12/31/13

Happy New Year's Eve!

This has been a very interesting and sometimes challenging year.
And, unfortunately, this blog has bore the brunt of that (i.e. you may notice there are hardly ANY entries for 2013!  BAD Susan! :)

One of my co-workers said today that 2013 flew by.  
I'm not sure I can completely agree.
This might have been the longest year of my life, BUT I'm thankful for it.
I'm thankful to be alive.
I'm thankful for the support of friends and family.
I'm thankful for my family here at 'DBJ.
I'm thankful for YOU!

I've learned a lot about myself this year.
I'm SUPERWOMAN!!! (hahaha, okay, that might be an exaggeration, but it feels like it! :)
Going into 2014 I have many of the same resolutions that approximately 45% of Americans make (but as I was reading: only 8% of us keep.)
But, I aspire to more in this coming year.
I believe that everything happens for a reason.
I believe I was given this chance to learn patience (ok, more patience!)
I believe this was a reminder to value the people in my life.
So, moving into 2014, I'm looking for opportunities to become more involved, to educate and help.
Stay tuned for what that looks like! :)

That seems like the ideal place to stop, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my claim "to fame" in 2013- THAT CAT!!!
Yes, the swimming cat.
Good Morning America and CNN's Anderson Cooper hosted segment about it.
It was on MSN's, Yahoo's and countless other homepages.
Locally people who watch the show every week, understood it was just one of those things (not malicious, just someone who looked up and saw a cat. in a vest. in the water.)
Nationally, I was skewered (not by the hosts of those shows, but by national web users, etc.)
Once again, I hope people were able to see it for what it was- and not think that it was attack on animals, people battling their weight, etc.
(I'll save you the trouble of looking it up: cat video

On that note, I hope your 2014 is full of love, laughter and a lot of happiness.
Thank you for your support this past year.
And, thank you for watching WDBJ7- we have the BEST VIEWERS!!!
I appreciate everyday you choosing to allow me (and us) into your homes.

Take Care & Be Safe!
~sjb

10/27/13

Hellooooo out there!

I'm sorry its taken so long, but every time I start to write this blog, I get distracted and well- it doesn't get done.

That being said, I'm focusing and making it happen.

(I'm just going to warn you, this is a weird blog!  I spent several days in local courthouses this week, so that may have something to do with it!)

Unfortunately, the topic I started a couple of weeks ago is still relevant.

I say UNFORTUNATELY because it involves the death or injury of children.

(as a reporter I can't help but get my "back up" when the smallest, weakest and defenseless of our society become the victims of violence)

There has been a disgusting number of case- nationally and locally- that involve children being injured/killed because of the choices of their parents.

The cases that come to mind are in various stages of prosecution (and of course, people are considered innocent until proven guilty) sadly, the story is the same: the baby/toddler wouldn't stop crying/moving/talking, someone snaps, the next thing you know- there's a death investigation.

This is my plea to everyone, when you're a parent you have to think of someone besides yourself.  

Is that new boyfriend/girlfriend trustworthy?  Has he/she ever been around children? Does he/she know how to deal with kids?    

Every parent will tell you horror stories of being pushed to the edge by a colicky baby.  It's hard. It's challenging. And, it can break even the strongest of people, people who have an emotional investment in the child.

Physical abuse has been getting a lot of headlines, but sadly, I've also heard of two-cases this week alone about convicted pedophiles being allowed to stay with their girlfriend/boyfriend's kids.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE -THINK TWICE.

First off, most (if not- ALL) convicted child sex offenders are legally NOT ALLOWED to be around children.

They're BREAKING THE LAW being around your child.

Dating can be tough, but imagine the devastation that could come.

Please, don't let your kid become the next victim!!!

Okay, like I said, this is a weird, heavy blog, but we need to look out for the children in our community!

~sjb

9/28/13

I promised this blog wouldn't turn into "Cancer Corner," but alas, I was fibbing (though, unintentionally!)

I've had a lot of people write in over the last several months asking about wigs.  

Since losing your hair is usually the BIG indicator something's wrong, people are very tied to their wigs!  (I wore my wig for months without people realizing. People would write and call telling me how great my new 'do looked!)

That being said, there are some great wig places in town/around the region.   
My suggestion is that you shop around.  
I found that most (if not, all) require an appointment.  
Some require a payment for their time.
Some do not.  
Be sure to check so you know what to expect.

Wigs can be expensive, but good news- some insurance companies cover the cost.
Check to see if yours does.
Your oncologist can write you a prescription for "a cranial prosthesis" (yes, that's REALLY what they're called, which for some reason made me chuckle. Hey, you gotta find humor where you can in a cancer diagnosis!!! :)

You'll want to shop while you still have hair (so they can match color, style, etc to your existing hair.)
As a rule of thumb, once you start chemo you'll have 2 to 3-weeks before you lose your hair.

For me, I started chemo March 1st.  
Had my wig appointment March 7th.
Started losing my hair to the point where it was more than "normal" about a week and a half later, the 13th/14th.
Shaved it on the 20th.
And, got my wig on the 21st.
(never had clumps falling out, but was completely paranoid, thus the buzz cut.)

I would suggest a shop that has wigs on site, so that you can try on and see what works for you.
You may also want to have someone go with you that you trust & whose opinion you value.
(I went at a weird time and was by myself, so I sent a lot of camera phone pics! :)

There are lot of different kinds of wigs out there- human and synthetic hair are main types.
(I had synthetic, which apparently has come a LONGGGGGGGG way!  I was really concerned about having hair that looked like some crazy plastic doll's.)
Regardless of the type of hair you decide on, I would recommend a "lace front" -it makes the hair look more natural and like there's a seemless hair line. (makes all the difference in the world! :)

Oh, and if you do go with synthetic- CAREFUL it reacts to heat.  
(makes sense, right? It's plastic.)
Apparently tons of folks have had their wig on, bent over to pull something out of the oven and POOF! - singed hair!!!
So, bottom line- these things can be hundreds and even in some cases, thousands of dollars- so BE CAREFUL!!!

Hope this helps a bit :)

In the meantime, get out there and enjoy this weekend.  
Meteorologist Brent Watts says it's supposed to be a nice one :)

~sjb

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