Inspiration necklaces for Sarcoma Foundation research

A good friend of mine Renae, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer this past January and her story really hit me hard. She was the second of many people in my life that was diagnosed with cancer this past year. I asked her to tell us a little about her story.

“I always feel full of hope as a new year approaches. I love imagining all that the year ahead has to offer, and how it will be the year I really do make it to the gym 5 days a week, have more patience, and start meditating daily. It would turn out that 2013 would be my hardest year yet and that fitting into skinny jeans would be the least of my concerns.

On January 2, 2013, I received a call from my dermatologist with the biopsy results from a mass I had removed from my left index finger in early December.  He told me I had something called Epithelioid Sarcoma and that I needed to find a specialist right away, that I would need surgery and probably radiation. I had no idea what he was talking about and I finally interrupted to tell him I didn’t understand. “You have cancer. I’m so sorry. This is horrible news to deliver to someone at the start of a new year,” he said. Thinking of that moment still brings tears to my eyes almost a year later. All I could manage was to write down my diagnosis, tell him thank you, and hang up as quickly as possible before I started to cry. I had never heard of sarcoma cancer prior to my own diagnosis.

So what do you do in 2013 when you get diagnosed with something? That’s right, I turned to Google. There was very little information about my type of sarcoma cancer and very little about sarcomas in general. They make up only 1-2% of cancer cases in adults, around 15% of cases in children and there are 50+ subtypes. The information that I did find was absolutely terrifying – the statistics were not in my favor for long term survival.

I am fortunate to live in Portland, OR that has a sarcoma treatment center at OHSU, and I was able to get in to see them within a week. That sounds really fast, but when you have a week to do nothing but read scary things on the Internet and wonder if you only have a few months to live, a week is an eternity. By the time all of the tests were done and I had results, it was closer to 3 weeks passing. The worst 3 weeks of my life. I could hardly look at my 2-year-old son without crying. My absolute biggest fear was leaving him without a mom at such a young age.  These tests were especially scary for me because I had the mass on my finger for 2 ½ years before it was finally removed and biopsied. It actually first appeared while I was pregnant with my son. I had given the cancer 2 ½ years to have its way with my body and it was hard to stay positive and imagine that it hadn’t already metastasized (spread) since it’s an aggressive form of cancer. The tests confirmed the Epithelioid Sarcoma cancer, but that it had not spread to any lymph nodes or into my lungs (these are the areas where it most commonly metastases to)! The relief was overwhelming. That’s an understatement but there are no good words to truly capture it. I went on to have surgery to ensure that all the cancer was removed from the finger. We had thought amputation was going to be necessary, but I was blessed once again and they were able to save it.

While my journey is far from over and my life still involves a lot of tests for many years to come, my story is truly a best case scenario. Many Epithelioid Sarcoma patients undergo radical surgery and/or amputation most commonly of their hands, feet, arms or legs. The 5-year survival rate for all sarcoma cancer is about 50%. Most are diagnosed when it’s too late for hope that any current available treatment options will work. There has only been 1 new drug developed in the last 30 years to treat sarcoma cancer. Being that it’s so rare, there isn’t much funding for research.  I feel so fortunate to be cancer-free today. I know not everyone receives good news like I did, and that’s why I volunteer with the Sarcoma Foundation of America. They devote their resources to research and finding a cure as well as better treatment options until that day comes.

I’m a huge fan of Andrea’s jewelry and asked if she’d be interested in designing a piece with sarcoma patients, their family and their friends in mind. Then, I took the favor up a notch and asked if she would also consider donating a portion of the proceeds from the inspiration necklaces to the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Luckily for me and the Sarcoma Foundation of America, Andrea has a huge heart and was happy to help. I think these make any excellent gift for anyone. Who doesn’t need a little reminder to have more “hope”, “faith”, “courage” or “love” in their lives?  I’m still trying to decide if I want mine to say “faith” or “survivor”. I may just have to do one of each! I hope you’ll wear one of Andrea’s necklaces proudly and know that you helped support important research that often receives very little funding or awareness.”

To purchase one of these necklaces visit our website: http://www.andreawysocki.com/inspiration-collection/

inspiration square

Advertisements

New Fall Leaves

Our new fall collection “Leaves” is finished and up on the website. As you can guess from the name each piece is centered around leaves. In Oregon, we are surrounded by such beautiful trees and greenery. Fall is also my favorite season. The leaves change color, the air gets crisp and the kids are back in school. We teamed up with Rachael of Rachael May Photography again this year to shoot photos for our website and look book. They came out amazing! She is so talented. At the last minute we had a location change and it ended up working perfectly! Here are some of my favorite shots from the day.

Jewelry Fall Lookbook 0037

Jewelry Fall Lookbook 0106

Jewelry Fall Lookbook 0057

Jewelry Fall Lookbook 0014

Jewelry Fall Lookbook 0125

Jewelry Fall Lookbook 0134

Ok I could be adding pictures all day! They are all amazing. To see more take a look at our Fall/Winter 2013 look book. Then head over to our website and see the entire collection.

If you are in the Portland area and are wanting to do family photos, make sure you contact Rachael, she is amazing! We just finished our second family photo shoot with her as well. She is truly amazing with kids! Here is her website

www.rachaelmayphotography.com

Andrea Wysocki Jewelry at GBK’s Styling Lounge for 2013 New York Fashion Week

Through The Artisan Group we were given the opportunity to gift celebrities and press at GBK’s 2013 NY Fashion Week Luxury Gift Lounge. I needed to make 75 of the same item that would be included in the swag bags. I knew my fall collection was going to be centered around a leaf theme so I thought it would be great to do a pair of earrings that represented the fall collection. I chose to make these sterling silver hammered leaves with tunduru sapphires.

Hammered leaves with tunduru sapphire earrings

I personally hand cut each leaf from a large sheet of sterling silver. 150 leaves were needed for these earrings. I have never had to make such a large amount of any one item from hand before so I had no clue if I was able to get them done in time but I had a plan to make X number a week. Once I got started cutting out the leaves I got a great rhythm down and ended up finishing the earrings a month early. I have always known I loved production and repetition and this was great proof that I am good at it too. Each pair of earrings vary slightly by color. The strands of sapphires vary in color from clear to reds, browns, greens, yellow.

I had been wanting to redo my earring cards ever since my rebranding last summer. This was the perfect opportunity to do so. I had new earring cards made up and found the perfect aqua ribbon for the boxes. I am so happy with how everything came together!

75 pretty little boxes pack up and ready for GBK's NY Fashion Week Luxury Gift Lounge

75 pretty little boxes pack up and ready for GBK’s NY Fashion Week Luxury Gift Lounge

click here to watch our video! —->  Andrea Wysocki Jewelry at GBK’s Styling Lounge for 2013 New York Fashion Week.

View our latest Press Release

To view these earrings on our website visit this link. http://www.andreawysocki.com/hammered-leaves-w-tunduru-sapphires-earrings/

Amazonite

wc320e

These are one of my favorite earrings right now. When I wear them I feel different. I feel like I can conquer anything!

Amazonite has many different mystical and healing properties. It enhances creative expression, and improves self worth. Amazonite is a soothing stone that offers confidence. It also brings forth the qualities of clarity, clear spirit, and balances the many aspects of ones personality. It is also said to reduce stress. It is said to stimulate ones artistic and creative side. Must be why I love wearing this stone so much!

Every now and then I will be showcasing my favorite pieces and stones and giving you a little fun info on them. I have no proof that any of this is actually true but it’s interesting that I do feel different when I wear them. Maybe it has something to do with looking nice and getting a little dressed up once in awhile or there is some truth behind all of this.

If you are interested in learning more about the metaphysical properties of stones I recommend reading Love Is In the Earth by Melody