UPDATE

WELCOME TO MY BLOG-WEBSITE.  I STARTED THIS IN 2008 AFTER LOSING YET ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER TO CANCER.   I DECIDED THAT MY VOICE AND SUPPORT COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE…..

AFTER 3 YEARS AS A REGIONAL LEADER FOR THE LiveSTRONG FOUNDATION,  3 YEARS ASSISTING CANCER PATIENT CARE WITH A KOMEN FOR THE CURE GRANT SUPPORTED WELLNESS SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAM FOR LOW INCOME BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS, THIS YEAR I AM NARROWING MY FOCUS.  IN ADDITION TO CHERISHING MY OWN WONDERFUL FAMILY  I WILL BE PUTTING ALL MY PROFESSIONAL FOCUS INTO TWO AREAS; INTEGRATING THE KNOWLEDGE I HAVE GAINED IN THE PAST 4 YEARS TO HELP OTHERS:

  • I WILL WORK IN PRIVATE PRACTICE AS A MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST/ RELATIONSHIP SPECIALIST FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES.  (HELPING COUPLES AND FAMILIES NAVIGATE LIFE AFTER A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS AND SURVIVING INFERTILITY ARE TWO OF MY SPECIALTIES.)  WWW.COUPLESTHERAPYSPOKANE.COM
  • ASSISTING MY COMMUNITY TO UNDERSTAND AND COLLABORATE TO INTEGRATE THE LATEST CANCER  SURVIVORSHIP RESEARCH.  SUPPORTING THE EXISTING PROGRAMS IN SPOKANE, DISSEMINATING INFORMATION, AND COLLABORATING WITH OTHER PROFESSIONALS TO DEVELOP NEW GRANT SUPPORTED PROGRAMS.  I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY!  JUNE……WA DC…..http://www.cancer.org/subsites/Survivorship2012/about-the-conference-2012

“Dear Melanie E. Morlan,

Thank you for applying to the Survivor Advocate Program of the 2012 Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference. This year we had over 130 applications for only 20 available positions and we are pleased to let you know that your application was selected to take part in the program.”

I am thankful to the LiveSTRONG foundation and the Federal Government/Center for Disease Control/National Cancer Institute and Institute of Medicine for this opportunity.

Remembering Jack and Living Strong

Wiamea Canyon.2000Just last year on this night I walked the Cherry Pickers Trot at Green Bluff with my Father-in-Law, Jack Swanson.  Our family has been going to that race every year since Chris and I started dating in 1997.  I knew it might be the last year with Jack so I savored the moments.  I can remember so much of that night now, even the smell of the fields and the songs that the band played.

Martin Seligman Phd (a leader in the study of positive psychology) spent decades researching happiness, what makes happy people feel happiness.  One of the most compelling findings of his research was that doing great or sometimes even very simple acts of kindness and generosity for no reason of personal gain, not in service to the ego, but just doing it because you can built a sense of altruism that was like a limitless fountain of happiness pouring from the soul.  You can’t get that quality of happiness any other way.
Jack Swanson practiced this art on a regular basis!
Ever since he died I have been on fire, not angry or sad, I just want to honor his memory.
He died last September on the 7th floor of Sacred Heart in the Hospice Room.
You may have seen the stories in the paper.
Longtime Bloomie dies of leukemia | Spokesman.com | Sep 25, 2008

Video Journal :: spokesmanreview.com

Unfortunately, what I notice most about my work lately is how many people are numb to cancer….apathetic about it.  It has been around for so long.

Like a silent monster cancer has been growing and morphing into new forms sometimes virtually untreatable.    It comes into your family or into your life eventually and then you see it’s ugliness.  But just like so many things in our society, it is that attitude of complacency and acceptance that so many people harbor silently…the belief that it is someone else’s battle.  Dig deep everyday in your interactions with others.  Be mindful as we often never know the depth of another persons private suffering, create happiness, be very thankful for your breath and make it count as best you can.  Practice altruism.

Presenting to WAMFT Spokane

Today I had the opportunity to do a presentation on cancer survivorship to my local Washington State Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.  It was a small group and each one of us expressed a profound experience of loss to cancer.  I was very pleased at the response I received to the presentation, materials and information.  It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Lovely Monday

  Feeling thankful for moments of hope.  Cancer is never over for some.  Despite the  chemo, the drugs, the radiation, the surgeries….new drugs, more chemo…sometimes it goes on for a very long and degrading time.  It wears one down to be in treatment especially when what is available for treatment is sometimes so limited and must be used in high doses…toxic doses and the body can begin to break down in other ways.  What is hardest is to keep the hope alive some days.  Today was a good day for two of my clients….a very, very good day.  In fact it was a back flip, back flip, hallelujah day for one.   Today I learned as I sat in the sun after work and enjoyed just the moments of just today….just beautiful moment by moment Monday, I learned that we can squeeze a hallelujah moment like a sweet slice of orange…tasting from the soul, every droplet of the vision the smell the sounds around us at that time… letting it expand into our deeper consciousness to sustain our feelings of happiness in a more lasting and richer way.  Hope.

“Jungle Jeeping” Trail Running with Children

The Perfect Trail for "Jungle Jeeping."
The Perfect Trail for “Jungle Jeeping.”

42-16586751Helping Children Enjoy  Running

(while YOU get the Aerobic Exercise you Need to Reduce Stress Levels and Burn Calories)

My son calls running or walking fast on trails “Jungle Jeeping”.  Walking and running as a game encourages kids to work with fatigue and enjoy exercise more.  “Jungle Jeeping” can be a creative way for parents to make time to exercise while simultaneously enjoying quality time with their children.

To get the most out of  Jungle Jeeping:

  • Do it for the first time on a nice day.  Wet trails are slippery and not a good option for a first time outing!
  • Bring some healthy snacks as a surprise treat/reward.
  • Bring water
  • Make sure you and your child have good foot wear. ( appropriate for trail running)
  • Start slow and get a comfortable rhythm; as fast as your child can run safely.  This will depend on the child’s age and balance.  The idea is to really relax into the gravity, balance and run letting the body move along like a Jeep coasting on a curvy undulating road, rolling and turning with the terrain.
  • Find a fun area with undulating trails and let the gravity take you for a ride
  • Throw your hands up in the air as you go down hill and make a lot of noise…this is a time for kids to be loud and have fun.  “Here comes a bump in the road….Don’t be afraid to shout WHOO HOO as you go up and over!

How to Maximize the Fitness Benefits

  • Increase the steepness of the route as you and your child develop fitness, comfort with balance and running down hills.
  • Make it a goal to Jungle Jeep for 30 minutes at a time going fast enough to get your heart rate up if you can to a fat burning range. A healthy, fit 9 year old should be able to trail run at a minimum of 10 minutes per mile or faster depending on fitness level and steepness of terrain.
  • Explain to children that breathing hard does not mean they need to stop and rest.  Resting should be done when legs get tired or they just feel they are beginning to lose power due to general fatigue.  Breathing hard is not a bad thing!!  It’s a good thing and a sign that your heart and lungs are getting a workout!  Yeah!
  • Figure out your target heart rate or perceived exertion by visiting one of the websites below.
  • Wear a watch so you can check your heart rate. #or beats in 10 seconds x 6 = bpm beats per minutes.

Tool: Target heart rate calculator – MayoClinic.com Rate_of_Perceived_Exertion.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  • Start out doing 10 to 15 minutes of running per outing and gradually increase your time,  adding a few minutes per. outing over a 4 week period.   (For younger children gauge the length of time by their fatigue level and ask them to tell you when they have had enough.  Remember, too much will make them not want to go next time.)
  • Keep track of how far you have run each time.  Have a 3 month goal and plan a reward outing (make it an active one like a trip to the zoo or the beach)
  • For older children ask them to invite a friend along…..many kids don’t have parents who like to do these types of activities and both the parents and the child might appreciate the novelty.

Have fun!

Please say hello…..did you like this article?

The Movie MY RUN

“THIS INSPIRING DOCUMENTARY SHOWS US HOW POWERFUL THE HUMAN SPIRIT IS AND HOW AFTER IMMENSE STRUGGLE COMES AN EVEN GREATER ELATION.”~ Deena Kastor– Olympic Medalist, American Record Holder  

One Movie, One Night where ALL will UNITE!

A ONE NIGHT ONLY Premiere Event MY RUN in 500 theaters nationwide on MARCH 31, 2011!  Get YOUR tickets TODAY to be assured a seat and see what’s possible when physical endurance and the will of the human spirit unite in MY RUN!
Tickets and film trailer are Available now and see complete theater list near you www.FathomEvents.com/MyRun  

MY RUN has partnered with Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG with a portion of proceeds from the MY RUN screening that night going to benefit the LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION.


We’re all running a marathon one way or another in life. Whether it is staying afloat as a single working parent, battling a disease or trying to conquer life's obstacles, it all involves a fight. Join us for an unforgettable inspirational story about  Terry Hitchcock who ran 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days. The 10 time award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary MY RUN narrated by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton is coming to 500 movie theaters nationwide for an exclusive one night premiere event on Thursday, March 31st at 7:00pm (Local Time). Immediately following the film on screen, audiences will take a deeper look into the story through a 15 minute interview with star Terry Hitchcock and his son, support team member Chris Hitchcock.
Get your tickets TODAY www.FathomEvents.com/MyRun

Wellness and Complementary Therapies and Activities Access for Low Income Cancer Survivors

 

busy with a new project.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER:

Combining my passions for health and wellness, my profession, my affiliation and commitment to the Livestrong Foundation with my background and experience in complimentary therapies I collaborated to develop a new project.

 

THIS IS MY PROJECT:

 I have written and am now implementing a proposal  to assist Cancer Patient Care (www.cancerpatientcare.org) here in Spokane Washington to develop A Complementary Therapies and Wellness Pilot Program.  The objective is to assist CPC clients to access proven wellness and palliative care modalities.  The clients of CPC are low income cancer patients who could not otherwise avail themselves of these opportunities open to wealthier patients. The program will be a pilot project focusing on 20 CPC clients with breast cancer funded by Komen for the Cure Eastern Washington Affiliate.

For more information: http://firstibreathe.com/cancer-patient-care-complementary-therapies-project/ 


Livestrong Foundation and Cancer Awareness Promotion at GU

To Celebrate Livestrong DAY

On Saturday October 2, 2010 I will be on campus at Gonzaga University between 12 and 2 PM to share the work of the Livestrong Foundation on behalf of all cancer survivors, care providers and loved ones in our community.  I will be distributing wrist bands and sharing written information with any students who are interested.