An Open Letter to Thyroid Patients

BCBC member, Louise Sattler is about to “celebrate” her third anniversary of having Stage 3 Thyroid cancer removed from her neck and her life! Here is an honest and humorous blog to help others who may be undergoing the same path.  This was originally written for her blog WHERE LEARNING MEETS LAUGHTER and we reprint here due to the importance of helping other thyroid cancer patients.
Dear New Thyroid Cancer Patient,


I am writing this letter nearly three years to the date of my thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer.  I was so lucky to be surrounded by great docs at  Johns Hopkins Hospital  and many others.

I know it  seems like the trips to doctors offices, tests and treatments will never end. Your scared, frustrated and perhaps feeling a sense of doom.  Welcome to cancer- land. Sorry it isn’t fun – just beastly.

For some of you this will be a short “lump” in the road (thanks to Margaret McSweeney who coined that phrase during her own bout with cancer). For others, the road will be long and bumpy.  Here is perhaps a few little suggestions to help you endure whatever path you now have found yourself taking –

1. Surround yourself with those who truly care about you and don’t shut out anyone who genuinely wants to help you because you are too “embarrassed”.   NOW  is a time to accept anyone with good karma to help you out.  (If they have a drivers license and can do errands for you post-surgery – even better!)

2. Delete from social media,  your contact list and your life anyone who brings negative energy to you and yours.   You don’t need them right now.  Maybe never.  Also, expect that some people will believe cancer is contagious and will dump your friendship like a hot potato.  So be it.  Remember stay positive, rid yourself of negative. There are a lot of great people in this world. Those who tossed you aside are not them.

3. Your body will betray you.  The surgery will be only the beginning of the changes to happen to your body.  Expect a shift in how you look.  A few more pounds. A few less pounds. I haven’t met anyone who had thyroid surgery who weighed the same before and after.  Your hair will get all funky for a bit. Your voice may change and you will find other oddities that are either annoying or a bit humorous. Just go with it!

4. Ladies – retail therapy for new scarves is a must!   Indulge and don’t go too cheap – you want the kind that look fashionable but don’t scratch or make you sweat.

5. Men- scarves can help you out too. So can turtleneck sweaters, etc.

6. Or… wear that scar proudly!!

7. If you have a voice problem – go ask your doctor for recommendations to speech therapist who work with voice disorders.  You may need help with your vocal quality (I sounded like James Earl Jones for about two months, frankly!). Also, don’t be shy and discuss with your physician any of your concerns. You paid him/her big bucks to get the cancer out- and you want your monies worth!

8. Accept that you will have a whole host of emotions, from sad to laughing for no reason.  Let’s face it – cancer is absurd!

9. Take a break. Even if it is to have a mini vacation at the local Holiday Inn Express for one night.  Bring chocolate for medicinal reasons.

10. Celebrate your NEW life.  It is not all bad. You have learned some valuable lessons and will learn many,  many more. Most of all – every day is IMPORTANT and there is no room for EXCUSES.  Now is the time to re-evaluate what  you want to keep, change and add to your life.

11. Here is a link to many more of  my cancer related posts)

 LASTLY… Know that I and many more thyroid cancer survivors are in your corner.  Good luck and have a great life!



About the author:  Louise Sattler is a frequent blogger and social media expert. She is the co-founder of 411 VOICES – Women in Media

Tupperware 2.0


I remember sitting in my mother’s kitchen amongst all the kitchen gadgets, including the Tupperware containers. There was the gold one for cake and the stackables used for our “baking items” such as sugar and flour.  Don’t forget the plastic shape sorter (Shape-O ball) that made the perfect baby gift!  Yep, we were a home up to our eyeballs in Tupperware.  And it was a GOOD THING.

Fast forward forty years later. Now in my new kitchen that I redesigned with great care is room for those Tupperware  modulars. Cereal, dog food, and the already established “baking items” all are neatly tucked in to the easy to slide cabinetry with “soft closures”.  Yes Virginia, in 2013, Tupperware has evolved from simple storage containers in to just about everything and anything that you would need for a chef’s kitchen.

Let’s walk down memory lane and learn a bit about the history of Tupperware.  Started in 1948, Tupperware went from being a local “pop” shop to a household platinum standard for containers.  I happened to read the shareholders press release for 2012. This little ‘ol company now has stock value in to the BILLIONS.  Earnings are multi, multi -millions per quarter.  That is a lot of family organization going on!

One reason why Tupperware has been able to excel and compete with the “throwaway” container industry is because they expanded beyond that. Now offering kitchen knives, lunch boxes and easy to cook, store and reheat systems that are safe for all.  They also are to storage what Kleenex is to sneezing! Brand recognition rules with this company!

Read more about Tupperware on their website:

imageAnd, if ever you want to order or be connected with a local representative there is no one more loyal to the brand than BCBC’s very own Anita Garcia who has been with the company for more than 40 years. Her enthusiasm for Tupperware has not waned and she is one amazing entrepreneur! 

Connect with Anita here

Note: This was NOT a sponsored post. Just written by a true fan of the brand and Anita Garcia!

Bio: Louise Sattler is a professional social media expert with a love for all things shiny and useful! She is an active member of BCBC.  She is the co-founder of 411 VOICES and tweets as @LouiseASL

When your guests won’t leave –

This blog first appeared on the 411 VOICES website and is reprinted here with permission by the author, Louise Sattler.

When the Guest Won’t Leave – Living with Cancer

By  On September 24, 2013 · Add Comment

By Louise Sattler, Signing Families

Cancer arrived at my doorstep nearly three years ago.  It wasn’t welcome and it took every ounce of my being and the skill of a team of doctors to eradicate the beast from being detected in my body.  I am thankful for all amazing medical care that I received at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Yet, despite being one of the “lucky ones,” I must say that cancer is like a guest that never LEAVES!

I know that many are probably reading this article thinking I have NO right to complain. I survived. I am able to see another day. I truly get that sentiment and outrage. I like most, have lost many a friend and relative to cancer.  I also know that when you are a survivor and doctors have determined your disease untraceable with no apparent evidence (we no longer call it remission), that you will continue to have your doubts. Big ones. Forever.

                 Because in reality cancer never really leaves you…

In fact, it lurks in the back of the minds of each and every person I know who has been diagnosed. Sure, you can try and forget about it. Go about routine as if it never existed, but the honest truth is that it wins, time and time again.

Every cough… every body pain…  every headache… makes you wonder… is IT back?

When I first heard about the words.. You have Stage 3 metastatic cancer of the thyroid – time stopped.  I started to recall chapter and verse Kubler – Ross’ books about grief and dying.   Instead of being a patient I became – “SUPER PSYCHOLOGIST”..  busy analyzing the words and body stance of the doctor delivering the news. Was she lying? Was he being too evasive? Was it worse than she said or better?

Fast –  forward to six months after my diagnosis when I got the news many long to hear- “there is no evidence of disease”.  I spent that day smiling from ear to ear and feeling an overwhelming sense of being grateful!  But, that didn’t last long as IT returned. Not as cells that torment and rage your body but as a mental invader giving you a chronic sense that the “other shoe could drop” so don’t be so smug.

So, as I get ready to hop back on the table for my bi-annual check up, I am smacked with the reality that the beast still lurks in the back of my mind and I need to own up to that. I also have determined that there are many more beasts finding a permanent home in the minds of others.  I guess I am not the only one with the guest that refuses to leave.

So, I guess it is time to just accept that some guests never leave… or pay rent.

– See more at:

The power of women networks

Never underestimate the power of a group of women who come together to help SUPPORT each other.  Yes, I did write the word SUPPORT.

Contrary to popular belief women HELPING women has become a new way of doing business.  Women entrepreneurs and business owners have discovered that intra and inter- networking in their communities and beyond can be not only GOOD for biz but GREAT!

Take in point our little network- The Beach Cities Breakfast Club, aka BCBC.  For ten years this group has evolved with members coming and going and for some returning.  Many breakfasts have been consumed.  Sharing of personal and professional triumphs shared. But most of all… the women of BCBC have seen their businesses grow, flourish and expand.

It is not enough to have women supporting each other. There must be a willingness to learn and grow.

Events need to be planned and conducted.

It is more than networking – it is marketing ones’ own brand and the group’s entity.

And, it is all WORTH IT!

That my friends is what you will find each Thursday morning at a swanky diner called Billys Cafe.  Join us~

Bio:  Louise Sattler is a fairly new member of BCBC with expertise in media.  Visit Louise’s company 411 VOICES for more information about social media and traditional media.