Hello, Hot Springs! As I write this, I have been back in Arkansas for two days, just having returned from visiting my parents at their home in the Colorado mountains for a week. Mancos, Colo., where the temperatures never rose above 50 degrees and dropped to about 25 degrees at night. After being there for a week, I think my body went into shock when I stepped off the airplane in Little Rock into 75-degree weather at 9 p.m.
I was in heaven there. But, I can definitely say that it's good to be home. Mancos is a small town of only about 1,400 people. They have one gas station, two restaurants, three liquor stores, and a handful of marijuana dispensaries. A town that small makes a Hot Springs resident like myself thankful for the town I live in, where there is always something going on.
This issue of HER Magazine spotlights some of the resilient women of Hot Springs who have fought, and in some cases are still fighting, various illnesses and health-related issues.
On the front cover is Fedette Johnson, a breast cancer survivor as of last year. She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in July 2015 and underwent radiation and almost a year of chemotherapy after a lumpectomy was performed to remove the cancer in her left breast.
Some of the other highlights in this issue include Dr. Kota, a medical oncologist and hematologist; Lori Wensel, a survivor of invasive lobular carcinoma (a type of breast cancer); Clay Roots Beauty & Facial Boutique, celebrating its eighth anniversary this year; and Abby McKenzie, an 11-year-old who is fighting an ongoing battle with a genetic disorder. Let me tell you some of the things I learned this month through meeting these women: 1. Stress causes (or complicates) 90 percent of all diseases. 2. Dogs really can smell cancer. 3. Regular exercise can lower a woman's risk for cancer if she's getting enough sleep. 4. Drinking coffee can prevent depression. 5. By donating just one pint of blood, four lives can be saved. In other words, get to exercising, adopt a dog, drink more coffee, and attend a blood drive.
By the time you read this, I hope we are enjoying the cool October weather and beautiful fall foliage Arkansas is known for. I see pumpkin carving, fall decorating and football watching in my near future.
See you in November!