. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven’t been particularly active in the past, start your exercise program slowly and gradually work up to a greater intensity. Try to include weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging or aerobics. These have the added benefit of keeping your bones strong.
  • Consider limiting fat in your diet. Results from the most definitive study of dietary fat and breast cancer risk to date suggest a slight decrease in risk of invasive breast cancer for women who eat a low-fat diet. But the effect is modest at best. However, by reducing the amount of fat in your diet, you may decrease your risk of other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. And a low-fat diet may protect against breast cancer in another way if it helps you maintain a healthy weight — another factor in breast cancer risk. For a protective benefit, limit fat intake to less than 35 percent of your daily calories and restrict foods high in saturated fat.

Now I do not claim to be a doctor. This research is coming out of Mayo Clinics and National Cancer Institutes. I simply want to inform you, my readers, how you can take care of yourselves. We have lots to live for, and we need to be around for our partners, our children, our family, our friends. There are so many things in life that we simply have no control over, and for you, breast cancer may be one of them. But why not fight? No one can take away your will to fight. I heard a saying once “Hope Belongs To Everyone.” I believe this to be true.

So during this month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I urge  you to think of all the woman who have triumphantly fought the disease, who may have just found out they have the disease, or who have passed away from the disease. At the end of the day, we are all sisters, and we women have to  stick together.

If you are interested in learning more, let me steer you in an incredible direction of a woman who is at the forefront of the research; Dr. Susan Love.  I encourage you to visit her site to see some of the incredible things she is doing.

Until next time,


Do you have any stories you want to share with our readers? breast cancer, cancer, preventativeSurvivors, any of you want to share your story? Current fighters, would you share your story?

Hi Ladies,

Anyone home now? I am!

It’s Saturday night, and our babysitter wasn’t able to sit. Just put the last child to bed and am gonna watch the Hockey Game on TV. I’m totally wiped.

The good news… we had our FIRST double sleep-out last night. My kids slept at my parents’ house. Woo hoo!! I dropped them both off at 4PM. My mom took them downtown for dinner, and they all slept in her bed. It was great fun for them. My hubby and I went for dinner at 6PM, were home by 7:30PM, and asleep by 9:30PM! LOSERS! We slept until 8:30AM this morning. It was heaven!  The last time I slept 11 straight hours I was a teenager with a hangover. It was AWESOME!

Today, my two year old FINALLY got his first pair of ice skates. He has been waiting since the ripe old age of ten months. No joke! Those who know him, know he has been begging to play ice hockey for the past eighteen months. He is seriously obsessed.  So, lessons start Monday, and he’s ready to go. He’s worn his  skates around the house ALL DAY. I kid you not. And now, they sleep on the floor beside his crib. He cried for 30 minutes tonight to sleep with them in his crib, but my husband said he would Edward Scissorhands himself during the night. Based on last week’s drama, that’s the last thing we need right now!!! He’s utterly delicious.

Tomorrow’s my son’s 6th birthday party. Some glow-in-the-dark mini golf with 20 of his grade 1 friends. He’s been waiting all week. I have not.

The new website is almost up. I can’t wait for the discussion board. Now you girls can visit any time and chat with other ladies about some of the issues. Am loving the Blog. My brain is finally functioning to maximum capacity. It’s refreshing!

Thank you all for your great suggestions and input for the Women On The Fence Blog. Don’t forget to keep commenting or emailing me about the topics you want to hear about.  Your suggestions are what will keeps the wheel turning.

Until next week, I bid you all good night.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and join our group on Facebook .




I will never betray this woman’s trust or confidence, but a girlfriend of mine a few weeks ago told me she has been “sexting” and having an emotional affair with a man for two years. Her husband and children have no clue. She says it isn’t cheating.

Let’s look at this together. I’m interested in topic.

Firstly, let’s review a few studies together and see how women and men view affairs and cheating.

Men say: Physical cheating is way more painful than emotional cheating, as men relate to everything in a physical way first. Men are inherently cavemen, and are protective by nature of their possessions. I quote one study where a man says, “The reality is that while we don’t care with whom you shop, talk, eat, or text, we do care deeply about who looks at you, smells your hair, holds your hand, and takes you to bed.”

Women say: Emotional cheating is far worse than a sexual affair. Women are far more inclined to forgive a one-night affair than an ongoing emotional connection. The thought of a husband’s connection with another woman, telling her his intimate secrets, without even physically touching her is way worse than a one night “f&ck.”

You may have your own opinion, but I’m just telling you the research.

And so just what is an emotional affair anyhow?

Emotional infidelity ranges, for example,  from “innocent” daily coffee breaks to the office cafeteria together, to online chatting or talking on the phone until 3 am. Emotional cheating is about sharing your deepest and darkest thoughts and feelings with someone other than your partner. In fact, you can be in the same room as your mate and be having an emotional affair with someone else!

Whatever your thoughts may be, cheating is no doubt both hurtful and harmful to a relationship. It’s truly devastating. Emotional cheating is a new term, and not as black and white as a physical affair. With chat rooms and the explosion of the internet, the temptation is everywhere. If you’re unhappy in your relationship or marriage, you can escape to an online paradise island with the man of your dreams without even leaving the comforts of your own home. This is dangerous. This is scary. This is tempting if you’re not happy.

So I ask you, if you knew your partner was “connecting” with another woman in an emotional way, and not a physical one, how would you react?

And just when does flirting become emotional cheating? A glance, a stare, a wink, a gentle touch, they can all be signs of innocent flirting. But how far do things have to go before they aren’t so innocent anymore? A married woman I know once said, “It gives me a little rush when someone flirts with me when I’m out for dinner with my girlfriends. I feel like, yeah, I still go it!” For me, this girl is heading down a slippery slope. Now I’m not prude or anything, I just know how fast things can escalate. I’ve heard first hand how it starts out innocent, and before you know it, you’re in a full blown lying and cheating affair. 

So, ladies, what can you do if you feel yourself or your spouse getting too close to another person even if you nor they are actually having sex with this person. STOP BEFORE IT ESCALATES. Just think, if my spouse knew what was going on, would they approve? If the answer is no, then put the brakes on. Having an affair is wrong. And in my opinion, if you are so unhappy in your marriage that you are constantly seeking adulation elsewhere, then seek counseling to work on yourself, or leave your marriage. But don’t cheat. Cheaters suck.

Which leads me to another day and other related topics…  Are women worse than men when it comes to this topic? Are we monogomists by nature? And another one to come that many of you have emailed about; do you stick around because of the kids? All “fence” issues…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Thank you for all your visits and comments. I love reading them.


And tell us, what’s worse for you; the physical or the emotional cheat? Would you leave your relationship if your partner emotionally strayed but never had the physical affair? We want to hear!


P.S. New website coming soon! When it’s up, I need your feedback!

By Guest Blogger Kelly Duffy

“When you go through life, so sure of where you’re headin’, and you wind up lost, it’s the best thing that could have happened”

-Brad Paisley, “Find Your Self”

You may find this odd, but I wasn’t really a Brad Paisley fan until this morning. I found myself returning from the two hour marathon that is the morning drop off ritual (the two older to one school, the little guy to pre-school) and listening to the closing credits for Pixar’s’ “Cars”. Despite the fact that I’ve seen this movie close to a thousand times the song I quoted previously really jumped out at me. As a matter of fact the lesson of the entire film hit me powerfully right between the eyes. Who among us hasn’t veered off course because of detour signs somewhere in life?

One of the things I miss the most in life (besides a firm backside and my natural hair color) is the crystal clear vision I had of what I wanted for myself in the future. I was rock steady, unshakable in my convictions.  It was almost as if it was predetermined and nothing could get in the way. There was no self doubt, I was positively fearless. I can picture that young gal with her Pollyannish bravado just waiting to jump out into the world with her equally enthusiastic friends. “Here we go!” they all shout, knowing that with hard work and determination they would all arrive at their destination.

Cut to twenty years later and take a look at how many of us stuck to the original plan. Some of us are close, several are right on the mark, and most of us aimed high but didn’t hit the target. Let me preface this by letting you know that most of the women I spoke to were very honest about what they really wanted deep in their hearts. Even if that wish were as kooky as wanting to be a fairy princess, I let them run with it. How far away from the prize did we find ourselves? Let’s see.

I landed so far away from what I originally imagined that it could be said that I’m residing in a completely different universe. The plan I deviated from was not a realistic blue print by which to live a life.  When I was four, I desperately wanted to be a “drawer.” No, not the place you fold and place your socks, but someone who draws for a living. My mother was a frustrated artist (far more naturally talented than I’ll ever be) who chose motherhood and housewife duties over pursuing any kind of dreams she may have had.  When it came time to test my meddle, I gathered my best stuff, compiled a decent portfolio and prepared to submit it to the list of art schools my teachers had given me. Aghast, my parents discouraged this avenue and begged me to reconsider a four year liberal arts university. It was an easy choice given my expertise at quitting and the powerful influence of an overbearing mom and dad.  I still draw, but not with the passion I used to have. However I’ve gained some things I never imagined would be mine, a funny creative husband, a charming but sometimes challenging old house, three delightful (sometimes) kids, and two dogs and a guinea pig that screams. I feel happy, satisfied on most days and thankful that I have a life this full.

My friend, let’s call her Vicky, lived in a number of big cites after graduating from her very high falutin’ university. It was assumed she would go on and take the world of academia by storm, but she was presented with a whole host of issues that don’t usually plague the big brains. She was pregnant by her less than worthy boyfriend of two months.  Shocked we wondered how someone this smart, who was due to go to law school right after getting her master’s degree could have let this happen? I remember saying, “wow, if this can happen to her, then there really is no hope for the rest of us shmucks.” Last week I got a hold of her and posed the same question. Were there any regrets? Was she happy with what she had made of her life? The most surprising response came out of her mouth. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing, this is how it was meant to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Wow.

My other friend, who we’ll call Barb, has had her future in her apparel since the first day of high school. It was going to be fashion or nothing at all. She made all the right career moves and was even able to dance around a high profile layoff and turn it around into an advantage. She never had time for a serious relationship and instead went through a series of men as quickly as she changed outfits. Later on, however she turned around and realized she was sneaking up on forty and there was no one to share all this blinding greatness with. In a year she managed to get herself fired again (sort of on purpose), dive headfirst into a relationship with a great guy, spend time enjoying herself and finally get married.  I asked her about regrets and she took a moment to think back over her life and finally said “I’m sorry we never got to start that girl band in high school”. Hmmm, okay.

So with all this hoopla over the unhappiness rates for women, I wonder to myself how many gals are satisfied with what life has handed them so far. How many obstacles and what appeared to be insurmountable road blocks have you pole vaulted right over to get and keep what you want? Life doesn’t always turn out the way you thought it would, but sometimes having poor aim isn’t such a bad thing.

Kelly Duffy

Readers, tell us, did you stray from your path in life? Are you happy with how things are going? What did you learn?

Hi Ladies.

I had a few things I wanted to cover today, so this one will be a bit of a mixed bowl.

I firstly want to thank WordPress ( for choosing yesterday’s blog on GUILT as one of the featured articles of the day. It brought me insane amounts of traffic, and I was excited beyond belief. One of my Facebook friends wrote, “If you build it, They will come.” This made me teary. I write from my heart, day after day, and I visualize a whole bunch of us women sitting in a room together just discussing the issues. I feel connected. I do.

I also wanted to share what happened Monday evening. It will have a point at the end. It’s not just all drama, so stay with me…

Monday evening, my entire family was over for dinner. We were eating, talking, enjoying. My two boys were running wild in the living room, as they always do. Next thing I know, someone is crying. Hello!!! This happens five times a day! But this time was different. I picked up my two year old to comfort him, and next thing I know,  his eyes rolled to the back of his head, he was turning blue, and he was lifeless in my arms. In fact, he then slid right out of my arms directly onto my hard wood floor, as I wasn’t expecting to receive his body in this nature. I picked him up off the floor but he was dead weight, and not moving.

I screamed to my family, “CALL 911!!!!!” The ambulance came literally in two minutes. In those two minutes, while I started shaking him and screaming, my husband blew in his face. He awoke, and started crying. My husband was physically trembling, he couldn’t even hold him. He physically almost threw up. When the ambulance arrived, my son was already lucid and talking up a storm again. They said that while his vitals were good, his blood pressure was very high and he had to go to the hospital immediately. I ran into the ambulance with him completely shaking. In fact, I ran out of the house in my pink fluffy slippers when the nice driver told me to go back and get shoes. My husband followed with my father in law behind the ambulance. My baby boy. I thought he had died in my arms.

So while sitting in the ambulance, all that went through my head was how fragile life is. How life turns on a dime. How one minute you’re celebrating, and the next minute you’re praying. In fact, at this very moment, my uncle is very ill in the hospital. We were talking about him at the dinner table, and how life is just not fair sometimes.  I don’t have to tell you this. We all know life isn’t always fair.

The shortened version, when we arrived at the hospital, the doctors had come to the conclusion that after my big son had winded the little one into the couch, his hard crying had caused him to stop breathing and pass out. No joke. It’s called “breath holding.” Many kids get it from crying. They hold their breath from crying, and the lack of oxygen to the brain makes them faint. Don’t laugh, it’s scary as hell!

All this to say, we all slept in yesterday morning. My big son went to  school late, my little one stayed home with me. We had a quiet day, and it was wonderful. I don’t mean to be somber, but that’s just where my head was. It was all very scary. To top it off, what truly made me cry, was my big son thought it was his fault. When the ambulance pulled up, he shouted, “It’s all my fault.” That killed me. I called him 5 times from the hospital to tell him that of course, it wasn’t his fault at all. He must have the guilty gene like his mom! Poor him!

So, enough of this sad story. I will tell you the funny parts of the story. There were a couple. While we were in the ambulance, and his life was flashing before my eyes, this little voice comes out and says, “Mommy, no DVD player in da ambulance.” I blurted out laughing. Even the driver started to laugh, as my son started to recite our Montreal Canadiens team players one by one, and how Kovalev was traded to the Ottawa Senators.

Top that off with the doctor who treated him at the hospital. We’re waiting for the doctor, and in walks this nice lady  “Hello, I’m Dr. Seuss.” I reply, “That’s cute. Really, what’s your name?” She answers, “Dr. Seuss.” NO JOKE! P.S.,  her name really is Dr. Soos.!! My big son ran with that. He loved that the doctor at the Children’s Hospital was Dr. Soos!

So just remember, you blink and life can change. I realize now more than ever, we have to live in the moment. Celebrate the good stuff. My husband and I went out last night to celebrate for no reason. My son was healthy and we felt thankful. I had my busiest blogging day and we tried to savor the moment. So today I pray for my uncle’s recovery, and for good health and happiness for my family.You should feel grateful for the good things you have.

And do the cheesy stuff today…

Email your boyfriend or husband or partner and tell them them you love them and appreciate them. Blast your iPod and close your eyes and enjoy some great music. Run on the treadmill today at the gym, cuz there’s no greater and freer feeling. And call those people you wronged and apologize to them. You never know if you’ll always have that chance to tell them how you feel.


PS – I should be feeling happier tomorrow, therefore, look out for some happier “On the fence” topics.