Thursday, October 11, 2012

I found this on Pinterest. 
What breast cancer can look like.  This is a picture of a breast cancer survivor showing where her cancer was found.  
A note from a survivor:

I cannot tell you all how excited I will be to hit my 5th year for my Breast Cancer Survivor anniversary on November 13th! My sweet mommy only lived 4 years after her diagnosis and this has been haunting me since I was 23. I believe I can truly feel free from this wretched disease once I reach 5 years. I feel so blessed.
Paige Y
Wow! Where has the summer gone? We had a very hot summer here in Texas. Although not a lot of 'cappers' wanted to wear knit caps during the 100° plus temperatures, we continue making them. The weather will, or should be, cooling down and we know that we will be getting calls from the infusion centers with requests for more caps. I wish the reason we didn't get calls was because the need wasn't there but, unfortunately, it's the temperature that slowed us down. Someday, we'll be able to say "This is the last cap we'll need because the terrible disease of cancer has been eliminated." But, until that day comes, we'll still knit. So now it's catchup time for the blog. Summer is over, kids are back in school and it's time to get busy again. If you have any articles about survivors, thoughts to help others or stories you need told, just drop us a line.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Happy Capper

Hello, Thank you for the cap … I am not starting to get my own hair back. Last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 mantle cell lymphoma. I went to UTSouthwestern. Dr. Robert Collins was my doctor. We did the chemo and a bone marrow transplant in Sept. 2011. After 2 petscans, one in December 2011 and one April 2012, I have no residual or concurrent signs of lymphoma. They are not showing any cancer. I am so grateful. God has been so good to me. I started back to work November 2011. My coworkers were very kind and so was my employer. They donated 17 weeks of their paid vacation to me. It is amazing how God truly works. I am so sorry that Joyce is not here but God must have needed her more. The caps make such a difference when you are bald, broken and not certain of any future. Thank you for your work. God bless you and your project. It made a huge difference for me. Sincerely Linda Walters Executive Administrative Assistant Feizy Import & Export 1949 N. Stemmons Freeway Dallas, TX 75207 214-747-6000, ext. 255 214-760-0521- fax

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We're at double tables now!

Wow! Our table at the center where we meet to knit can't grow but by putting two tables together, it can get bigger. We had to put two tables together because we've added more people. Yesterday I looked at the table and it tickled me to see everyone talking but steadily working away at their knitting. Hands were moving and needles were clicking. One lady was helping another with her stitches, a couple of the ladies were in deep conversation and it seemed as if everyone was talking but also listening! There was a lot of laughter and teasing. With each stitch, love and care was knitted into their work. I think of what each of these special people would be doing if they were not making caps. They were not only helping someone else, they were helping themselves. Some seniors stop living when they reach their retirement ages. Not having anything to do can make a person age faster. But these ladies have something to do, something to look forward to and someone to help. God Bless each and every one of them and God Bless each cap that will go to one of our 'cappers' as we call the benefactors of our chemocaps.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

We Have a New Knitter

Dorothy was originally from California. She moved to Allen, Texas seven years ago. She has been only been knitting for about three weeks. She started out making a scarf so she could be sure she knew the stitches but now she is making chemo caps.
Dorothy came to the group because she saw how much fun we were having. Pat and Mary, who are also knitters are her friends and she wanted to sit with them to see why they were laughing, talking and everyone looked so friendly at the table. (We having to put tables together because our group keeps growing.)
Dorothy loves her new knitting project and each day she joins us and shows us her progress on her work. Although she had some 'beginner' problems at first, as everyone does when first starting to knit, she's doing very well now and should be proud of what she's accomplished in such a short time. Three weeks!
Dorothy also loves to garden so we're getting gardening help and hints while we knit. And she loves to play BINGO!

We are blessed to have Dorothy join our group and another 'capper' will be blessed to be able to wear the cap she made with love.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A note from Bill

We received a note from Bill, the son of Joyce who started the Chemo Cap Project and to whom we continue the project in her memory.

Just got off the phone with Vivian about a note she just received from the husband who's wife wears a Joyce's Chemo Cap, brought tears to my eyes. I just wanted to let you know again how much I appreciate how hard you, Vivian and all of the knitters do for this project.
Thank You, Thank You!

Letter received from a Happy Capper

We received this letter that brought tears to our eyes. It's so good to know that a cap could bring happiness to someone who is in Stage IV cancer.

Dear Ladies:
In January my wife was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer that has metastasized to her brain. She has been give from six months to three years life expectancy.

We are grateful for the caps you provide as they have given her a sense of joy since she has lost her hair due to the radiation treatments she is undergoing.

While there are dark clouds that are there if we look at them,there are also silver ones as well.

My wife cried when she put on her first cap and when I asked her what was wrong, she said "nothing is wrong. I jut know that this cap was made with love".

Please accept this donation to continue this project and I am just sorry that it cannot be more.

Gerald W C

We thank George for the very generous donation he and his
wife sent to us. Our prayers and thoughts for healing and
comfort go out for them. Although he did not include her name, God
will know who we are praying for.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Memorial for our knitter, Jean

February 16, 2012 was the memorial service for the oldest member of our knitting group. Jean was so special. At the service her son talked about how curious she was. We knitters nodded our heads in agreement. It was her curiousity that brought her to our group. She was 91 at the time and had never knitted. She was curious and asked what we were doing. She wanted to learn. It didn't take her long to learn. Soon she was knitting chemocaps for us. She was the sweetest person I've ever met. She never complained. She wanted to contribute to anything we ventured into. And she made great brownies. The service was great. She left behind a great and loving family. They've known her all of their lives and we only got to know her for the last three years but in those three years, we came to love her as though we've known her our whole lives. Rest in Peace, Jean.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cancer isn't a Fairy Tale

Cancer is real. Even fairy tale characters can fall to cancer. Let's not hide it from our children! They need to grow up knowing how to fight this horrible disease. Maybe if it wasn't such a hidden disease for years, there would be less patients and more survivors.

We will Survive

Happy Male Capper

Women aren't the only cappers that have received our caps and enjoyed the comfort and warmth they provide! Here is a note we received today:

Hi Joyce's Chemo Cap Project,

My sincere appreciation to the memory Joyce Schmitt volunteers Jan and
Vivian that have given me a hat to warm my head. On Tuesday January 31, 2012, I finally had the barber cut it all off down to the skin.

Last night I mentioned to my wife Jean that I needed a hat to warm my head.
Chemo finally took enough of my hair and the bald look is now mine.
But my head is a bit cold and I want to avoid the headaches from being too cold these past two nights.

And this Morning while at the Texas Oncology Radiation Center in Plano I
found this wonderful hat. Soft, correct size and a nice color for a guy!!
What a surprise. So thoughtful.

Very nice indeed!!!!

Joyce Schmitt must have been a someone very special.

Thanks. And may God Bless you.


We lost a dear knitter

A couple of years ago we posted an article about Jean who joined our group of knitters. She didn't know how to knit so Vivian taught her how. She started to make caps for us and loved it. She was good at it and even made herself a sweater vest. Unusual for someone to learn to knit so easily? It wouldn't be unusual unless the sweet lady was over 90 years old! She recently became ill and was hospitalized. Jean passed away February 2, 2012 with her family around her. Our hearts go out to the family that she left behind and her family of knitters. We truly were blessed by meeting her and having her beautiful knitted caps for cancer patients. Heaven has a new knitter!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Thank You Letter from a Happy Capper

Dear Ladies,

Each of you donated a knitted cap that I selected at Texas Oncology. Since I've lost all my hair, and rather quickly after treatments started, I was so pleased to have the choice of pretty caps to cover my head and keep it warm. Your sensitivity and generosity are very much appreciated. I'm sure there are many, many of us undergoing chemo who are happily sporting caps you have made. Thank you very much.

Linda W.

Are You Ready for Cancer Jokes? Written by Sidney Love

This article was written by Sidney Love. There are many books with jokes to help people affected with cancer keep their sense of humor and bear the disease without allowing cancer to get the better of them. Here is what he wrote:
While humor is a good companion when you’re in treatment for cancer, you may not want cancer jokes for your personal companion. This is especially true if you just found out that you have cancer. I know because I have been there. However, after a period of tears and anxiety, I began to feel better during and after hearing cancer jokes. Eventually, you may want to come back here and read these jokes.

Like me, you may eventually discover that laughter helps the medicine go down. In fact, more than fifteen years ago 60 Minutes did a report about The Wellness Community, a support program for cancer patients and their families. They began by showing a room full of cancer patients laughing at this joke:

What do you call a person who has a compulsion to get lymphoma over and over again? . . .

A lymphomaniac.

Millions who watched the show probably asked themselves whether they would be able to find humor and laughter in the face of a life-threatening illness. For me the matter was certainly put to the test in 1993, when I was informed that I had prostate cancer. This was about the worst news that I had ever had. Terrified of dying a painful, miserable and lingering death, but recalling what I had read in Norman Cousins's book, "The Anatomy of an Illness," I obtained an armful of comedy videos and started to work. It didn't help. Maybe it might work for his illness, but cancer was another matter. Cancer was not funny!

Fortunately, however, I joined a cancer support group. In fact, it happened to be at one of the Wellness Community facilities. Then, after the first three months, I noticed that we laughed as much as we cried. Soon I was making jokes about my own condition. Surprisingly, I felt better! I even collected the jokes that I and other people brought to the group and was soon on my way to writing a book about healing humor for cancer survivors.

The point is that, when you are first informed you have cancer, there is no such thing as "humor." Once you have learned to live with your diagnosis and with your treatment, however, you can benefit from humor. A good laugh relieves stress for everyone, which researchers are beginning to demonstrate. The relief of laughter can be especially beneficial for cancer patients, who have more than enough stress to deal with.

It's now more than five years since my prostate was removed and since then no other cancer has been found. Was my cancer cured because I laughed? I don’t know. Of course, it could recur and the medical profession makes sure that I get periodic tests and check ups; yet I'm no longer overly concerned about having cancer.

What I do know is that laughing sometimes (and crying sometimes) greatly improved my quality of life. I have even known dozens of people with advanced cancer who managed to cope with their situation by using humor. That's why I was the humor editor of (which is no longer active). Now I'm glad to have LearningPlaceOnline use my jokes to bring humor into the lives of those who are going through the cancer experience—patients, caregivers, family and friends.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Featured Knitter

Wadad was born in Lebanon. Her nana taught her to knit when she was 7 years old. Her first project was a sweater for her brother. It took her 10 years to make! Wadad came to the United States in 1975. She went back to Lebanon and 15 years later she came back to the United States to live.
Wadad went to the Allen Senior Recreation Center one day and saw us knitting around one of the tables. She asked us what we were making. She has been sitting with us ever since that day. I've never seen anyone knit as fast as she does. And her caps are beautiful. Wadad is a very special person to us.

A 'Thank you' note from a 'Happy Capper'

Friday, February 11, 2011

Featured Knitter - Rose

Rose was born in Chihuahua Mexico with the name Rosario. We know her as Rose.
Rose learned how to knit when she was 15 years old but she didn't keep it up. Rose moved to Chicago in 1953 and in 2001 moved again to Texas. She lives with her husband in Allen. In 2009, Rose went to the Allen Senior Recreation Center. She saw all of the ladies sitting at a table knitting. It sparked an interest in her, remembering when she learned to knit so many years before. Rose picked up knitting right away and has been knitting chemocaps ever since. She knits four or five caps a week. Although Rose is a quiet person, she adds to our company of knitters. We are happy to have her in our group. Keep up the good work, Rose. There are many happy people wearing your caps.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And this from a man!

Not only are women pleased with our caps!
Here's a note from a man undergoing chemotherapy at Texs Oncology.

I just got one of your caps at Texas Oncology in Plano.
Thank you very much. It is warm and comfy to my newly bald head!

Lymphoma Fighter

Thank you note for a 'Happy Capper'

Hi There!

I was in the Texas oncology center today to get my chemo treatment and I walked by a box full of beautiful hats!! I seen one just right for me and a worker there told me I should take it! Thank you, thank you!! Hats can be expensive. I really appreciate your community service as I'm sure many other women do too. I just wanted to let you know that you made my day today.

Thank you and have a great day!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Featured Knitter - Pat

Pat lived in Rhode Island until 5 years ago when she moved to Allen Texas. She began going to the Allen Senior Recreation Center where she observed women sitting around a table every day, talking, laughing and knitting. She wanted to try to knit too. So she learned how to knit. That was in May 2010. She has been sitting at the table, talking, laughing and knitting ever since! And she knits at home too. She makes at least one or two caps a day.
Pat wanted to make colorful caps and makes each cap special because she feels people need something special in the part of their lives that they didn't plan on living through. Something they didn't ask for but, unfortunately, interrupted their lives. She knew that a cap to make them more comfortable could make a big difference in their recovery as they underwent treatment for cancer.
Pat knows how it is for cancer patients. Her daughter-in-law fought breast cancer. Pat was there to help her and care for her. Her daughter-in-law left a six year old and a two year old. Pat also took care of her sister and her sister-in-law when they had cancer.
Pat said that she enjoys learning and trying out new patterns. She said that the best way for her to learn is to watch others. We enjoy Pat's wit and conversation and seeing the new caps she brings in daily. And we know that there will be someone who will be thankful for Pat's contributions to Joyce's Chemo Caps. Joyce would be proud to know Pat.

New Series Starting- Featured Knitter

A new feature will be on Joyce's Chemo Caps

We will post a knitter or crocheter on the blog. Many would like to see who is making caps. I hope you enjoy reading about them.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nice Letter from a Survivor's Son

My name is Frank A, and my mother is a surviving Lymphoma Cancer patient. She is currently attending UTSW medical center for a bone marrow transplant procedure to prevent the chances of cancer coming back, and it is there we had the joy of learning about this project.

I wanted to send a brief email and tell you how great your thoughtfulness and efforts truly are. Please accept my deepest and most sincere thanks for the beautiful caps, my mother has fallen in love with them. She was warmed to hear the story, and fully appreciated the gesture of your project with a meaning so grand behind it.

My mother's name is Gregoria, she becomes an inpatient very soon for her transplant, any prayers would be very much appreciated for her successful and speedy procedure and recovery.

May the memory of Joyce Schmitt live on forever, and may God continue to watch over us and lead us to the cure one day very soon.

Thank you again.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank you note from a 'Happy Capper'.

We received this very nice card and a generous donation from Anita. It makes us happy to know that we brought comfort and smiles to someone who received our caps.
Thank you, Anita.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A thank you from a 'capper'.

I wanted to thank you for the hats that are crochet or knitted that you supply to Texas
oncology in Plano. As a patient there, you have kept my head warm for almost a year and half.

I picked up my second hat today because the first one was looking well worn. What a blessing these caps are to the patients.

Thank You and Blessings!

Catherine L V

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ethan Needs Prayers

I delivered a couple of chemo caps to Ethan who is 9 years old to a neighbor that was going to visit him this weekend. However, he went into the hospital because his blood count was down. Please think about him.

Friend in MI, Cathy Needs Prayers

Cathy J had breast cancer a few years back and it has returned. Here is a note that I just recieved from her. Please think about her and keep her in your prayers!

Jan, Hi and good morning. Today is Friday morning and I am working 1/2 day today BUT in the afternoon (like 1:00 - 5:00) so I am home this morning. I received the phone call yesterday that my breast biopsy was invasive malignancy. I cried and cried but now I am done (I guess). Darn. I am in trouble; especially with my hips and low back being in this much pain. I can't even move. Wow, I had no idea what people with back pain go through. My next step is to meet with the breast surgeon on Tuesday, 09/21/2010, at 2:00 pm. I will stay in touch. Thanks Jan for being so supportive and for your prayers. Love you. CJ

Saturday, August 28, 2010

If You Want Prayers or Special Thoughts...

Every day someone finds out that they have cancer and it affects so many people. And there isn't anyone who has not been affected by this terrible disease. If you have a loved one that you want us to pray for or to think about, please email us at and we will add their names to our ongoing list. This is a new item on our blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Going Back to Work With Cancer

For many work provides a sense of purpose and value and going back to work provides a sense of normalcy. Balancing your career and cancer diagnosis can be challenging. To help you gain understanding of your rights in the workplace and create solutions, YSC has partnered with Cancer and Careers. As part of this new partnership several FREE workshops have been planned across the country to bring experts on the subject of cancer and the workplace directly to you. If there's not a workshop scheduled in your community remember to utilize our (audio files and printed transcripts). Look under the Practically Speaking section to listen to related workshops.

A diagnosis of breast cancer is never easy to absorb, figuring out how to share this information with family and friends is difficult and emotional. Then comes the next challenge, returning to work, sharing this information with your employer, your co-workers, your clients and your friends in the workplace.

You are not under an obligation to tell everyone either at your current or potential place of employment. Who and how you inform your workplace of your diagnosis is a very personal decision. If you work for a larger company and your department has a Human Resources (HR) professional assigned to it, you may only need to tell that one person. If you have medical insurance/coverage through your employer you can opt to work with your HR professional to understand your coverage. Your HR professional can also help you to inform your manager or to make sure you are not penalized for taking time out of the work day for doctor's visits or treatments. Generally, both supervisors and co-workers will appreciate your openness and will be supportive of your situation. Yet, we encourage you to learn about your rights and protections. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) give employees-at-will tremendous protection.

Protect Your Privacy - If you decide to share a minimum amount of information, consider sharing the following points with your HR Professional:

• Your diagnosis
• An explanation, in layman's terms, of what your diagnosis means
• Expected course of treatment
• Expected leave of absences or sick days, if any

It is hard to know the culture of each individual workplace, think about the following when deciding who to tell and what to tell them:
Are you working in a larger corporate environment where you are part of a smaller team? Do you work for a small organization where your co-workers feel like family? Is there a general sense of trust? Are you a member of a union or an at-will employee? These questions may help you make a plan for sharing information about your diagnosis, treatment and work needs.

Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help
This can be one of the hardest steps in the process of telling those you work with. We all strive to be our best in the workplace, to deliver top results and prove our value to our company/organization. Treatment can be taxing, and will most likely cause you to slow down, or have absences during the work day. Co-workers and managers can best help if they know what you need. If it is an extended deadline when possible, changing the time of a standing meeting or the opportunity to work from home the important thing to remember is to ASK. Asking for help does not mean that you are any less smart, competent or capable - just that you need to take care of yourself during and after this challenging time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This Is Our First Post. We Are Repeating It.

For those who are seeing this blog for the first time and for those who would like a refresher, we are repeating it. There are many changes as far as the hospitals and the amount of caps we have completed. Since the beginning of our project until now, over 6000 caps have been made. We have received caps from California to England and, of course, from our Texas knitters and crocheters. We are so proud of everyone who has contributed to our project. We have more than 5 hospitals that we deliver to now. We know that Joyce is watching over our project as we continue in her memory.
Joyce's Chemo

The Chemo Cap Project was started by Jan Goble, Lena Louter and Vivian Denbow after a mutual friend Joyce Schmitt was diagnosed with cancer. Joyce said that the caps she had to sleep in hurt he head because of the seams. We found patterns on the Internet for Chemo Caps. The patterns suggested using yarns that were soft to the touch. Jan and I bought yarn and started making the caps. We asked Joyce to "approve the yarn" to make sure it was soft. We started knitting the caps at the Allen Senior Recreation Center on August 1, 2007. Several of our friends at the center have joined us in making the Chemo Caps. Since many of the women can crochet and knit we have patterns for both types of caps. The caps are great for sleeping or being out on the town. Our Allen group had grown and now we have over twenty women knitting and crocheting the Chemo Caps. Our project has been shared with family and friends and spread to Dallas, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennslyvania, Iowa and Virginia.
Some of the senior who can not make the caps have either donated money or yarn to the project.
We found several cancer centers in Collin County that wanted the caps. We are currently working with the McKinney Cancer Center and Plano Cancer Center to distribute adult caps. Our only stipulation was that the caps be given to patients that could use the caps at no cost. Lena's main focus had been on childresn's Chemo Caps. Lena has made over 100 plus children's caps and has sent them to St Jude's Children's Hospital and the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.
In October we proudly renamed our Chemo Cap Project "Joyce's Chemo Caps" because without her friendshp and understanding of the great need for Chemo Caps we would not have know there was a need.
With your support over 1,500 "Joyce's Chemo Caps" have been made and distributed to cancer facilities in Collin County, and across the United States. Since the need is so great we are currently looking at additional facilities where we can distribute our caps.
If you know anyone who would like to join our group and make Chemo Caps, please contact Jan or Vivian. also if you know of a person in need of a Chemo Cap, they may contact either one of the Cancer Centers that have been mentioned.
Thank you all so much for your continued support. Each and evey one of you had made a difference in someone's life for your committment to this project
Cap Project

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nurse Navigator

Patients greatly benefit from the services of a Nurse Navigator in ways such as:

• Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the patient’s questions or support

• Ensures continuity of care between the primary care physician and specialists

• Guides both the patient and family members through the treatment process

• Educates and supports each patient empowering them to make informed treatment decisions

• Assesses reproductive status and preserves fertility prior to chemo/radiation therapy

• Avails patients with an array of resources for such things as financial assistance, support

groups, transportation to and from medical appointments and genetic testing

Sunday, May 9, 2010



Read this and other inspirational Breast Cancer stories @

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and it comes not a moment too soon. A recent study confirmed that nonmelanoma skin cancer is truly an epidemic in the US, with an estimated 350 percent increase in the number of skin cancers over the past decade and a half.
The Skin Cancer Foundation is committed to raising skin cancer awareness all year long by bringing you the latest in skin health and sun protection news. Please read on to learn more about photosensitivity, a subject The Wall Street Journal recently consulted us on, as well as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Panel’s unanimous decision to recommend stricter indoor tanning regulations. We also have the story on PGA TOUR golfer and skin cancer survivor Brian Davis' great game, and information on how you can support the Foundation by getting a great deal on sun protection products from Sephora and Brette Sandler, and watching a short video from Jergens®.

The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by AVEENO® and Rite Aid, also raises awareness. The Tour, which started in March and runs through the end of September, travels the country offering free full-body skin exams by dermatologists. To see when where we’re headed next, please view our Tour schedule at above or visit our Tour section.

Your Health: Even treatable skin cancer is no sunny experience

More Knitters Join the Group

Pat, Mary and Lynn have joined our group. Not only are they doing a great job of knitting but they are lots of fun while we sit around the table at the center. More Happy Cappers!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Age Didn't Stop Jean From Learning How to Knit!

Jean is over 90 years old and has just started knitting this year. She is a quick learner and was very patient as she was learning. We are so proud of her. She sits with us at the Allen Senior Center and listens to us talking and gabbing as she knits away. So, let this be a lesson to you. Never say you can't learn to knit, crochet or anything else that you would like to do. Because Jean learned how to knit, there will be a very happy 'capper' who will wear the first cap she made. Jean is making a difference in someone else's life and starting something new in her life! Nice goin', Jean. We sure love you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April is National Cancer Control Month

The American Cancer Society observes Cancer Control Month in April but did you know that the disease hits minorities and the uninsured harder than the general US population? Ethnic minorities and the uninsured are:

more likely to get cancer
■more likely to die from cancer
■more likely to be treated at later stages of the disease
■more likely to receive substandard care

Even when income, age, insurance status and severity of conditions are comparable, ethnic minorities have unequal access to care and a disproportionate number of cancer related deaths.

cancer death rates for black males are 37% higher than white males
■cancer death rates for black females are 17% higher than white females even though the incidence rate of cancer is lower in black women than white women
Skin cancer screening programs target whites so black and Latino men are 30% more likely to die from melanoma than are whites. Even though we spend $2 trillion annually on health care in our country, we are missing out on opportunities to provide basic care.

Stand Up 2 Cancer- Ending Song (Beyonce, Mariah Carey, etc.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Papaya Leaf extract Helps to Battle Cancers

The newest weapon in the war on cancer may be fruit-based.

Papaya leaf extract, and tea made from the extract, contain major cancer-fighting properties, according to new research. Papaya was able to slow the growth of tumors in the breast, lung, pancreas, cervix and liver, University of Florida researcher Nam Dang and his colleagues in Japan found.

Their report appeared in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, according to AFP.

The researchers found that the effects of the dried papaya leaf extract were stronger when the cancer cells exposed to it received larger doses of papaya leaf tea.

In many parts of the world, particularly in Asia, papaya has been regarded as a folk remedy for various ailments.

The new research demonstrates that papaya leaf extract increases the production of a certain type of molecule that helps regulate the body’s immune system. It could one day lead to treatments in which the immune system is used to battle cancers, Dang and the scientists said in the journal.

The papaya extract had no toxic effects on normal cells, as many conventional cancer treatments do. Dang and one of his colleagues are applying to patent a process that would allow them to distill papaya extract, reports AFP.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lisa's Story and Advise

Lisa sent us this added article that was in the Breast Cancer Website. She tells her story and gives very good advise!

Yearly Mammogram Caught Breast Cancer

My gynecologist put me on an estrogen patch after my hysterectomy, against my better judgment. Less than two years later, at age 50, a yearly mammogram and subsequent testing revealed a cancer tumor in my left breast. I had a lumpectomy in October, 2009. My surgeon said the tumor was too deep for me to feel and find. The sentinel lymph nodes were cancerous, so the underarm (axilla) lymph nodes had to be removed and 14 (over half!) were cancerous. That meant stage 3 -- chemo and radiation. I am currently in chemo, and winter is a good time to go through this with wigs and hats. I have a great husband, caring friends and wonderful people involved in my medical care and in my breast cancer support group. I also have an uncomfortable and ugly port in my chest and am dealing with lymphedema (arm pain and swelling) which can happen when you have lymph nodes removed and after radiation. I wish researchers would find out what causes cancer and cure it but, in the meantime, all we have is early detection. My advice is to get a yearly mammogram, especially when going through menopause, make sure they are taken and processed digitally, and avoid HRT if you can.

Richardson, TX

Note and Pictures of a Happy Capper

Took a pic with my webcam in my favorite cap which I wore today in Baylor Plano's Infusion room. I still have my rosy cheeks from chemo (third of six). It doubled as a great blindfold. I pulled the front over my eyes a little while listening to a CD for a half hour during treatment. I still have most of my eyebrows and eyelashes but without the cap you can see the top of my head very, very clearly through the thinning gray hair. I'll also send you a picture after my first treatment before I lost any hair. I wear another cap at night when my head gets cold. And I have a third cap that is heavier knit and has a brim for when I'm outside wearing a coat in this cold weather.

Going to check when ya'll are at the Allen Senior Center. I saved the tags and pins and you can reuse them and I can help pin them on the new batch. Just need to know when you need me. My schedule is open except my weekly chemo days which are Wednesdays at 1PM in January.

Here is me after my first chemo in November, what my hair looked like. (Had gotten a shorter haircut so I wouldn't be shedding such long strands of hair.)

I had taken a cell phone pic in front of the bathroom mirror recently showing a friend what my chemo port looks like.

And my new look with a wig when I'm not wearing caps and hats.

And I want to wish all the knitters and cappers a happy and healthy 2010 and beyond!!

Note from Barbara

Hi Ladies,

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful thing you've done with your chemo caps. I cared for my 55 year old sister here in Allen for about a year. She went to UT Southwestern for chemo for a very long time. She loved to go to the chemo cap box to look through all the lovely caps you all made. I believe she had one for almost all her outfits and last Christmas picked out the festive red and green ones. She even added little brooches to some to spice them up. She was single with no family and because of the cancer, had to sell her home and alot of her belongings. So whenever she got something she could call hers, she cherished it. I'm afraid we lost her in July, but she had a note on her to-do list to write and thank you for her caps. So, I would just like to thank you for brightening up my sister's life a little. I'm sure your caps have brightened up many other lives too. Thank you so much!


Saturday, December 26, 2009


Another year is almost gone and a new year will begin. It was a sad year for many who found out they or someone they love has cancer. There were many happy people who had cancer and are now survivors.

We, in Joyce's Chemo Cap Project wish everyone a Happy 2010. There will be people who will be diagnosed this year, will have surgery, go through radiation and chemotherapy. Our prayers go out to those that will not survive this year or will lose someone to cancer.

To date, we have distributed over 4,500 caps to the infusion centers around the Dallas area and to some outside cancer centers outside of Texas. We are very proud of the people who took their time this last year to knit and crochet caps for us. The variety of caps was wonderful. So many colors and designs. They should be proud of what they accomplished this last year. I wish we had videos of our 'happy cappers' who picked out a cap or two that was 'just made for them'. We've had calls from women that said "she went to look in the box of caps and there it was, the cap that seemed to have been designed and made for her!" Finding out how much the women (and some men) smiled and, for a few minutes, forgot the reason they were in the infusion center made us really happy. I wish we had videos of the smiles and tears of joy others got from our caps. When Joyce told us three years ago that she wished she had something to wear on her head at night because of the pain on her scalp, she didn't what she started! Her wish became a reality, not only for her but for many, many others.

People used to ask us how long we were going to make these caps and what we were going to do next. They don't ask anymore. They know what the answer would be. Our answer to that question was always: "When cancer is defeated and there is no more cancer, there will be no need for the caps." But until that happens, we will continue to make the caps and with each cap that is put in the boxes at the infusion centers for someone to take, a prayer is included with the cap. We pray for a cure, we pray for the strength to go through their treatments, and the courage to accept whatever is in the future for them.

God Bless everyone who is involved with our project, either by knitting or crocheting, putting tags on the caps, delivering caps, donating money and yarn so we can continue making caps and God Bless everyone who has a need for our caps. Our caps are made with love. Happy 2010.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Correspondance Between Vivian and a Knitter

I am interested in donating chemo caps to your org. I have already made a few. Do I just mail them to you at the Thoreau address, or is there someplace I can drop them off?

Hello, Vicki you can mail them to our address if you wish. But if you would like to meet our group come by the center.
We are in Allen, Texas and meet at the Allen Senior Center on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
How did you find out about the Joyce's Chemo Cap Project?
We would love for you to donate your caps. And thank you so much for wanting to be a part of our group.
Jan and Vivian

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thank You From Susan

I have picked up a few of your caps at Texas Oncology by Baylor Plano Hospital. They are great, especially to wear around the house and to wear to bed. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to make a difference for those of us going through chemo. I have been amazed at the outpouring of support I have received from all kinds of people as I go through this process (diagnosed with breast cancer via annual mammogram in July).
Your friend Joyce (Schmitt) must be smiling down on you!
Warm Regards,

Thank you Susan for your kind words. We are so happy that our group can do something for other people and sometimes make them smile.
God bless you on the road that you travel. Our thoughts are with you during this journey.
Jan and Vivian

Additional Note from Lisa in Richardson

Feel free to use anything I have written to you. I have been telling lots of folks about your caps and about Joyce. A neighbor just had a lumpectomy last week and will hear this week whether lymph nodes are involved (which makes a BIG difference, as you know). I had a lot of lymphs removed so I'm on chemo right now and may do radiation after all that, and I am learning how to prevent lymphedema and am going to physical therapy and will be getting bandages to put on my affected arm.

When I am bald and wearing the caps, I plan on figuring out where exactly the Allen Senior Center is and come down and help pin the tags on the caps and meet the lovely people involved in your wonderful endeavor. I am not sure if I am going to be posing for many photos in course of my treatment (torn on whether I want to remember it with photos or not), but if I have a flattering shot in a cap, I will send it to you, or pose with your group when I meet y'all.

I still have a week with my own hair. They tell me the two drugs I am on will certainly result in hair loss. We'll see.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cancer at Christmas

This was an article I found on the internet. It was actually published at Christmastime, 2008 by the Cancer Council Victoria in Australia. It's still useful information so I thought I would put part of it on Joyce's Chemo Caps blog.

Celebrating Christmas can be difficult for people who have experienced a major change or loss in their life. Feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness are common and Christmas traditions can be painful reminders of how different life has become.
Coping strategies

Sharing experiences and coping strategies can help people get through difficult times.

If you are in treatment for cancer: Set realistic expectations
Consider online shopping and/or gift vouchers for Christmas presents. This can save both time and energy.
If you're experiencing financial issues, consider ‘Kris Kringle' or making home-made gift vouchers for things such as babysitting, gardening, or a picnic.
Booking Christmas lunch or dinner at a restaurant, arranging a picnic at a local park, or simply asking people to bring a contribution to the Christmas meal can reduce stress.
If you're having treatment over Christmas, consider having a low-key day on December 25 and plan a celebration at the end of treatment.
Express your needs.
Tell others if you're finding it difficult to cope and accept offers of help. Be specific about things people can do to assist.

Be gentle with yourself.
Give yourself permission to get through Christmas the best way you can. Try to accept any limitations and remember Christmas doesn't have to be perfect.
Mood swings and feelings of loss are common over Christmas. Allow yourself some time to grieve and reflect.
Have an exit plan prepared for times when you may find a family gathering or party overwhelming.
Keep activities simple and non-strenuous.
Fatigue is a common side effect after cancer treatment. Avoid overwhelming numbers of visitors and long car trips. As energy levels may fluctuate, sometimes it can be helpful to plan the day's activities and then halve them. Allow for rest time during the day.
Keep meals simple. If the person with cancer has had to change their diet, serve food that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Create new rituals:
If your usual Christmas rituals or traditions are too painful, consider replacing with a new ritual or tradition that is special to you.
Seek support:
Talking to someone about your feelings can reduce feelings of distress and isolation. Family and friends can be a good source of support.

We, at Joyce's Chemo Cap Project, hope you have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy 2010.

Again, Another Email from Emily

I am a patient of Dr. Stones and I want to tell you how much I enjoy the chemo caps. I have used them on days I don't really need a wig and they make me look and feel good, and healthy. Thanks for making these caps.


Email Received from a Capper in Richardson TX

I am not dreading going bald in the next week and a half, partly because my husband and I picked out a few caps from the box in the Baylor Plano infusion room. They go with different outfits and they look great and I am so grateful that you provide them to people undergoing chemotherapy. I almost bought one or two in a store before I started chemo and then I was so happy to see that people care enough to provide them for free for patients. The other day I was in chemo and I saw a bald young mother with two young daughters and they had a couple beautiful pink knit caps they were going home with.

I think it is a wonderful way you are keeping Joyce Schmitt's memory alive. The caps from the box mean so much more to me than any hat I could have bought in a store. I think a cap will be so much easier to wear than a wig!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Call from a 'happy capper'

Yesterday we received a call from Carla. She just received her first treatment yesterday and while she was getting her infusion, looked down and there was this beautiful purple (her favorite color) on top of a pile of caps in a box. She was so happy to know that she could have the cap and wanted to thank us for it. Her husband told her that the cap was meant for her. I agreed. I told her she could take another cap and she said "Oh no, this is the one I want and I will cherish it. Let others take the other caps". She is a very nice lady. She told me that she would make caps if she could knit but she doesn't know how. I told her that her call to us means so much and that is enough for her to do. It's so good to hear from people like Carla!

Charles Woodson Donates $2 million

Charles Woodson wants to be known as more than a football player.

Donating $2 million to the new University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital gives him a chance to do that.

The school announced Woodson’s gift on Thanksgiving before he played for the Green Bay Packers against the Detroit Lions.

Woodson’s money will support pediatric research by The Charles Woodson Clinical Research Fund in the $754-million, 1.1-million square foot hospital slated to open in 2012.

He hopes to attract the world’s best researchers who want to help children with cancer, heart disease, kidney disorders and autism.

Woodson said during a visit to Ann Arbor earlier this month that becoming a father motivated him to make the gift.

Monday, November 23, 2009


We at Joyce's Chemo Cap Project want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. To those who are now going through treatments and surgeries, to those that are now Survivors and to all of your families and friends that are going through or went through the healing process with you, we want to say 'God Bless each and every one of you'.

If you've received our caps, we hope that the caps helped make you comfortable and that you enjoyed wearing our caps.

We also want to thank all of those that made caps for us, those that contributed to our yarn supply and those who encouraged us to continue with our project. May all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recent News Regarding Mamograms

There have been reports on the news lately that is advising women to wait until they are 50 to have a mamogram and older women need only to have a mamogram every other year. This news has upset many people in the medical field. Following is an article regarding the news and is very important for all women to read.

YSC Responds to New Mammography Guidelines

While the new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations on screening mammography, clinical breast exam and self-examination do not directly impact the young breast cancer survivors served by Young Survival Coalition (YSC), we are concerned about the recommendation of such significant changes. Although mammograms are not perfect tests, the evidence has clearly shown that they save lives in older women and should be available for all women for whom such screening is appropriate. Further, the Task Force's recommendations deal only with average risk women, not screening in higher risk women including screening residual breast tissue of young and old survivors. For these populations there is not enough scientific data to change current recommendations. YSC believes that better tools are urgently needed for younger women regardless of their risk level. This current debate regarding the effectiveness of mammograms highlights the issues facing young women. While over 11,000 women under 40 in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer annually, there is still no screening method for early detection of breast cancer in young women. Survival rates for young women diagnosed with breast cancer are significantly worse than their older counterparts and the disease is often detected at later stages and is found to be more aggressive. Without access to proper and timely care, a woman's odds for survival decrease.

Mammography has been found to be an ineffective screening mechanism for this population because of their breast density. Accordingly YSC urges all young women to be familiar with their bodies, know their own personal risk factors for breast cancer, be aware of the signs of breast malignancies and to promptly consult with their health provider if they have any health concerns.

For more information contact:
Dana Griffin
Communications Manager, YSC

This email was sent by: Young Survival Coalition
61 Broadway, Suite 2235 New York, NY 10006 USA

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Newest Knitters

We have two knitters. Their caps are beautiful and so appreciated. Welcome to our project, Angel and Vicki.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This Is Our First Post. We Are Repeating It.

This is the very first entry in Joyce's Chemo Cap Project blog.
For those who are seeing this blog for the first time and for those who would like a refresher, we are repeating it. There are many changes as far as the hospitals and the amount of caps we have completed. Since the beginning of our project until now, over 4000 caps have been made. We have received caps from California to England and, of course, from our Texas knitters and crocheters. We are so proud of everyone who has contributed to our project. We have more than 5 hospitals that we deliver to now. We know that Joyce is watching over our project as we continue in her memory.

Joyce's Chemo
The Chemo Cap Project was started by Jan Goble, Lena Louter and Vivian Denbow after a mutual friend Joyce Schmitt was diagnosed with cancer. Joyce said that the caps she had to sleep in hurt he head because of the seams. We found patterns on the Internet for Chemo Caps. The patterns suggested using yarns that were soft to the touch. Jan and I bought yarn and started making the caps. We asked Joyce to "approve the yarn" to make sure it was soft. We started knitting the caps at the Allen Senior Recreation Center on August 1, 2007. Several of our friends at the center have joined us in making the Chemo Caps. Since many of the women can crochet and knit we have patterns for both types of caps. The caps are great for sleeping or being out on the town. Our Allen group had grown and now we have over twenty women knitting and crocheting the Chemo Caps. Our project has been shared with family and friends and spread to Dallas, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennslyvania, Iowa and Virginia.
Some of the senior who can not make the caps have either donated money or yarn to the project.
We found several cancer centers in Collin County that wanted the caps. We are currently working with the McKinney Cancer Center and Plano Cancer Center to distribute adult caps. Our only stipulation was that the caps be given to patients that could use the caps at no cost. Lena's main focus had been on childresn's Chemo Caps. Lena has made over 100 plus children's caps and has sent them to St Jude's Children's Hospital and the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.
In October we proudly renamed our Chemo Cap Project "Joyce's Chemo Caps" because without her friendshp and understanding of the great need for Chemo Caps we would not have know there was a need.
With your support over 1,500 "Joyce's Chemo Caps" have been made and distributed to cancer facilities in Collin County, and across the United States. Since the need is so great we are currently looking at additional facilities where we can distribute our caps.
If you know anyone who would like to join our group and make Chemo Caps, please contact Jan or Vivian. also if you know of a person in need of a Chemo Cap, they may contact either one of the Cancer Centers that have been mentioned.
Thank you all so much for your continued support. Each and evey one of you had made a difference in someone's life for your committment to this project
Cap Project

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Letter We Received Regarding Our Caps

Hello, Vivian!
I lived down the street from Joyce during our high school days and always enjoyed her zest for life. I am so impressed with the Chemo Caps project you are a part of.

When one of my friends lost her hair due to chemo treatments, I wrote and a beautiful cap was sent to me which I gave to her. Another friend offered to make some for her and others so I bought many skiens of that wonderful, baby-soft yarn you use (I forget the brand name). Someone sent me a pattern but my friend having the chemo said that cap didn't fit and stay on as well as the one I received from you.

My friend, the knitter, has offered to make more of a pattern she finally devised. The chemo friend says they are pretty good and stay on at night okay. The knitter is going to be making more and I was wondering if you would like me to send some to you for distribution? I am going to take some to our local center where they administer the chemo.

Thanks for all you do in Joyce's name. It was great you sent the note to our class website.

Barbara Howe

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Football and Pink Cleats

DeAngelo Williams was a catalyst for the NFL’s decision to allow players to wear pink cleats to raise awareness for breast cancer. Then he and the Panthers were off with a bye when the initiative began last weekend.
The running game last season took off after the bye week, and Williams would like a similar breakout Sunday while he honors his mom’s successful battle with cancer.
Williams, who said he lost three aunts to the disease, didn’t know his mother was diagnosed until after she was treated.
“She got it removed and she’s been in remission,” Williams said. “She’s a five-year survivor.”
Williams has since done charity work for breast cancer awareness, and in July went to Panthers director of community relations Riley Fields about lobbying the league to let players wear pink cleats. The NFL had already planned to have pink-wrapped goalposts, wristbands and gloves, but hadn’t approved pink shoes.
The NFL decided to allow five or six players per team to wear pink cleats over two games. Williams and receiver Muhsin Muhammad(notes), whose mother and mother-in-law are breast cancer survivors, are among the Panthers who will wear pink Sunday.
“She was flipping through the channels this weekend and she was calling me every time she saw somebody in pink,” Williams said of his mother. “It meant a lot to her, so I know it meant a lot to a lot of the cancer survivors and families out there.”

Wearing pink cleats in recognition of breast cancer awareness week, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stands on the field during warmups before the Patriots' NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009, in Foxborough, Mass.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is:

The most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women.
The second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
In 2004, 186,772 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,954 women died from the disease.

Men can also get breast cancer. In 2004, 1,815 men were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 362 men died from the disease.

There are different kinds of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast, like the ducts or the glands (or lobules.)

No one is immuned from cancer. Let's show our support in October. You can wear pink to let others see the support for the fight agains breast cancer.

Help someone you know. Take her or him to lunch, shopping, to sit in the park and feed the birds. Learn to knit this month and start making chemo caps for cancer patients. There are many ways to let those suffering with this dreadful disease that you care and are aware of what it is doing to people from all races, creeds, religions, political preferences, the rich, the poor, famous and unknown.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Caps Received from Anne Lee in California

Anne Lee, who lives in El Macero, California is our latest knitter. She sent us a package this week. A package of caps. They're beautiful caps! There is a correspondance between Anne and Vivian earlier in the blog. Here is a picture of the caps received from her this weekend:

Thank you, Anne. There will be some happy faces at the Baylor cancer center.

We Need a Name for Our Knitters and Crocheters

Do you have a suggestion for what we can call the knitters and crocheters who do their loving work for the Joyce's Chemo Cap Project? We don't like to always refer to them as 'knitters and crocheters'. If you have a suggestion, please let us know in the comment section. Just click on the comment at the bottom of the post. You can leave your name or check anonymous. Thanks everyone who reads our blog and contributes to our project.

Information About the Distribution of the Chemocaps

We've posted information showing our new members of Joyce's Chemo Caps when they join us. We also have the patterns for the caps, pictures of our 'happy cappers' on the blog and letters from the 'cappers'. We've never really explained the distribution of the caps and people have asked us how we do it.
This is how we collect and distribute the caps. There are some that drop off caps to us while we're sitting around the table at the Allen Senior Recreation Center. We have no requirement that they have to meet us there or even go to the center. Many are not seniors or do not live in Allen. We meet at the center but our project is not affiliated with them. We've received caps by mail. We have not even met some of the people that make the caps but give the caps to someone else to bring them to us. We've even received caps from other states such as California and other states too far to be delivered except by mail. Some of our group do not knit or crochet but help us by pinning our cards to the caps, rolling yarn, and sorting the caps to distribute.
We usually sort all of the caps we receive on Fridays. Because everyone has different ways and different patterns and makes the caps out of different yarns or colors, we want to divide the caps evenly so each cancer center gets a good variety of caps. Some of our group buys their own yarn but if they cannot, we furnish the yarn. Our only stipulation is that the yarn is soft and is not made of wool. This makes for a good variety of caps. Many of our caps are thin. This is good because in the beginning of our project, the purpose was for thin caps to be worn to sleep in. Joyce needed something to wear to bed. Thin caps are better for this purpose. Some are thicker, good for cold winter days or nights when the 'capper' goes to the doctor, shopping or just out of the house. We receive both crocheted caps and knitted caps. And, some caps even have buttons, ribbons, little hand made flowers and other little added touches to the caps.
We sort the caps according to different categories. We end up with a lot of stacks of different caps. Then we divide the them into individual stacks to go to the centers. We make sure that there are duplicates in each stack because there may be more than one person to want a particular cap. But we don't want all of the same cap to go to one center either. Variety is better.
Another reason we want the caps to be delivered to us is because we need to have a correct count of caps that we collect and deliver. It help us to know which cancer center is going to be needing caps. We also like to keep some caps on hand in case we receive a call from a new center. And we get calls from individuals so we like to keep caps on hand. It also helps us with the distribution of yarn.

We currently distribute 'Joyce's Chemo Caps" to the following centers:
Baylor- Plano
Dr. Kelly - Allen
Parkland - Dallas
Texas Oncology Center/Plano
Texas Oncology Center/ Allen
Gilda's Guild/ Allen
UTSW - Dallas

And friends who need our caps.

Coming soon are our new centers in September will be:
Baylor - Dallas
Presbyterian - Allen

We sent 50 caps to Woodward Cancer Center in Brighton, MI.
We would like to thank everyone who has donated caps to our project.

Our project has become a ministry.

In Joyce's Memory,
Vivian, Jan and Lena

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Hospital Gets Caps

SUSAN, a lady from Plano who is in our group has sent crochet caps to M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas. GOOD JOB...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We Have a Wonderful New Knitter

Frances Nelson is our newest knitter. She was worried that her caps wouldn't meet up to our requirements. She and her daughter, Dru, drove to meet us at the Allen Senior Center Saturday. They drove from Richardson. Did we like her caps! Oh my gosh! We loved them. We visited for awhile and found Frances and Dru to be very nice people, committed to helping others, people and animals alike. Here is a picture of Frances with some of her caps, a picture of Frances, Vivian and Jan and a picture of the bunch of caps she brought to us. Great variety, beautiful colors. Thank you so much Frances for your help in our project.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Other Cancer Awareness for September

National Ovarian Cancer Month
Childhood Cancer Month
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (Sept. 10-16)
Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Advocates and researchers at the University of Michigan hope that increased awareness about ovarian cancer can save lives.

Here is what they want you to know.

1. Symptoms do exist. Bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, feeling full quickly, and frequent or urgent urinating are have been shown to be related to a possible case of ovarian cancer and if they persist you should see your doctor.
2. There is no early detection screening test currently.
3. All women should get yearly pelvic exams.
4. Ovarian cancer is difficult to treat because it's often resistant to current treatments.
5. Survival rates are better at the early stage.
6. Most common in older white women.
7. A small number of ovarian cancers are hereditary, linked to the same genes that are linked to breast cancer.
8. The best person to treat ovarian cancer is a gynecologic oncologist.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We received a lot of yarn as a donation. Really pretty yarn but we weren't sure how the yarn would look in a cap. Well, Vivian made some. Beautiful.

Luisa, one of our crocheters called. She is going to try and knit one of the caps for us.
I cast on 60 stitches but it is a little large. So I will start another one with just 50 stitches.
I told Luisa to wait until I had finished the cap so I could send her the pattern.
Angel brought us caps but they are a little large. She was sorry about the size and said she would make them smaller. She said that they fit her head. But I told her to remember that most of the people do not have hair. Angel is so nice...
The yarn is called Phentex....

I tried the new Phentex yarn. The outcome's beautiful! It took 1.5 hour to make one. It's very hard to know where the beginning, one has to mark the first stitch. I honestly had a tough time to do it. It could be done with a single string & turned out fine without too big a hole. I used a 1/9-5.50mm hook. It takes 1.5 balls to make a hat. If you have any questions please call me.

Correspondance Between Vivian and a Knitter, Anne Lee

Subject: information request
Date: Sunday, July 12, 2009, 3:36 PM

Dear Joyce's ChemoCap Project
I would like information on your requirements for accepting hand-knitted cap donations. I recently sent a dozen or so hand-knitted caps to one group that responded that even though I used soft, washable yarns, they required that the caps be knit from one of their three recommended inexpensive yarns (which I hadn't known beforehand). I had already purchased a large stash of finer, soft, washable yarns; few were the specific yarns that they wanted. Since I am committed to continuing to make caps, I need to find another group that will accept caps made from very soft cottons, cotton-blends, and acrylic blends. Because my sister (in whose honor and memory I knit chemo caps) was treated for cancer twice in Dallas, I was interested in your group when I saw it on the Internet.

Any information you can provide will be appreciated.
Thank you.

Thank you so much for contacting our group. We take crochet and knit chemo caps made with soft yarn. We have some yarn preferences but anything soft works for us.
All of the yarns that you mentioned are currently being used by our group. What type of pattern are you using to make the caps? I can E mail you the pattern we use if you wish. But all of the ladies just do their own thing with colors and patterns.
How exactly did you hear about our group? We are located in the Dallas area. Actually, are in Allen, Texas about 25 miles north of Dallas. Were are you located?
We tag all of our caps before we distribute them. If you would like to mail the caps to our group I will give you our mailing address. As you might know we distribute to 5 cancer centers in our area.
We have people across Texas making caps for our group. We also have a group in Pennsylvania where Joyce's sister lives.
I will give you the Texas mailing address. If you would like the Pennsylvania address I will send it Later.
Please feel free to contact us if you need additional assistance or more information.
And thank you again for contacting our group.

Joyce's Chemo Cap Project

Thanks so much for your quick response! I now live near Sacramento, CA but got my BS degree from SMU in Dallas and my PhD from UTD in Richardson in the 1970s. My sister, in whose memory I now knit chemo caps, was treated for Hodgkin's in Dallas (Dr. Weisberg) in the late 70s, and then again 25 yrs later for colon cancer. She had been a founder, or at least involved in the start of, Gilda's Club of North Texas (I think that's the proper name). She passed away 4 years ago next week.

I found your group by googling - "chemo cap donations," I think it was. When I first realized that there were groups who collected and distributed caps for chemo patients last spring, I downloaded a number of patterns from various chemo-cap sites, and also purchased a few, that looked interesting and were without seams. My yarn-buying frenzy yielded all sorts of interesting, soft, washable, non-wool yarns; since I'd never been too wild about knitting with acrylics, most of these were cottons, and various blends of cotton, acrylic, bamboo & nylon. I took my first nearly dozen caps to the Med Center in Sacramento. Then I found Knots of Love on the Internet and sent the next batch to them; but they then indicated that they only wanted caps made from 3 specific yarns, none of which I had. So I recently went back on line to find a group who might want the dozens that I'll be making from my yarn stash! I was delighted to find your group in the Dallas area because when I became inspired to make caps, I had wanted to support patients in the Dallas area.

I really want to make caps that patients want to wear - so if they really prefer simple rolled-brim, stockinette hats from acrylic yarns, for example, I can focus on making those. I'd love to know what patterns your group use, and yarn preferences.

Anyway, that's my chemo-cap story and my connection with Dallas. I'm going to be away for the next few weeks, but I'll send my next batch to you and you can let me know if you like them, or re-direct me!

Anne Lee

Hello, again Anne.
We currently deliver caps to Parkland and UT-SW in Dallas. Our friend Joyce took her treatments at those two centers. We would love to have your caps.
Joyce had mentioned that even the pillow case hurt her head at night. That is when we started our group. We still make the soft caps to wear at night. Our pattern has a seam but it is almost invisible. As I mentioned the ladies just do their own thing. Some use straight needles and some use circular needles.
The only yarn that we have found that is not real soft is the Red Heart Super Saver. Although if you wash the caps and dry them the yarn is softer. We mainly purchase yarn at Hobby Lobby. We like their brand I LOVE THIS YARN. But as I mentioned any soft yarn will work.
I am sending the basic knit pattern for you information. It sounds like you have done a lot of research and have the patterns necessary.
Thank you again and hope to hear from you soon.
Hi Vivian

I have completed five knitted, and two crocheted, caps that I'd like to send you for distribution. If you donate to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, I'd be particularly pleased if mine were to go there - as that's where my sister received her last treatments... Do I need to fill out any forms to send with them? I put a tag on mine to note the fiber content; if you need additional information, please let me know. I just send them to you, right? at:

Joyce's Chemo Cap Project
1206 Thoreau Lane
Allen, Texas 75002


Anne Lee
That would be wonderful Anne. You have the address correct.
We will make sure that they are donated to Baylor.
Thank you again for participating in the Joyce's Chemo Cap Project.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another Note From One of Our Crocheters!

I tried the new Phentex yarn. The outcome's beautiful! It took 1.5 hour to make one. It's very hard to know where the beginning, one has to mark the first stitch. I honestly had a tough time to do it. It could be done with a single string & turned out fine without too big a hole. I used a 1/9-5.50mm hook. It takes 1.5 balls to make a hat. If you have any questions please call me

Note from One of Our Knitters

From: Susan
To: "Chemo Caps"
Date: Friday, August 21, 2009, 3:11 PM

Vivan - A good thing happened today - A lady from New Orleans used to
live here while her house was being rebuilt. Well she has been back in
New Orleans for a couple of years and she showed up here today. Anyway
we started talking and she asked about what was on my table and I
showed her the caps and explained how it works. Her name is Mary -
While she was here, she made about half a cap and she is excited. I
gave her one of your cards. She said she had a friend named Julie who
died of cancer but anyway she is going to start making caps for people
in New Orleans. We decided people there have cancer too. She called it
"paying it forward." When she left she was on her way to Hobby Lobby.
See you Wednesday - Susan

Great news! We hope that our project reaches cities all over the states! The more knitters and crocheters making caps, the more 'happy cappers'!

Let's Cure Cancer by Brian Trent of the Dallas Examiner

Obama’s historic election was sandwiched between two cancer deaths – that of his grandmother the day before, and of bestselling author Michael Crichton the day after.
Why don’t we cure the damnable disease?

Roughly one in four American deaths are from cancer; approximately 1,500 every day. Globally, this sickle reaches 10 million people annually and is expected to sharply increase. Indeed, in a political climate marked by fanatical divisiveness, cancer is something of a wake-up call. It is not a disease of specific demographics (as AIDS was originally thought of as a “gay disease” due to its prevalence among homosexual communities) of social classes (Crichton led a blessed life of literary success and all the money that went with it, and yet was fundamentally powerless to defeat the disease.)

Just a few days after the election, Washington University published their discovery of “cancer genes” responsible for the 5-10 percent of cancers considered to be hereditary. That study cost $1 million dollars; by contrast, the monthly bill for the Iraq War is $10 billion. Over the past several years, the U.S. government has spent a mere $100 million dollars on genome studies of brain, lung, and ovarian cancers. Again, just a fraction of our military spending.

Just where are our priorities? Imagine what we could be accomplishing if we diverted the cash flow, from war into cure.

To use a historical perspective, the human race managed to claw its way to the top of the food chain despite all odds. Without natural armor, poison sacs, or terrible fangs, we used social skills and intellect to survive and prosper. We defeated the perils of the prehistoric world.
Yeah, we fought her off too.

Transitioning from villages to cities, we devised ways of dealing with the scarcity of water and food. We irrigated the land, domesticated livestock, and perfected tool-making. We pioneered surgical techniques, and can now repair paralysis in lab rats. We have mapped the human genome, landed on the moon, split the atom, and sent probes into deep space.

Is anyone still willing to say that we can’t defeat cancer?

The bubonic plague which decimated Europe and Asia can be cured with a pill today. In 1665, a renewed outbreak of that plague led London’s newspapers to declare it was divine punishment. Being divine, all one could do was pray for deliverance. Yet more than a millennium earlier, the Greek physician Hippocrates addressed the subject of epilepsy (also considered a heavenly curse) and wrote,

“People think epilepsy is divine because they don’t understand it. But I propose that one day we will understand what causes it, and in that moment it will cease being divine.”

Cancer is a breakdown of cellular division, resulting in out-of-control replication. New discoveries have linked viruses like HPV to the cause of many cancers, while others owe to environmental contagions and genetic factors. There are numerous kinds, and it is doubtful that a single approach (barring some nanotechnological miracle) that will work for all. And yet it is still a mechanical process, and humans have a neat way of mastering the mechanics of the universe. We're really just getting warmed up.

It is too late to help Obama’s grandmother, Michael Crichton, or those in our own families who have died from this terrible disease. But it needn’t be too late for ourselves, our children, and our tomorrow.

Michigan Men Take It Off to Benefit Breast Cancer


Two Michigan men have landed in a place neither of them ever thought they'd be -- naked, well, nearly naked, in a calendar.
It's slightly naughty, but it's for a good cause.
Jeremy Watmuff (Mr. May) and Dr. Ken Colton (Mr. October) are featured in the 60-Mile Men 2010 calendar.
It's produced and sold to support the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, which raises money for research, treatment and prevention of breast cancer. The 60-mile walk begins today and Misters May and October are among the estimated 3,000 people who are committed to walking from Dearborn to Ann Arbor this weekend.
The 2010 calendar, which sells for $20, is the third edition of the calendar produced by 60-Mile Men Inc., a Michigan-based support group that raises money for the 3-Day.
Founder Matthew Pickus of Ann Arbor got the fund-raising idea while participating in the 2006 walk. He later appeared as Mr. January in the first calendar in 2008.
Men submit online applications to appear in the calendar. Participants must be men who work or walk in the 3-Day.
It's Colton's first time in the calendar, but his third in the walk.
Colton, 52, a family practice physician in Westland, and his wife, Amy Colton, 55, began walking in 2007, two years after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.
"I diagnose breast cancer on unfortunately a high rate of my patients," Colton says. "For the sake of my wife and my patients, we both wanted to do more toward ending breast cancer."
Mr. May, a.k.a. Watmuff, 31, a bank manager in Warren, also plans to walk in the 3-Day this year, something he did initially because he was looking for a way to give back.
"But once I started trying to raise money and talking with my friends and family, I realized how many people I know who I never knew are either affected by breast cancer or know someone who is," he says. "Each one gives me more reasons to walk."
As for the calendar, "It's something I never expected I'd be doing in my entire life," says Watmuff. "But it ended up being a lot of fun. It's all done in good taste. At times I felt like a star."

60 Mile Breast Cancer Walks Going On Now

If anyone has gone on one of these walks, please email any interesting stories to our email address:

A friend, Annette, in Michigan just completed her walk. She has the blisters and sore legs to prove it. But she's proud that she could contribute the $2500.00 to the cause! Her friend Michelle and her sister, Sarah, joined her in the walk. Annette and Sarah lost their sister to breast cancer and they walked in her memory. Here is a good picture of the group they walked with. Any stories? We'd like to post them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summertime Needs Attention!

Too much sun exposure can be dangerous for everyone. It can cause skin cancer, cataracts, wrinkles, and painful burns that may permanently damage skin. It can also make side effects of some chemotherapy worse. Sun exposure during 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) chemotherapy leads to more skin reaction and tanning. Intense sun exposure can also weaken the immune system even more than treatment has already.

Skin in an area that's receiving radiation therapy should be protected from the sun with a bathing suit or other clothing. Be careful: Sunscreen can further irritate radiated skin.
Still, you don't have to hide inside on bright summer days just because you're in breast cancer treatment. According to dermatologist Margo L. Weishar, M.D., of Springhouse, PA, you can enjoy the sun if you take these precautions:

Schedule your sun time for early or late in the day. Wear a tightly woven, wide-brimmed (5 inches) hat, and clothing that covers most of your body.
Don't step outside without your sunblock on! And apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go outside, because it takes time before it starts working.
Forget the false notion that any sunscreen SPF (sun protection factor) higher than 15 is a waste. Go for the highest number you can buy. "Most people don't apply sunscreen the way it's tested in the lab, me included," Dr. Weishar says. "You may be getting only half the protection you think you are." She recommends 45 SPF, in a waterproof formulation to combat sweat. If you swim, reapply even waterproof sunblocks after being immersed in water.
For best face protection, Dr. Weishar advises using sunblocks that contain zinc. The blob of white that you may have seen covering lifeguards' noses is one kind of zinc sunblock. But newer products contain tiny particles of zinc that block harmful rays but are invisible when applied.
Sunscreens are chemical sunblocks, not physical ones like zinc. They absorb—rather than deflect—harmful rays. If you buy a sunscreen, according to Dr. Weishar, choose one containing Parsol (chemical name: avobenzone). This is a chemical that does a good job of absorbing harmful rays.
Protect your head. If you've lost your hair, the exposed skin has never seen sunlight before and will burn easily. The same goes for your ears, since many women usually style their hair over their ears. "The best thing is to wear a hat," Dr. Weishar says. "Otherwise, use a good zinc sunblock."
Apply topical vitamin C before sunscreen or makeup. Sold in liquid form, it can protect your skin against sunlight damage. Choose the ones that come in brown, light-sensitive bottles, Dr. Weishar says. This is because the vitamin C molecule is easily destroyed and should not be stored in a clear container.
Use an indoor tanning lotion if you want a deep tan. "They work superficially on the skin and are harmless," says Dr, Weishar. "Just remember that the color you get won't protect you from the sun."
If you have a fresh surgical scar, keep the area well covered. It can get pinker, then darker, if it's exposed to the sun.
Don't rely on the SPF ratings you see on makeup or face lotions to protect your skin. If you're going to be outdoors for longer than a trip to the supermarket, use a sunblock or sunscreen.
Remember that most T-shirts give you a sun protection factor of only about 8.
If you're going through radiation treatment, protect your skin from the drying effects of chlorinated pool water by using a barrier product like A&D ointment or Vaseline petroleum jelly.
After underarm lymph node dissection, try to avoid poison ivy, bug bites, cuts, or any other outdoor risks for infection or allergic reaction.
If you're currently in breast cancer treatment, avoid hot tubs, Dr. Weishar notes. She says she's seen many cases of "hot tub folliculitis"—a condition caused by invisible bacteria in hot tub water. Bathers emerge with painful and ugly red sores on their skin. Although the condition is not serious, she says it could be worse for someone whose immune system is weakened.
With a little care, summer really can be a day (or week) at the beach, despite breast cancer treatment. Says Dr. Weishar, "I tell women, 'Put on a zinc sunblock, cover up, and enjoy!'"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thank You from a Happy Capper's Happy Daughter

We received a very beautiful Thank You this week from the daughter of one of our 'cappers'. Her mother loved the caps she received. She gave us a very generous donation too. Here is what she wrote to us.
Click on each page to read it.