Finding a Lump at a Young Age

Posted on Oct 30th 2012 by Natasha Sluder

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I was always aware of breast cancer but I never thought I would have to think about it at such a young age. I was 18, very active in school sports and took my health very seriously, including doing monthly breast self-exams. One morning I woke up and honestly put my hand right on the lump. I knew something wasn’t right, so I told my mom and we set up an appointment with my doctor. At first he thought I was being overly cautious, but it turned out my gut instinct was right – the lump needed to...

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Natasha Sluder

Natasha is a member of the Florida Blue Center Pensacola team. Her passion in life is helping others either through her professional work effort or community involvement.

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Playing in the Dirt at Walker Park

Posted on Oct 24th 2012 by Angel Alvarez

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Editor’s Note: The following article was written by the Angel Alvarez, the food and nutrition program coordinator of Centro Mater Childcare Services, at our request. This organization received funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation’s Embrace a Healthy Florida initiative addressing the causes and prevention of childhood obesity. Many children come to the center and are not accustomed to eating fruits and vegetables. Every school year, a new set of children come to...

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Angel Alvarez

Angel Alvarez is a registered dietician and and licensed dietician nutritionist. He serves as the food and nutrition program coordinator for Centro Mater Childcare Services in Miami-Dade.

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Sleeping like a baby? Well, not really...

Posted on Oct 24th 2012 by sarah

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PART 1 I love my sleep. I cherish it. I crave it. But most of all, I miss it. I am good at sleeping and I used to look forward to going to sleep. That all changed with the birth of my son. Evenings are now a time of uncertainty. Every night I wonder, “What will tonight bring?” Of all the changes that come with having a baby, not being in control of my sleep has been the hardest. Lack of sleep is a parent's new normal You get a lot of advice when you are pregnant, whether you want it or not...

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The Spice of Life

Posted on Oct 24th 2012 by Janice Bradley

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I love spices. There, I said it! Spices and I have had a long-standing love affair. Exaggeration? Perhaps. But it is really quite simple to understand why. You see, when I was about 10 years old, my mother, who is old-school when it comes to cooking, began to teach me how to cook. She makes everything from scratch, and it is rare when she makes something that doesn’t taste good. It was about that time that my mother decided to try a new recipe – Curried Chicken with Granny Smith Apples served...

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Janice Bradley

Janice Bradley is part of the Federal Employee Program. She has happy memories of being told to stand “over there”….wherever “there” was while Mom cooked. Janice sees a world immersed in spices and herbs as a beautiful place to be and would love everyone to live the dream with her!

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John Padgett – Center Leader, Tech Geek and Problem Solver

Posted on Oct 24th 2012 by Kate Warnock

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Starting this month, your life will get a little simpler. Why? Because John Padgett is our newest blogger. Need to know what new health gadget or app will help you reach your wellness goals sooner? Check… Wish you could access your claims at 10:45 at night, but aren’t sure how to register and log in at floridablue.com ? Check… Need a little inspiration to get you on that path to personal health? Check… John Padgett might be the Tallahassee Florida Blue Center leader, but he’s also a nine-year...

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Kate Warnock

Kate Warnock is a member of the Florida Blue social media team and has loved being at the forefront of the social wave @FLBlue. A marketer with ten years’ experience, Kate is also a wife and mom to two children. When not at work, you’ll find Kate listening to NPR, reading The New Yorker and Cooking Light, and arriving two minutes late to yoga class.

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Breast Cancer Was a Gift to Me: A Story by Barbara Groves

Posted on Oct 19th 2012 by Barbara Groves

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When I was 41 years old, I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer. I was very lucky that I had a mammogram which found the micro-calcifications that were deep in my breast tissue on the chest wall. A few months prior, a mammogram revealed the calcifications and my doctor wanted me to repeat the mammogram in three months to see if there was any change, and there was. I worked at the hospital and when I saw my doctor in the hallway, he looked at me and said, “Have you seen your mammogram...

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Barbara Groves

Barbara Groves is an RN and a care consultant at the Fort Myers Florida Blue Center. She loves being a nurse and a grandmother, and a mommy to an adorable Yorkie named Lucy.

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Introducing Stella the Whale

Posted on Oct 15th 2012 by Florida Blue

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My name is Stella the Whale. My friends at Florida Blue were nice enough to let me drop in and tell you about my journey starting October 14 and ending November 17. Children across the state of Florida are helping me, a life-size illustration of a baby right whale painted by renowned artist, Wyland , migrate 700 miles from one end of the state to the other. I will be stopping at schools and children's centers along my route to give them presentations from marine mammal experts and educators...

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My Mom Had Breast Cancer: Ashley Alewine’s Story

Posted on Oct 11th 2012 by Ashley Alewine

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On a seemingly ordinary day in August 2001, just days before I was to start college, I heard the words, “Your mom has breast cancer.” Those five words changed my life forever. "Your mom has breast cancer." Those five words changed my life forever. Mom had gone to a typical doctor visit for a mammogram. I was out enjoying my last few days as a high school graduate before jumping into college life. Shortly after I got home that afternoon, my grandmother came in with a look on her face that I had...

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Ashley Alewine

Ashley Alewine works on the Florida Blue Center team in Tampa, the city where she was raised and still lives. She loves having her huge family a hop, skip, and a jump away, because she feels interaction with family cures even the most complicated of ailments.

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Mary Mangan – Don’t Call Her Superwoman

Posted on Oct 9th 2012 by Kate Warnock

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Florida Blue member Mary Mangan is the picture of health. She stands five feet six inches tall, weighs 115 pounds (dripping wet) and is a vigorous 28-year old who is both a nanny and a business owner ( Seminole Sitters , a baby-sitting service). Mary is the owner of Seminole Sitters Mary decided to act on the offer she received from Florida Blue for a free member health assessment at the Tallahassee Florida Blue Center earlier this year, and wasn’t expecting any surprises. Imagine her shock...

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Kate Warnock

Kate Warnock is a member of the Florida Blue social media team and has loved being at the forefront of the social wave @FLBlue. A marketer with ten years’ experience, Kate is also a wife and mom to two children. When not at work, you’ll find Kate listening to NPR, reading The New Yorker and Cooking Light, and arriving two minutes late to yoga class.

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Lessons Breast Cancer Taught Me - Joan's Story

Posted on Oct 6th 2012 by Joan Alewine

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The year was 2001. I had turned 40 years old in January. Little did I know what the remainder of the year had in store for me. I first felt the lump in my breast in late July, but because of my history of fibrocystic disease, I wasn’t too alarmed. When a biopsy in August proved the mass was malignant, my life changed dramatically. I will never forget the moment the surgeon said, “You have breast cancer.” I wondered what would happen to my three kids I was a single mother of three children (my...

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Joan Alewine

Joan Alewine, R.N. is the regional manager for Better You From Blue in the West Region. She works with large and small group accounts in engaging their employees in a worksite wellness program. She loves to travel, and, in addition to 20 cruises, has been to such places as Iceland, Machu Picchu and Europe. Her love for travel began after her diagnosis when she realized that you must live every day to the fullest!

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