June is Migraine Awareness Month: Here’s what I’ve learned.

By Melissa Gerstein

I started getting migraines after the birth of my third.  I got the kind of headaches where I had to stop everything and go to a dark room. I lost whole days and missed important family moments and even some holiday activities because of them.  But since I first shared my migraine journey when I partnered with Tosymra® (sumatriptan nasal spray) 10 mg, I have learned so much.  And one important thing is that I am not alone. Migraine impacts nearly 40 million people in the US!

Now, we did a survey asking about your migraine journeys, and we’re going to be sharing the results soon. Check back, they are REALLY interesting.  But I have also gotten a lot of questions since I first started sharing my story, so because June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, I thought I’d answer a few here.  Just a reminder, I am not a healthcare provider, I am just sharing my experience.  

Q: How do you “Mom” with a migraine?  

At first I didn’t.  I really just had to shut myself away until the episode passed.  And I don’t have to tell you with three kids who all need something at all times, shutting yourself away isn’t a long term solution! 

I wanted relief, but I didn’t know it was possible.  When I finally talked to my healthcare provider, I learned that there are a lot of migraine treatments available and that I didn’t have to suffer through migraine.  I could, and should, treat it.  

I’ve built myself a migraine treatment toolkit and I am ready.  

Q: What have been some of your symptoms?  Any nausea/vomiting? 

I learned that no two migraines are the same.  Sometimes I have a headache that feels like a tiny man with a pick is trying to dig his way out of my head.  Other times it is centered in my eyes.  And, yes, sometimes I experience nausea and vomiting. 

Q:  What have you tried? What works?  

I’ve used OTC medications in the past, but one thing that meets my needs as a busy mom is Tosymra®.  It is a convenient nasal spray for acute migraine treatment in adults that may be able to help, especially if you need a non-oral treatment option — like for those migraines with nausea.  I have experienced migraine pain relief in as little as 10 minutes! So helpful for those days where I have a lot to get done!

Again, this is what has worked for me, and all of us have different migraine experiences so talk to your healthcare provider to see if Tosymra would be right for you.  

Q: I think I have migraine, what should I do?  

Take care of yourself and go talk to your healthcare provider.  I wish I had done that much earlier.  I suffered for years and when I finally talked to my GP I learned that a person with migraine in 2021 has many treatment options, and it is important to build a treatment toolkit that meets your needs.  I can’t say it enough, no two migraines are the same.  If you are looking for more information about acute migraine treatment, there is a helpful discussion guide on Tosymra.com you can bring to your healthcare provider to start the conversation. 

Tosymra® (sumatriptan nasal spray) 10 mg is a prescription medicine used to treat migraine attacks in adults. It’s not for migraine prevention. Tosymra is not for everyone. Do not use Tosymra if you have heart problems, narrowing of blood vessels or uncontrolled high blood pressure. These are not all the reasons not to take Tosymra. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if Tosymra is right for you.

The most common side effects of Tosymra include: tingling, dizziness, feeling warm or hot, and application site reactions in the nose. These are not all the possible side effects of Tosymra. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more.

For full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information and Instructions for Use, click here: https://bit.ly/2GanBcG 

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Tosymra but the experiences shared are my own.

Why You Should Check on What The Right Time is For Your Doctor Appointments During Covid!


I partnered with AstraZeneca to develop this blog post. 

How many doctors do you have? How many of those have you seen in the past year? It’s hard to believe, but I have 10 different doctors who I see at least once or twice a year.  My son said to me the other day, after looking at my reminder board, “You’re the healthiest, sick person.” I laughed before I said, “Well, except that I’m not technically sick anymore, and that’s because I’m the CEO of my health.”  

I’ve learned over the past few years to keep notes like this where I can see them. It’s easy to get confused by different portals and logins but keeping track of doctors and appointments can make all the difference. It is even more important these days, as we have all become so accustomed to staying safe at home. But staying away from checkups and routine visits, especially if you have delayed a recommended cancer screening appointment, can be risky.  

I typically schedule my mammograms and annual cancer and breast exams for every February and March. Fortunately, I recently read the news that said women should schedule their mammography either before their Covid-19 vaccination or four to six weeks after. Because I have been so on top of my health, delaying my visit slightly shouldn’t have any effect for me, but of course, everyone is different. As vaccination appointments open up, make sure to remember your recommended cancer screenings and ask your doctor what course of action is best for you!  

I’ve thought a lot this year about how cancer prepared me for Covid-19 and Quarantine. I continued to stay safe and even wore masks long before they were glamorous and shiny. I rocked robes and gloves and washed and sanitized.

I recently met Dr. Kirstamarie through my partnership with AstraZeneca’s New Normal, Same Cancer program, a public health initiative to raise awareness about recommended cancer screens during the pandemic, and shared a few questions that I believe will be helpful to you.


If a patient is concerned about going to  a Dr appointment, how would you ease  their anxiety about the protocols you  are taking to keep everyone safe?  

Dr Kristamarie:  

In light of all of the changes over the past year, our health and the health of  our loved ones are what matters. As we  have learned more details during this pandemic, I have been able to  implement a few protocols to help  protect patients so they can continue  to receive care. Our practice has been following safety guidelines set by the  CDC and the city’s department of  health. Additionally, we transitioned a  large majority of visits to provide virtual visits for people to still receive the care  they need, but from the safety of their  homes. For any home or work consultations, we make sure the  appropriate precautions are taken (using appropriate screening questions)  and wearing appropriate personal  protective equipment. 


We have heard from recent expert opinion that vaccination side effects can include enlarged lymph nodes and  mirror signs of breast cancer. Besides  trying to schedule screenings before  the first vaccination dose or 4-6 weeks after your second dose, if possible.  What else should cancer patients know about staying safe during these times?  

Dr Kristamarie:  

It’s important that patients don’t put off recommended health care and treatments. Skipping appointments or  delaying them may lead to other issues down the road. I would encourage patients to reach out to their providers to see what precautions their hospitals and offices  are taking to ensure their safety. It  may also be helpful to ask friends or family for help with certain errands (such as grocery shopping) to decrease time spent around large crowds depending on what part of the country you live in. Patients should continue to wear face coverings when out in public, maintaining distance when appropriate, and discuss whether vaccination is an appropriate option for their specific case. If there are concerns about any new or unusual  symptoms, please don’t hesitate to get tested or to discuss with your providers.  


Should cancer patients take extra steps to continue to stay safe?  

Dr Kristamarie:  

It’s essential to continue making healthy lifestyle choices that will  support immune health while keeping the body strong. Getting adequate sleep, incorporating a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruits, and reducing stress are some ways to help maintain  health. Staying up to date with  recommendations from providers and reputable organizations such as the CDC can also help ensure that you are staying safe.  

Dr Kristamarie:  

What special actions or precautions have you taken to ensure that you are staying safe during the Pandemic?


I’m continuing to monitor public health guidance as different areas start to reopen, and only doing so with caution. I have stayed masked and kept to my “pod.” I don’t eat indoors with anyone other than my immediate family who I live with and my pandemic-blended family, which includes my ex-husband, his wife, her ex-husband and their kids. That’s our “family” because the kids go back and forth so it’s as if we all live together.  

We all wash our hands constantly, get tested if we think we may have been around someone who tested positive and quarantine if any of us were  exposed. I’ve started to double mask if I go into a market or store and wear gloves as often as possible and keep up to date with the latest public health guidance on how the virus is affecting my own community.  

Dr Kristamarie:  

How have you been staying up to date with your own healthcare needs and screening tests during this time?  


I keep a list of all of my different  doctors as shown above. I have many  annual or biannual appointments  because of my cancer journey and my  side effects. My oncologist, my  surgeon, my radiation oncologist, my rheumatologist, my ophthalmologist, my dermatologist, my gynecologist, my endocrinologist, my gastroenterologist and my dentist. I  keep notes on when to follow up. The portals do a really good job of reminders but I have a few different portals! So, this list keeps me organized.  

Dr Kristamarie:  

Have you had to visit your healthcare provider in person during the Covid-19  Pandemic, and if yes, how was your experience? Did you feel as though your healthcare team prioritized your health and safety and if so, could you share how they did this?  


Yes. At the beginning, I didn’t and  luckily my mammography and my oncology appointments are typically in March, so I had just seen them when  everything got bad in 2020. I was slightly late on some of the others due to the pandemic but luckily, I see so many year-round who take many blood tests and check levels that I felt  like I was still in the realm of “on time”. I’m just about all caught up  now and it feels great! We all have  enough to worry about health-wise  these days and catching anything  early can save your life. I know, because I did.  

AstraZeneca sponsored this blog post.

Hugs with 98 Year Old Grandma

My 98 year old Grandma in assisted living hadn’t had a hug in over a year! Wait until you hear some of the conversations and special moments we all shared with my Grandma! It’s truly incredible and we are so grateful for the science that made this all happen! We hadn’t been inside with my mom without masks in over a year. Our recent trip to Ohio in this incredible Outdoorsy RV Van brought so much love and joy along with the most amazing conversations. #brighterdaysahead. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

The MOMS and Soleil Moon Frye

You can always call her Punky!  That’s what Soleil Moon Frye told all the moms on The MOMS Virtual Mamarazzi event for her new Hulu documentary kid 90.  Guess what she was wearing, she’s more like you than you think!  Plus, watch to hear who has to approve pictures she posts on her social, who used to pick her up at school and how she talks to her kids about social media.  Don’t miss the Minute With The MOMS at the end where Soleil talks about the most fun she’s had during the Pandemic, her favorite show, what she can’t wait to do when the world opens and her favorite quote!  

Kid 90 streams on Hulu beginning March 12th!

5 Year Cancerversary Brings New Questions

Are you counting down the days until New Year’s Eve? 2020 has been a difficult year for so many of us. I often feel reflective in December. I use this time to reflect on the past year and plan for the new one. For me, this year, it’s my most important year since I was diagnosed.  For me, this year will be crucial.  This year is my 5 year mark from diagnosis.  There’s so much that comes with that but especially the questions surrounding one of the medicines I’m on.  I’m on an aromatase inhibitor, which is like insurance.  It’s supposed to help make sure my cancer doesn’t come back.  Traditionally, doctors prescribed this medicine, for my kind of cancer and treatment for 10 years.  But as is always the case with science and medicine, there are always advancements.  

This time, it’s Breast Cancer Index™.  Breast Cancer Index is a simple test that will let me know if there’s any benefit to me staying on this medication for 5 more years.  I’ve learned about Breast Cancer Index in the past 6 months and am serving as an ambassador for this test.  I’ve always only agreed to partner with companies that are meaningful to me and that I believe in.  After learning and writing and sharing for the past few months, it’s time for me to decide what to do.  I’ve spoken to my doctor about it and she was aware of it.  She said we will talk about it at the 5 year mark but her inclination is to keep me on the medicine since I don’t have side effects.  But it’s a good topic to discuss.  How do you know when you want to listen to science, try something new and perhaps take fewer drugs?  I’m almost at the time to make a decision and I think I will take the test.  It would be good to have more information.  I don’t know yet what I will do with the results, but I’m thankful for advancements, for science and for Breast Cancer Index.

I’m NOT asking for Money. Just helping Others, Hopefully.

This post is sponsored by Biotheranostics, Inc. (Breast Cancer Index™). Thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m not asking for money.  I promise.
I know I’ve been asking a lot lately in regards to my Breast Cancer Journey and on-going support of philanthropy.

This time, I’m writing about Breast Cancer Index, a test and company I’ve learned about in the past few months due to my partnership with them.

While I may be working with them to raise awareness, I’m also asking questions, and speaking to my doctors to see if I should and will continue a medicine I am currently on. 

I’ve written about it before,





but this time, I also wanted to share the experience of someone who made the very decision I will soon be faced with.

Kathleen, a breast cancer survivor, shared her experience using the Breast Cancer Index test.






Denise Albert DONATES Hair for a Wig on The Doctors

You may ask WHY I’m still wearing a wig.  You may ask why I would donate my newly grown post-chemo hair to Wigs & Wishes By Martino Cartier?   Here are all the answers on The Doctors.  Please watch, share and consider how you can also perhaps help others, if not this way, in other ways!  I FEEL GREAT.  I’M SO HAPPY I DID THIS! I’ve thought about it for years and now know  It was 100% the right decision for me!  I’m so grateful to the show and to Martino Cartier for agreeing to do this with me!  PLEASE CONSIDERING DONATING YOURS ALSO!

SEGMENT 1 – Why I’m still wearing Wigs!

SEGMENT 2 – The Chop and Donation to help others!

Poise® Partners with The MOMS to host Poise® Bounce Back Microgrants and Workshops

We are teaming up with Poise who is awarding microgrants totaling $50,000! Poise has already awarded $450,000 in grants in an effort to help women-owned small businesses bounce back from financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we’re working with Poise to bring female entrepreneurs educational workshops and microgrants. 

Click on the links below to register for one of our virtual panel discussions in August and you could be eligible to receive a $2,500 microgrant thanks to Poise. Each session will feature a robust mix of speakers and topics designed to help female entrepreneurs adapt and grow their businesses during these fast-changing, unprecedented times. 

Week of August 3

Week of August 10

MEET Gillian Stollwerk Garrett from The MOMS Marketplace!

Hi, Call me Gilly and I am the Founder of Gilly’s Organics. I created a line of 9 luxurious, healing, hydrating products that are AMAZING for your skin and hair. I began this line because I wanted to develop high-quality, clean products that are effective AND affordable. I did it!

I believe deeply that a woman must absolutely put her self-care needs at the top of the list and especially now if she can. My brand and my mission are all about self-care, education, empowerment, having FUN and giving back. I hope when you buy my products that you feel the love that was put into them. Our brand is currently giving proceeds to our local hospital (Englewood Health) until this Covid crisis is over. We also give funds to girls who otherwise can’t receive a secondary education across the globe. I can’t wait to hear from you once you try my products! XO, G


Minute with The MOMS and Joan Lunden

What does Joan Lunden see when she looks in the mirror?  Who is the best person she ever interviewed?  Watch The Minute With The MOMS with Joan Lunden!  PLUS, Do you want to win a free trip to Beaches Resorts?  Go to TheMOMSNetwork on Instagram and Facebook to more from our Mamarazzi event and to find out how you can enter.  We are celebrating Skip Gen Travel.  That’s where Grandparents take the Grandkids away and give moms a break or a vacation too! 

Solo Mom Travels, as seen on The Doctors on Feb. 17, 2020

Mom Beats Breast Cancer and Then Books Dream Trip, Thank You Flash Pack for the Croatia portion of the trip!

I took off work completely for the first time in over 10 years. I turned on my out of office, got my business partner on board to run our company, TheMOMS.com without me, and took off to Europe for three and a half weeks with a one-way ticket and very few plans or reservations. In the past seven years, I’ve gotten divorced, started a new business, moved three times, was diagnosed with breast cancer and treated aggressively for two and a half years, spent four and a half years in and out of a horrific (for lack of other words) on and off relationship, was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and became the subject of a viral video for being mistreated with the TSA — all while parenting two boys.

Read the Full Story at Yahoo.com

Finding Hope During Difficult Moments – The Importance of Community

I just turned 45. It’s a milestone I wasn’t sure I would see. Three and a half years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t have family, close friends or anyone in my inner circle with cancer. Today, I have an entire cancer community and it is what got me through the worst time of my life.

Community is the basis of everything I do. It is the very essence of our company, The MOMS.

Now that I am a survivor, I often think about how to share my experience in a meaningful way that can help others, no matter what type of cancer they may be facing. I keep coming back to the thought that the community I was able to engage with on social media helped me during some of my toughest moments and connected me with others who were going through similar experiences. I recently realized that my cancer journey is similar to that of an athlete, which is why I’m so proud to be collaborating with seven-time Olympic medalist in gymnastics, a mom and ovarian cancer survivor, Shannon Miller. Shannon is on a mission to educate women facing ovarian cancer through her work with Our Way Forward.

Shannon has partnered with TESARO and Our Way Forward, which is a call to action that encourages women with ovarian cancer to rethink how they talk about it. The program strives to foster a community for those impacted by this disease, who can work together to navigate the physical and emotional challenges that the disease brings. 

Shannon is encouraging women, care partners, loved ones and physicians to join the Our Way Forward team. Have you ever played a sport? Or been on a team? Or coached one of your kid’s teams? Every member of a sports team needs the support of teammates cheering you on.

Our Way Forward is your stadium filled with fans. It is your gold medal performance. It is a place to learn, read and share. It is a place where everyone is rooting for you. 

We all need someone in our corner. At every level!  

When I was diagnosed with cancer I decided to share my story publicly. With The MOMS, I have shared my life, whether it was on television talking about parenting, online writing about my divorce on the Huffington Post, on my SiriusSM radio show or on social media. So how could I not also share this?  

I wrote my first story for People.com and the response was unbelievable. Thousands of people shared my story and then many went on to share theirs.  

It was like being in a stadium filled with fans rooting for me. Fans cheering me on and wanting people living with cancer to win. I had my own team, my own coaches, my managers, my kids, extended family and friends—the support generated felt like I had an entire stadium full of fans!  

I named my team, #FutureCancerSurvivor. I printed bracelets that I still wear today. There hasn’t been a day I have been without it. It’s my logo, my team uniform. I shared it all. Everything from my lumpectomy to shaving my head right before an event I was hosting with Jennifer Garner to my wigs to 6 months of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation daily. A year of immunotherapy injections. I had unique side effects. I kept sharing. Each time I shared, I gained more fans. I learned more. I started speaking to others across the country. Rooting for others. It was fans all around a cancer community…really a mini-league of its own. I always had plans to get my work done in the hours sitting during chemo. I brought my computer. What happened was shocking. I would arrive, post a picture, think about what I wanted to write and then take the next few hours while everything was dripping through my body to then respond to every single person. Every comment, every message, every text or email. Social media passed my time, cheered me up, connected me to thousands around the country. Social media saved my life during treatment.  

Once you go through cancer, it never leaves. Cancer-free for me is like being retired. Still in the game but in another way. We are here to spread messages. To help others. This is the real Pros.

What makes someone like Shannon an athlete? Obviously the practice. The drive. The determination. The passion. The coaching. The team.  

What makes someone a cancer survivor? A lot of the same things. But mostly the team and the fans.

So if you see someone sharing their story. If you think to yourself, ‘Why are they doing this?’ Not every day is a win or medal round. Sometimes you’re tackled, or you strike out or are knocked out.  

Sometimes you just feel awful. Think about it this way. They need you cheering them on. They need you rooting for them. They need that base hit or home run or gold medal. They need your help to win whatever game they are playing.

To learn more about Our Way Forward, visit www.ourwayforward.com or the Facebook page. To learn more about Shannon Miller, visit www.shannonmiller.com

You Will Never Believe What Made My Boys Responsible!!

My boys received complimentary Invisalign® treatment in exchange, we are sharing our real treatment experience with you.

Have you had that moment when you felt like your kids were all grown up? Even though they are still kids, have you had a moment when you felt like they were responsible? Have you had that moment when you realized they understood the value of something and did their best to appreciate and take care of it without having to tell them?

I am living that moment right now. I can’t even believe it. I can’t be the only one who feels like I’m always repeating myself to my kids. “Pick up your clothes.” “Put your dishes away.” “Please go shower.” “Time to brush your teeth.”

But recently something happened. I no longer have to tell them to brush their teeth. Now they tell me! Multiple times a day. The moment occurred precisely nine weeks ago. I remember because that’s when they began their Invisalign® treatment. Just a quick note – there are other options on the market that may be better options for you. For example, if you’re from Thailand then you might want to look at จัดฟันแบบใส Aline. It’s up to you though, make sure you do your research and assess your options!

If you’re interested in Invisalign then check out the resources available online for more information. It’s never too late to get it! The boys have been so excited that each time they eat, they take their aligners out, place them in their case and then miraculously after they finish eating, immediately go to the bathroom to brush and put them back in. The process of getting Invisalign is a lot easier than getting braces, which is why many people go for this option instead. If this is the treatment that you feel is best for your child to undergo (and your child agrees), it could be as simple as visiting a Dentist in McAllen (or your local dental clinic) to get started! You can speak to them about the whole process if it’ll make it easier for you to understand. Plus, they aren’t there for no reason! They have your best interests at heart when it comes to your teeth.

You’ll find that many clinics such as Dentist Lancaster offer this treatment. If you or your child is considering getting Invisalign, doing some research into it or speaking to a professional dentist could help you get a better understanding of what this all includes.

Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Before bedtime. It’s as if they are under a spell. I thought it would get old fast. I thought after the first week; they would go back to old habits. NOPE! Nine weeks in and it’s still the same excitement, the same sense of responsibility.

This miracle has even stayed on track when they are in school. They each keep their case in their lunch box. They do not ever take it out. They also keep a case right by the sink at home. There’s never an opportunity to miss or lose it because we established this routine right from the start.

We also decided that every Wednesday is the day they change their aligners and move on to the next week’s set. As a busy mom, I often forget, and I still haven’t remembered to set an alert on my phone. But I don’t even need one. My 9 and 13-year-old boys are my human alerts! They wake up each Wednesday morning and say, “It’s new Invisalign® aligner day!”

Invisalign® clear aligners are custom made for an individual’s teeth and the boys can see how much straighter their teeth are each week.

At our last visit to the orthodontist, we took a look at the 3D plan on the computer and it was fascinating to see the planned movements each week and how their teeth are precisely where the computer said they would be.

Each set of Invisalign® clear aligners shifts their teeth slightly and the boys are enjoying seeing the results from their hard work and responsibility.

My boys are smiling bigger and with more confidence. Take a look on https://garycashdds.com/cosmetic-dentistry/invisalign/ to find out more!

Or you can find an Invisalign® provider near you here!

Twitter Party – Refrigerator Giveaway!

Twitter Party Alert Vegas Style!

We are back from CES where Las Vegas was both a workplace and a party. Now we are having another party… a Twitter Party this Thursday night with Amy from Resourceful Mom joining us as well!

It’s time to start 2013 off with something big, cool, and new. And with the help of Whirlpool and their innovative home appliances we will be giving away a beautiful chic fridge to one lucky winner in our Twitter Party as well.

If you feel your fridge is getting along in years or you often find yourself calling repair services like https:www.adamrepairs.com to keep it up and running then it’s time to chuck that old thing out and get a brand new one. Join in on the Twitter Party for your chance to save some cash and get a brand new fridge from Whirpool! You can then make sure that it is covered under your home warranty, which you can find out more about over at homewarranty.firstam.com, so that no matter what you get to keep it in working order for as long as possible, no more broken down fridges for you!

Whirlpool is all about bringing fun to function, helping families enjoy the time they spend in the family hub – the kitchen! One new little accessory they’ve introduced really excels in their endeavor. Introducing the Whirlpool® CoolVox™ kitchen sound system. It’s another amazing piece of new technology for the future! Featuring a Bluetooth audio device that links up with your smartphone or tablet to make cooking or eating in the kitchen an experience like never before! Click the link above to find out more about the CoolVox™ from Whirlpool themselves.

Make sure to follow @themoms and join us in the party for the chance to win!

Twitter Party Tonight

The holiday entertaining season is upon us and it’s time to think of festive new ways to revamp our holiday party menus. I hope you will join us TONIGHT night as we tweet with our friend Amy at Resourcefulmom about holiday entertaining at the…

Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash Twitter Party

Where: #SierraMistHoliday

When: Tuesday, November 27th from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET

How: Follow hosts @ResourcefulMom and @TheMoms and tweet with the tag to be eligible to win.


10 (ten) winners will each receive a premium Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash holiday entertaining gift packs (valued at $110).  Each pack includes a cocktail shaker set, two pint glasses, four stainless steel stirrers and a cookbook along with  Sierra Mist cocktail and mocktail recipe cards.