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Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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October 19, 1994     Mercer Island Reporter
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October 19, 1994
 

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hi523?LIFESTYLE Koehler’s a ’local“ hero’ He’s KIRO TV’s “local hero,” and Mercer Island’s, too. Contractor Randy Koehler (RKK Construction) will be fea- tured tomorrow night on a KIRO one hour television special, “Lo- cal Heroes.” The program will showcase the diversity and vari- ety of volunteer opportunities in the Seattle area and encourage viewers to get involved. Linda Morgan Around the Island Last year, Koehler, with the help of Islander Milt Reimers, built a concession stand at Is- land Crest Park. “We’d have baseball tournaments in the summer, and notice that every other park had a stand,” said Koehler. “Milt would drag up coolers, card tables and chairs and buy supplies at Costco he’d make $1500 for the Boys and Girls Club in a four-day tournament. We thought, why don’t we do something?” Koehler and Reimers solicit- ed contributors, and secured material, workers, contractors, electricians and brick masons. An architect drew up plans, and by last January, the stand was in use. All profits go to the Mer- cer Island Boys and Girls Club. “The stand is great,” said Koehler. “Now we need one at, the south end.” ‘ “Local Heroes” will air from 8—9 pm. New anchors Joyce Taylor and Tony Ventrella will host the show. Brandeis 'lunch l is planned The Seattle Chapter of Bran- deis University‘National Wom- en’s Committee will hold “Multiculturalism in American Literature,” it’s second annual Lunch With the Authors event. The program, chaired by Island resident Linda Kumin, begins at 11:15 am. Oct. 20 in the Crystal Room of the Washington Athlet- ic Club. Authors at the luncheon will include Kathleen Alcala, author of Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist, Bernard Harris, J r., a poet and orator, and Shawn Wong, whose first novel, Homebase, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the 15th Annual Governor’s Writers Day Award. Island residents Shirley Smith and Ettie Davis are the organization’s co-presidents.- Cost for the event ranges from $28 to $100. Call Kumin for information, 232—9195. We can’t resist: she’s a chip off... Laura Jeanne Block, 1990 MIHS grad, will complete her undergraduate studies in the School of Art by participating in the University of Washington’s inaugural Studio Art Program in Rome, Italy. Laura, the daughter of Julie Block and Is— land sculptor Ned Block, is one of 20 students who will live and study for 10 weeks in Rome this fall. The program is devised to take advantage of the artistic and cultural resources of the Roman environment. Students were selected on the basis of scholarship, academic prepara- tion and emotional maturity. w Reasons to celebrate David and Tammy Rosen’s baby son, Nathan Israel, was born Sept. 21 in Irvine, Califor- nia - just in time for David to race to his hometown to'attend the Mercer Island High School class of ’84 reunion last Satur- day night. Nathan’s grandpar- ents are Island residents Israel and Betsy Gail Rosen. Wednesday, October 19, 1994 The image factor Beauty’s a big issue for breast cancer survivors By Linda Morgan, , Mercer Island Reporter t’s hard'to ignore America’s fascination with the female breast. Look around — cleavage is everywhere. It’s exalted in the movies, glorified in the mag- azines, flaunted by Monroe- types and exaggerated by Wonderbra. Little wonder that for breast cancer survivors, self-image is a big issue. The statistics are frightening enough ~ latest figures from the American Cancer Society Show that breast cancer strikes one in eight women, and that more than 45,000 women will die from the disease this year. The Mercer Island numbers are scarier still: the Seattle— King County Department of Public Health has found that the Island’s breast cancer death rates are significantly higher ' than King County, West Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond Bellevue, Issaquah and Southeast County. All this and women must worry about aesthetics? J‘It’s amazing how much it affects your self-confidence,” said Mercer Island resident Peggy Lawrence, who had a mastectomy just before Christ- mas last year at age 50. “I’d way I looked. But getting up in the morning after my surgery and getting ready to take my shower...it’s just such a shock.” LAWRENCE’S own persist- ence about her health led to the early detection of her tumor. “I felt a thickening in my breast, went to the doctor, and was sent toa breast specialist. Nothing showed up on the mammo— gram.” > She was advised to wait three .months and repeat the mammo- gram. '. IhSteadf,‘i '1 sue asked-her physician to perform a needle biopsy. “It was malignant ~ but in a very early Stage,” she said. “They did a modified mastecto- my; there’s just a tiny scar.” Still, finding summer clothes she felt comfortable wearing was difficult. “I couldn’t wear dresses with spaghetti straps or anything strapless,” she said. “‘But a lot of women worry > about how their husbands feel. .‘My husband doesn’t have a V. problem with it ~— it’s more my problem.” ‘ ' Lawrence will eventually have reconstructive surgery. never been wrapped up in the» Andrea Marchese Carol Westlund, gazing into a hand mirror- above, credits her family with helping boost her self—image after a mastectomy at age 20. Westlund will model in theAmerican Cancer Soeiety brunch and fashion show, “Walking on the Bright Side,” from 10 am. to 1 pm. Oct. 29‘ at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Hotel. “When I do get an implant," she said, “I’ll be doing itfor me.” ’ BREAST reconstruction wasn’t an option 30 years agof’ when Carol Westlund had a radi- cal mastectomy atf agei‘ZO. Her ” lump was discovered in a rou- tine exam. “I brushed it off; my doctor was so sure it was noth— ing,” she said. But she was sent immediately to a surgeon, who performed a biopsy. No one, she said, expected to find cancer. At 20, it’s rare — and there was no history of breast cancer in Westlund’s family. “I wasn’t afraid,” re- membered Westlund, “until I woke up.” The strong support of her family and boyfriend, Nick. (now her husband of 29 years) Islander cooks up a storm —- and a new cookbook llen Sellin’s got a specialty , that’s becoming about as rare as a homemade meringue. She entertains a lot — large gath- erings and small groups, formally or casually, for friends, organiza- tions or business associates. At a time in our cultural evolution when most people have relegated their cooking skills to hobby stat- ]ane W. leon ‘. A Culinary Fare us, Sellin works overtime putting on parties that make other peo- ple’s weekends memorable. A year ago, when she was asked to chair the Mercer Island Ryther unit’s cookbook project, she channeled all that experience, along with that of her committee, to produce Creative Cooking, a book that anyone looking for new ideas would be delighted to have handy on a kitchen shelf. Besides recipes from some of the Island’s best practicing cooks and great hostesses, there are menu plans for a variety of differ- ent occasions to oil up rusty par- ty—givers and help them overcome their inertia over decisions about what to serve guests. Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa, Thai Curry Crab Mostaccioli and Snickers Cheesecake are sure to bring hi- bernating cooks out of hiding. SELLIN’S creativity and plan- ning have touched a lot of Island lives. She’s chaired parties for the Beach Club and the Women’s Club, planned for her Ryther group’s fund-raising luncheons which attract up to 80. And she thinks nothing of cooking all the food for the buffet dinner parties for 60 that she and her husband, ‘Doug, give at their home. “I’d rather prepare things myself than have a caterer,” she said, adding that she sometimes will hire kitchen and serving help. As she plans a menu, she keeps several things in mind. Food safe- ty is one — especially in summer. Next, the menu must match the occasion and the guests. The Sellins often entertain friends at their beach house on Fidalgo Is- land where one of Sellin’s favorite informal parties is a crab feed. In keeping with the setting, she keeps things casual. She covers the tables with newspapers, lays out the seafood and everyone goes at it. When the entree is as simple as that one is, or if she’s barbecu- ~ ing meat or chicken, she’ll give special attention to the side dishes such as the salad or pasta. She selects her courses care- fully and with an eye to presenta- tion. “The flavors must comple- ment each other. The composition saw Westlund through the diffi- > cult weeks followingher radical é mastectomy. “Nick gave me things to look forward to. He took me to a family wedding that VNoVember, the month I had the surgery‘.i_Then we were mar ' ried in May.” . > Undergoing disfiguring sur- gery so young in a culture that worships physical beauty was hard, said Westlund. “My self- image suffered; at times it was quite difficult, especially in the summer when I couldn’t wear bathing suits. It made me feel not so wonderful.” She learned to cope. Five years after her surgery - the amount of time her doctors ad- vised her to wait Westland gave birth to her daughter, Ja— mie. “I prayed a lot,” she said. “I give a lot of due to the Lord and my family and husband; if you’ve got all that, you can’t lose too badly.” WANTING to help others deal with the disease, Westlund became involved in Reach to Recovery, a volunteer visitation program of the American Can— cer Society designed to aid breast cancer patients with their. emotional, physical and cosmetic needs. . On Oct. 29, Westlund will model in the American Cancer Society, East King Unit event, “Walking on the Bright Side,” a breast health brunch and fash- ion presentation by Nordstrom. The brunch, set for 10 am. to 1 p.m., will be held at the Belle- vue Hyatt Regency Hotel. means something “giving yourself breast self—ex- ams must be as ordinary as brushing teeth,” said Westlund. It also means being vocal about Doing care and treatment. “Women should tell doctors what they want, and find the physician that will listen to them.” MANY women live in denial about breast cancer, observed another Mercer Island survivor who declined to be named. “If Some breast cancer facts: 0 Breast cancer is the lead- ing killer of women between the ages of 35 and 54. 0 This year 46,000 women will die of breast cancer — one every 11 minutes. 0 Another 182,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer — one every three min- utes. 0 Once out of four women with breast cancer dies within the first five years. 0 There is no known cure for ‘ advanced breast cancer. 0 Mammography is the best known method of early detec- tion. 0 Nearly nine out of 10 (8590 percent) of all breast cancers occur in women with no known risks. 0 The .mortality rate for black women is 10 percent higher than for white women, despite the fact that the breast cancer incidence rate for black women is 17 percent lower than for white women. 0 More than 1.5 million American women with a histo- ry of breast cancer are alive today. you catch it early, you have more choices and a greater sense of control over what’s happening to you in a scary situ- ation,” she said. Early detec— tion, she says enabled her chose a lumpectomy (removal of the lump and surrounding tissues) over a mastectomy. A model since age 16, she didn’t stop to fret over physical appearance when she was faced with her breast tumor two years ago. “Beauty is not an issue when this happens; your life is more important than your breast.” Breast cancer survivors must realize beauty comes “from within,” emphasized Car- 01 Westlund, who had recon— structive surgery last year. ‘-‘ Remember, you’re not less of a person because. you’ve lost. a breast. Women have to under- stand they are the same wonder- ful and beautiful women they were before. ” ,Ellen Sellin, with a pasta dish (basil, garlic, tomatoes and melted Brie cheese) and her cookbook, Creative Cooking. should flow so that the whole meal is a, palate pleasing experience beginning to end,” she said, ex— plaining her approach. And she always keeps‘in mind the limits of her time, equipment and the size of the group. Pointing out that timing is the critical ele- ment to successful fish cookery, she said, “I never cook fish for large crowds.” WHILE Sellin says her cooking habits have lightened up in the — Please see ‘Cookbook‘ on 612. Area Marchse