It’s Bladder Cancer Awareness Month: Time To Share My Story

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersMay is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. It’s time to share my personal story. Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer (and 11th most common for women) – a cancer I never knew existed until I was told six months ago that “you have bladder cancer.” Not something I wanted to hear on the eve of my 60th birthday.

You Have Bladder Cancer
I asked my urologist Dr. F three times if he really said the “C” word. Mind you, I had never seen  a urologist before.

“Did you say cancer?” I asked Dr. F after my surgery to remove a tumor from my bladder. “Yes, it looks like cancer,” said Dr. F.

Bladder Cancer; Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Orange ribbons are the symbol of bladder cancer. Photo courtesy of BCAN.org.

Why me? Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. I am not a smoker and during my full-time career I wasn’t in an environment where I was exposed to certain harmful substances — two of the risk factors. According to BladderCancer.net, people who are older are at a higher risk for developing bladder cancer—around 90% of people diagnosed with it are over the age of 55. I’m over 50, guess that’s me! “You live in New Jersey. It’s the chemical capital of the U.S,.” said my friend L. Ugh, that’s right!  

Bladder Cancer; Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

More men are diagnosed with bladder cancer than women. Stats from BCAN.org.

“You mean it’s cancer?” I asked Dr. F again. “Yes, we have to wait for the biopsy report to determine next steps.” Those were the longest two weeks ever, especially since one of the weeks I had a catheter attached to my bladder to facilitate healing. Ugh! I was scared. I was really scared. Not able to do yoga, I used all my mindfulness meditation tools and techniques to calm my thoughts. Continue reading

Living 100: How To Make The Most of Living A Longer Life

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers“Current 10 year olds may age to be 104,” said Jo Anne Jenkins, CEO of AARP, as she kicked off a conversation about longevity at the 2018 AARP Disrupt Aging: The Implications of Living 100 Forum, powered by Forbes and held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. last week. The event featured presentations with leading experts in health, tech, work and personal finance, education and policy to discuss one simple question:

If you knew you were going to live to 100,
what would you do differently today?

#disruptaging; AARP; Live 100; living to 100

Disrupt Aging: Implications of Living 100 Forum was held at the Newseum in D.C.

(Note: Be sure to read to the end of the post and enter the giveaway for a copy Jo Anne’s bestseller, Disrupt Aging.)

Implications of Living 100
With this overriding question, each speaker challenged us to shift how we think about our own aging and rethink how we earn, learn, connect, and live in the present. The facts and figures were staggering. Here goes:

In 1960, 9 percent of the U.S. population was over age 65. In 2060, that number will grow to 24 percent. “You’re either going to be a caregiver or need caregiving,” said Jo Anne. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I’ll be in the ‘need caregiving’ if I live that long and will be over 100! How about you?

By 2030, the first Boomers will turn 85, the first Gen Xers will turn 65, and the first Millennials will turn 50. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I’ll be in my early 70s and my kids will be in their 40s. How old will you be? 

#disruptaging; AARP; Live 100; living to 100; aging

How old will you be in 2030?

The 50 and over category is worth $15 trillion and $7.6 trillion of annual activity is done by post 50 people in the U.S. Wow-o-wow, we’re worth a lot and we’re sure active individuals!

75 percent of Boomers in the U.S. plan to work past 65, and many will have two, three and four different careers in their lifetime. Hmm, I started out as a magazine editor, then I went into public relations, then corporate communications. Now I’m a blogger and yoga instructor. Where are you on your career spectrum? Continue reading

Managing Your Medications Is A Serious Matter

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers“Remember to take your pills after you get home from breakfast” I told my boyfriend L this past weekend. “Yep,” he replied. Mind you,  I’m such a nice girlfriend to make breakfast for L most Saturday mornings.

Thankfully, I only have to remember to take a probiotic, multi-vitamin and cranberry and turmeric supplements each morning — and sometimes I forget to take one or the other. However, when I was having lots of UTIs a few months ago, I had to take two antibiotics, one 3x/day and one 4x/day — I wrote down when I took each dose so that I would not miss any. The woes of an aging mind.

According to my friends at CVS Pharmacy: “Studies show that a third of patients do not take their medications as prescribed and nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic conditions stop taking their medications within the first year of diagnosis.” Wow-o-wow, that’s not a good way to stay healthy and happy.

CVS Pharmacy; ScriptPath; medication adherence; boomer wellness

CVS Pharmacy has a new innovative system to improve medication adherence.

CVS  Pharmacy Introduces New ScriptPath System To Manage Medications
Managing your medications involves many factors including getting a first prescription filled, remembering to take medications on time and understanding the directions. But never fear, the experts at CVS Pharmacy are here — with a new prescription management system called ScriptPath. Since they are my friends, they asked me to share all the details in this sponsored post. After all, that’s what friends are for! Remember, I only share information that I agree with and feel is a benefit to my readers.*

Whether you have to manage your own medications or are a caregiver to a spouse or partner, or an aging parent or relative, ScriptPath can help ease these daily demands — so definitely ask your CVS Pharmacist about it.

ScriptPath prescription management system; CVS Pharmacy; medication adherence; boomer wellness

The ScriptPath bag provides more details about your prescription.

Continue reading

The Best Is Yet To Come: Celebrating My 60th Birthday!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThere’s no more countdown. It’s here, it’s now. This week I’m celebrating my 60th birthday!

Looking Back On My 50s
As I get ready to tackle my next decade, I can’t help but think of all I’ve accomplished during the past 10 years. When I started blogging my year to 50, I was a newbie. I never dreamed that my 49th year would be one of the most extraordinary years of my life.  Losing my spouse at the end of 2007 turned my world upside down. The grief and loneliness I felt during that period was overwhelming. But thanks to the support and love from family and friends, I came through that period and I’m here to say it’s now lovely on the other side.

Many of you, my dear readers, have shared my life after 50 transformation journey with me. From losing my spouse, to selling my house, to emptying out my nest, it’s been a wild ride. From buying my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore, to mastering online dating and meeting my boyfriend L, to leaving my full-time job and saying good-bye to my mom, I’ve weathered ups and downs along the way.

Oh yes, yes, yes, how could I forget creating an award-winning blog and becoming a yoga instructor too. It’s been nice to be able to pursue my passions instead of a paycheck since retiring from my full-time corporate career.

60th birthday; turning 60; life after 60

It’s time to celebrate my 60th birthday!

Looking Ahead To My 60s
Pondering my 60s, I wonder what life has in store for me during the next 10 years. Sometimes I wish I could look into a crystal ball and ask. Other times I want to be surprised.

60th birthday; the best is yet to come; turning 60

My new journal says it all!

When Oprah turned 60 a few years ago, she said, “We go through life discovering the truth about who we are and determining who has earned the right to share the personal space within our heart.”

These words ring especially true for me. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to celebrate my 60th birthday with several of my close girlfriends. Many of them were at my 50th celebration. I feel blessed to have such incredible long-term friendships with such talented, caring women. These women “share a personal space within my heart.” So do my long-distance girlfriends who could not be there, my daughter A and son D, my boyfriend L, my sister N, and other family members. My late husband M is always tucked inside my heart as well.

60th birthday; turning 60; life after 60; 60th birthday celebrations

My close girlfriends helped me celebrate my 60th birthday.

From Grief To Gratitude
“One thing I know for sure,” stealing another phrase from Queen Oprah, is that I am so grateful for all that I have and all that I am able do at this point in my life. Continue reading

Stay Healthy and Happy This Holiday Season

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“It’s December and the holiday season is in full swing. As your jolly CVS Pharmacy Ambassador*, I’m here to remind you about ways to stay healthy and happy so you can enjoy this month’s festivities and celebrations.

Did You Get Your Flu Shot?
My boyfriend L and I got our flu shots back in October at our local CVS MinuteClinic. According to the experts at CVS, “Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu.”

If you didn’t get your vaccine, you can still get one at CVS’ 9,600 retail pharmacy locations and more than 1,100 walk-in MinuteClinics. The MinuteClinics are open every day, including evenings and weekends, with no appointment needed.

CVS Pharmacy; MinuteClinic; boomer wellness; flu shot

You can get your flu shot at CVS MinuteClinics across the country.

If you do happen to catch the flu, CVS can be a helpful resource. For example, with the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, you can shop via the app, place an order and have it delivered right to your car door with CVS Curbside pickup! This is especially nice when you’re not feeling well.

What About Other Immunizations?
In addition to the flu vaccine, it is important to make sure all your common immunizations are up to date before heading off to a crowded gathering. The CDC says to get the pneumonia vaccine if you are 65+ and the shingles vaccine for those 60+.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, that will include me, me, me next month! I’m going to check out the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix®, that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) says it prefers for healthy adults aged 50 years and older to prevent shingles and related complications.

Take Care When You Travel
Are you traveling overseas during the holidays? I went to the MinuteClinic before I left for my Viking Ocean Cruise last month. The Nurse Practitioner Karen prescribed medicine for motion sickness, which luckily neither L nor I needed on our voyage. (Stay tuned for my posts about my travels coming soon.) 

Viking Star; motion sickness prevention; MinuteClinic; boomer wellness

Before going on an ocean cruise, I went to the MinuteClinic to get medicine for motion sickness.

Are you traveling out of town during the holidays? With the CVS Pharmacy App you’re able to quickly and easily transfer prescriptions to a CVS location nearest you if you forgot your medication.

Health Tips For The Holiday Season
The experts at CVS provided some additional suggestions for staying healthy when your world gets fast-paced: Continue reading

One Life, A Treasure Chest of Stories

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersIn honor of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m pleased to bring you an essay written by Antoinette Truglio Martin, the author of an inspiring memoir, Hug Everyone You Know, A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer.

In 2007, when Antoinette was nearing 50, she received a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis. A speech therapist and special education teacher by training as well as a successful children’s book author, Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words, journaling and sending emails to family and friends who wanted to offer their support. The emails were addressed to ‘Her Everyone’ and she signed each email with the reminder to’hug everyone you know.’

Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of her memoir. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny. As the the press release says: “It speaks to us all.”

I hope Antoinette’s essay will touch you with the tenderness that it touched me. I give you Antoinette’s essay:

One Life, A Treasure Chest of Stories
by Antoinette Truglio Martin

Antoinette Truglio Martin; Hug Everyone You Know; SheWritesPress; breast cancer awareness month

Antoinette Truglio Martin is author of a new book “Hug Everyone You Know.”

“Stories fill our lives. We wake up, meander through our routines, and return to the day’s end. Along the way, stories collect. They are born from our observations, interactions, and adventures. The upsides of life are celebrated. The hardships are pondered and wrestled with as we attempt to steer from a dark abyss. Stories that stand out are shared. Memorable ones are retold, rewritten, remembered through the generations. We are truly the keeper of story treasure chests. Continue reading

Honoring World Alzheimer’s Month: Keeping The Brain Healthy

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI read The New York Times blog called The New Old Age written by Paula Span. This week, Paula introduced herself in The Story Behind The Story column. She says that “With more than 20 percent of the American population projected to be over 65 by the year 2030, per the Census Bureau, I’m unlikely to run out of material.” In fact, she adds “the list of subjects I hope to tackle keeps lengthening.”

Let’s see, how old will I be in 2030? Hmm, hmm, hmm, I’ll be 72. Ouch!

As I approach 60 next year, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape. However, every aging body has something. Right? My one friend has knee issues, my other friend has rotator cuff issues, another friend has back problems. My vice is my teeth – I’ve got one implant already in my mouth and lately with the pain I’ve been having, more to come. Plus, I have flat feet, which is minor only when they hurt after a long walk and add to my difficulty finding comfortable shoes.

Alzheimer’s and The Aging Mind
Then there’s the aging mind and memory. I try to keep my mind active by teaching and doing yoga, reading the daily newspaper, and researching and writing this blog. However, with the growing statistics on Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s all so scary.

According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a number that is expected to rise as high as 16 million by 2050.

Let’s see, I’ll be 92 in 2050. Ouch! How should I keep my brain healthy as I age?

Since September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and many more women develop the disease than men, I thought I would take time to share my interview with Dr. Michelle Braun, a neuropsychologist, who knows a great deal about Alzheimer’s and keeping the brain healthy. Dr. Braun developed the Brain Health Quiz, which she shares more about in the interview below.

Note: This is a very long blog post, but there is so much good information that I wanted to share it all. So just read the Qs and As that you are interested in, or read it all if you are really interested! I’m sure many of you may also be caregivers to parents or other relatives who have Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Michelle Braun; Healthy Brain Quiz; Alzheimer's; healthy brain; aging

Dr. Michelle Braun is a neuropsychologist.

Here are excerpts: Continue reading

My Fabulous Foodie Day At The 2017 Fancy Food Show

aboomerslifeafter50.com; boomer women; life after 50Are you hungry?

Are you thirsty?

If not, you likely will be after you read about my fabulous foodie day at the 2017 Fancy Food Show. Last week, I spent four hours walking 362,000 square feet of the Javits Center in New York while sampling goodies offered by 2,600+ exhibiting companies. As a long-term foodie (in my previous career I worked for two major food companies for 30+ years), attending the show and scoping out new products is always fun.

The Fancy Food Show has helped launch such brands as Popchips, Ben & Jerry’s, Walker’s Shortbread (my late husband M loved these biscuits), ZICO Coconut Water and Vermont Creamery.

#2017SFFS; foodie; Florence Fabricant, 2017 Fancy Food Show

I was excited to meet “The New York Times” food writer Florence Fabricant at the Fancy Food Show.

Move Over Millennials, Boomers Are Big Foodies
According to Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2016 Report, “baby boomers are an experiential and experimental group. They use specialty foods the most of all groups, more than millennials, for cooking at home. They do a lot of scratch cooking and enjoy trying new things.” In addition to getting excited about their food, health and social consciousness play a role in purchases. They are also the most likely consumer group to purchase products that claim to be fair trade, ethical, or sustainable.

My Foodie Favorite
So now that you know that boomers are big foodies, I’m going to share the foods that pleased Judi Foodie’s post 50 palate during my gourmet walkabout. Some of these products can be purchased in local supermarkets, while others can be found in Whole Foods or smaller gourmet shops. If you cannot locate a particular product in stores I suggest checking Amazon or going on the company’s website.

Drum roll please! My absolute FAVORITE #1 product of the show was Kourellas Organic Greek Yogurt. It brought me back to my vacation in Greece (will share all the details of my trip soon) and the delicious creamy yogurt we ate during our stay in Athens and Santorini. Greek yogurt and honey is a breakfast classic in Greece. Kourellas yogurt was smooth and lighter than most Greek yogurts. Unfortunately this yogurt is not available yet on the east coast. I hope Kourellas gets a distributor soon.

#SFFS; Kourellas Greek Organic Yogurt; Kourellas; foodie

Second drum roll! Third and fourth drum roll! My absolute FAVORITE #2 and #3 and #4 products of the show were Bonchou Eclairerie mini eclairs, Petitpot Pot De Creme (French for delicious pudding), and SweetBite Baklava one bite wonders to satisfy the sweet tooth. All were phenomenal desserts with portion control. Yum, yum, yum!  Continue reading

It’s Summer! Time To Power Up The Sunscreen

This post is produced in collaboration with CVS Phamacy.

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50Give me a cheer! Give me a yeah! Give me a high-five!

It’s finally warm and sunny. I’m back from my holiday in Greece (will be sharing all the highlights soon) and getting ready for summer weekends at my condo-on-the-corner at the Jersey shore.

Power Up Your Sunscreen
As a CVS ambassador*, it’s my job to remind you to power up your sunscreen so you don’t get a bad summer sunburn. I did exactly that while in Athens and Santorini. The sun was shining bright when my sister N and daughter A and I climbed to the top of the Acropolis and walked and hiked around Santorini. Only A got a bad sunburn on her legs, N and I re-applied and were more cautious with hats and caps. We all came back with good tans.

Greece; Santorini; Oia

My friends at CVS were so nice to supply my sunscreen including CVS Health SPF30 Breakout Free Face Lotion to protect my face (and put on my ears) and CVS Health SPF50 Clear Zinc Sun Lotion for my body. It went right in my suitcase for my trip and now sits on my bathroom counter. Every morning I slather my body with sunscreen before I go out in the sun. The lotions go on clear and are non-greasy.

CVSHealth 50 Clear Zinc Sun Lotion; CVS Pharmacy

The CVS team also sent other products that I packed for my trip, such as packets of cortisone and bacitracin. These creams are handy to have in case you get a summer itch or need a first aid ointment. Plus they don’t take up much room in your toiletry bag. Continue reading

Mindfulness, Happiness, and More Trends From the 2017 Book Expo

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenWhen I was growing up in the Bronx, NY, I loved going to the public library. My mom and I would walk across Mosholu Parkway from our home. Mom would go food shopping – which took a long time since she had to go to the butcher, the bakery and the supermarket. I went to the library, where I headed straight for the new book section, opening the crisp covers, reading the flaps, flipping the printed pages. I’d stack the books – six was the limit – check them out one at a time – and carry the pile in my arms to meet up with mom.

To this day, new books still excite me. That’s why I so enjoyed attending the 2017 Book Expo at the New York Javits Center earlier this month. The Expo is an annual event where publishers showcase new books. From Simon & Schuster to Hachette, Workman, Penguin and more, I walked every aisle to see each publisher’s offerings.

What’s Hot In The World of Books?
Now that I’ve finally finished combing through my notes and all the catalogs I collected, it’s time to share the themes and trends that caught my attention. Are you ready for what’s hot in the world of books? Note that some of these books may not be available until later in the year.

Here’s the scoop:

Mindfulness and Yoga With A Dosage of Happiness 
If you’re not being mindful or you’re not happy, not to worry because there are hundreds of books (or maybe more) to bring you into the present and make you joyful. As a yogi, I was pleased to see that these topics are trending, yet not sure how I would find time to practice if I spent all my time reading. Here are some titles to choose from:

Mindfulness On the Go – “a set of 52 cards and a 64-page illustrated book, all in a flip-top box with an easel to display your mindfulness cards.”

The Yoga Healer by Christine Burke – with “remedies for the body, mind, and spirit, from easing back pain and headaches to managing anxiety and finding joy and peace within.”
Beyond Mindfulness by Stephen Bodian – says it’s “the direct approach to lasting peace, happiness, and love.
Relax into Yoga for Seniors by Kimberly Carson, MPH, E-RYT and Carol Krucoff, E-RYT –  including a six-week program for strength, balance, flexibility and pain relief. Continue reading