Cancer, There's A Few Things You Should Know

Cancer, There's A Few Things You Should Know

You may start the fight, but you can bet your ass we will finish it.
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If there’s one thing I know about cancer, it’s that it doesn't discriminate. It doesn’t care about your race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, social status, your age, or even if you’re a decent human being. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and while in remission she recently had her second cancer scare. I thank the Lord each and every day that she doesn’t have to go through the fight for her life for a second time. These are the few things I wish cancer would know before pursuing not only my mother but anyone else as well.

First, you can be sure to receive a fight like no other in return. You, cancer, are so strong, swift, and fierce. But so is my mother. She’s smart, unbelievably strong in multiple senses, doesn’t give up, and in case you haven’t noticed she has an army behind her of family, friends, and doctors who make it their mission to destroy you. In other words, this army can be described as a lion because we go for the jugular and we don’t release until our enemy is DEAD.

Second, I know your goal is not only to devour your victims but to rip families apart in sadness and despair. But, you should know that this family, although not always on the same page and sometimes fighting, will always come together for those we love. Although you are a curse in so many ways, the one admiral quality you have the potential of bringing is that families form a stronger bond in order to eradicate you. Our dream is for you to be removed from this world. We study, donate, and march to help find a way to eliminate you from an otherwise beautiful world.

Third, you’re life altering not life defining. I know you try to be as debilitating as possible, but I’ve got news for you, you’re not. You bring about changes to life. Unwanted changes, but changes that can be dealt with. The new routines, diet, and everything else implemented into a cancer patient’s life becomes normal. You don’t limit or define personhood. Cancer patients can still have a life full of fun and laughter.

So, cancer, just remember that although you may start the fight, you can bet your ass we will finish it.

Cover Image Credit: Shannon Kerns

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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Poetry On Odyssey: A "Break" At Work

Breaks at work aren't always what you think.

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There are times during work where the stars align, and I'm right in their sights to get supremely screwed over. If things get slow and quiet enough, and I've just finished something I've been focusing all of my energy on, something...happens.

I break.

I don't know if I would call it a panic attack, since it's less fear of dying and more sudden hyper-awareness and inability to deal with anything, but it sucks all the same. It completely swallows me into a dark pit of brokenness.

One of the things I do to try grounding myself is messaging those close to me. I structured this poem similar to what one of those conversations was like. During all of the edits, I decided to keep it mostly short and disconnected because that's exactly how I feel during these moments—disconnected and unable to keep a coherent thought.

I hope you never have to experience something like this; I hope this poem gives all you need to know about what these "breaks" are like.


Break at work, everything to think about
Chores, writing, apartment
Chores, writing, apartment

Can't do any of it
Can't move
Can't hear

Everything
Too
Much

Panic attack?
Don't know
Not good

Bathroom? Fresh air?
Not possible
Can't move

Breathe?
Bra too tight
Suffocating

Deep breath anyway
Ignore the constricting
Actually focus on it

Water?
Cold and hurts
Drink more anyway

Food?
Nauseous
Can't eat anyway

What do?
Don't know
Can't think

Cry?
Can't do
At work

Nails in palms, eyes shut tight
Focus on breathing exercises
Focus on chest pain

Focus
On
Pain

Deep breath in
Hold it
Slow breath out

Ignore how it stabs
Ignore the tightness
Focus on the rhythm

Inhale
Hold
Exhale

Keep eyes shut
Until breathing
Is stable

Open eyes
Blink because it's bright
Inhale, exhale, breathe

Hear the quiet of work
Everyone doing their own thing
Oblivious to what just happened

See the sharpness of screen
Blink it into focus to see
Everything I have accomplished

Drink some more water
It's necessary, it's good
Not cold, not hurting, just soothing

Inhale
Hold
Exhale

Breathe in relief, it's over now
The world has returned
To what it ought to be

Whatever it was
That break
Was not a break.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/light-light-bulb-bulb-heat-40889/

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