Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

I would be willing to bet that most of us didn't realize that. I didn't until I saw a friend, Ginny, had posted it on her FB page. Ovarian cancer strikes approximately 1 in 60 women worldwide, and is responsible for 140,000 deaths every year. That's way too many women dying. With the healthcare crisis in this country right now, I would guess that this number will go higher in the coming years.

Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage of the disease because the symptoms are often confused with other, less serious illnesses. When caught at the start of the disease, the 5 year survival is 93%. When diagnosed in the later stages, it is much more difficult to treat, and the survival rate is not that great.

One of the most famous women who died from ovarian cancer is Gilda Radner. Her husband, Gene Wilder said in a People magazine story, in 1991, that had she been diagnosed in time, she could have possibly survived. She wasn't diagnosed until she was Stage IV. Although this occured in 1989, it's still often missed in diagnosis.  Here is a link that all women-and men-should read to be aware of the symptoms. If someone you know has these issues, urge them to get checked out and to be persistent until ovarian cancer is ruled out.  http://ovariancancerday.org/about-ovarian/5-facts-everyone-should-know-about-ovarian-cancer/

My friend Ginny shared the September awareness message because she is currently doing battle with this disease. On the bright side, she was diagnosed in Stage 1 of the illness, so once she gets through chemo, the monster should be, and hopefully will be, defeated. It's a struggle financially, though. She has outrageous co-pays for her chemo, and the everyday life expenses that most of us have.  Car payments, insurance, and the things that make life go round. There is a group of friends who got together for a fundraiser for her at our recent class reunion. I made some teal awareness ribbon earrings, and some awareness bracelets to sell to help raise money. I want to do more.

I have lost 3 friends to cancer this year-different types, but I am heartily tired of this disease claiming people I care about. One of them had no insurance, and by the time her cancer was diagnosed, it was too late. Margaret was one of the best friends anyone could ever hope to have, and even though she died in Jan., I still miss her like crazy. I have decided that I will do my best to not let this monster called cancer claim somebody else simply because of a lack of funds for care.

So, since teal is the awareness color for ovarian cancer, I will donate to Ginny 60% of anything I sell in my AF that is teal in color, through the month of Sept.. (I'm donating 40% to her for anything else until the need passes.) That will include
anything with amazonite or turquoise gemstones in it. (It's my shop, if I want to consider turquoise as teal, I will. LOL!) I can honor Margaret by helping somebody else I deeply care about, and that's what I'm going to do.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ruby Zoisite is the featured gemstone

Ruby zoisite is a highly unusual mineral gemstone composed of both zoisite and ruby. it is also known as anyolite. Zoisite is commonly found in green shades and ruby zoisite has, as the name says, opaque red or pink ruby inclusions scattered throughout the piece. it can also have the occasional black inclusion. It has a very distinctive appearance. It has two measurements on the Moh scale-the zoisite is moderately soft, around 5.5, while the ruby measures a 9. This presents special challenges when cutting it into gemstones.

Zoisite is named for mineral collector Sigmund van Zois who was first brought this material by a mineral dealer who had found it in the Saualpe mountains in Carinthia (Austria), in 1805.
Zoisite is related to tanzanite, which is the blue or lavender transparent variety of zoisite. Sources for this gemstone include Tanzania, Kenya, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, India, and Pakistan. It can also be found in Washington State in the U.S.. There are no known enhancements, such as heating or irradiating, used for this mineral.

Since ruby zoisite is fairly new to the gemstone world, there is not much folklore associated with it. It is believed to amplify the entire energy field of the body. The ruby part of the stone is valued for many of the attributes that rubies are valued for- healing, courage, love and nobility. The green zoisite is said to help balance and calm the ruby influence. It is also believed that it amplifies spirituality.