Monday, April 30, 2012

From CCX recipients

"We received gift cards for my daughter in the mail last week. Just wanted to say thank you so very much! They will help our family tremendously! You made her (and all of us) very happy!"

"A friend referred my husband and we think this program is awesome!  We received our cards at a time when we really needed the help. Thank you!!!"

"I would just like to say thank you for the gift. It really helped me out."

"I received the gift cards that you sent. You have no idea how you blessed me and my daughter. We had little food. I was able to go and get some things, and because of the gas card had gas to get there. God is awesome. May God bless this organization. I am so very grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was so deperately needed."  

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Today The Cancer Card Xchange is putting its 175th gift in the mail. The 175th gift we have made since June 2011. Every gift we have sent, every single person's day we have brightened in this past year, is special. But this 175th gift has just a bit more significance.

I mentioned to a friend yesterday morning that we had mailed out our 174th gift this week and that I couldn't help wonder who would be put in our path for the next one, the milestone 175th gift. Just a few hours later, I got a text from my dear friend Dawn about a woman she works with whose husband has bladder cancer. That is what makes today more special.

Dawn's husband (and our friend) Jeff died May 18, 2011 after a long fight against bladder cancer.  You can read more about his inspiration for CCX here. This 175th referral just so happens to have bladder cancer and just so happens to have the very same wonderful doctors who worked to treat Jeff and who walked alongside Dawn and their children as they went through cancer with Jeff. This 175th referral also just so happens to live right across town from my family.

Today, as we mail this 175th gift to brighten the day of someone with cancer, is a special day!

"People are good," Jeff Hawkins always said.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, 
Emily Tickle Thomas

Friday, April 13, 2012

Collierville High School Chalk for Cancer Event

TEENAGE people are good.

I was invited to a great event at the local high school today - the 3rd annual Chalk for Cancer Awareness Day. Groups of high school students created artwork using sidewalk chalk to honor cancer survivors or loved ones affected by cancer.

This event took on special meaning as several of the groups chose to honor their classmate, Trey Erwin, who is in treatment for pancreatic cancer. The community of Collierville has rallied around Trey and his family through prayer and financial support since his diagnosis earlier this year. Through Facebook and Twitter (#prayfortrey), his story of courage and faith has reached people all across the country.

"Pray for Trey"

"Let's Make Cancer Extinct"

"The Magic of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital"

The CHS Parent-Teacher-Student Association chose to draw the CCX shining heart for their entry. What a wonderful surprise!

"Playing The Cancer Card"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Emily's Story Continues - Oral Cancer Information

Almost a week ago, I had surgery to biopsy an area of concern on the same part of my tongue where cancer was found almost exactly 5 years ago. I am still in pain. There are still a few stiches. The area is still raw from the lasering which removed the area of dysplasia. And it still hurts to eat and talk. But it is not cancer. It is not cancer.

Like someone with a history of skin cancer who keeps a close eye on any changing mole, I (with the help of my doctors) keep a close eye on any changes in my mouth. Any soreness. Any red or white areas that do not go away within a few weeks. Any changes that might indicate the oral squamous cell carcinoma I was diagnosed with in 2007 has returned.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that 39,400 men and women (27,710 men and 11,690 women) were diagnosed with and 7,900 men and women died of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx in 2011.

At your next dental checkup, ask your dentist for an oral cancer screening. Like most cancers, early detection is key to treatment and survival. Many cases are diagnosed in late stage which leads to more invasive treatment. Thankfully, my oral cancer was caught very early and required only surgery, as well as ongoing diligent observation. 

For information about oral cancer, see the links below:

MD Anderson: Oral Cancer Information

American Cancer Society: Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Foundation

Six-Step Screening