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Cancer is a Drunk Driver

Exactly ten years ago today, on February 4, 2004, I found a lump on my left breast. That discovery led to my eventual diagnosis of a stage two breast cancer thirteen days later. That discovery saved my life. Although I am now living with and being treated for a stage four recurrence of my disease, I consider myself a breast cancer survivor from that day forward. I am a 5,243,040 minute survivor, and I can say without hesitation that I have spent at least 5,243,000 of those minutes being happy! Being a traffic cop is a lot like living with [...]

By |February 5th, 2014|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Perfectly Imperfect

My friend ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo Tweeted a picture of her family Christmas tree last month, referring to it as a "gap-toothed hunchback with scoliosis" using the hashtag #MemorableUgliness.  (You'll have to follow her on Twitter to see it for yourself!) Rebecca's tree made me laugh - not just because her husband, Sports Illustrated columnist Steve Rushin chose the tree without her this year, but because it made me wonder if he had deliberately chosen this clearly memorable ornamental pine. Each year we choose the perfect tree to cut down, bring home and decorate.  They're always beautiful. But do they ever [...]

By |January 5th, 2014|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Savor the Meal, Savor the Ride

Today, Thanksgiving-Eve, is a VERY good day! My oncologist called today with "fantastic news," nearly in disbelief herself at what she was telling me...the lymph node biopsy I had last Friday (almost the least of my worries in these last few days) was hormone receptor positive, it had NOT morphed into another breast cancer or what we had seriously considered might be lymphoma or even lung cancer. In layman's terms, this is the very best case scenario, one which no one dared to expect, really, since all signs pointed, well, let's just say, elsewhere. I won't need additional chemotherapy to [...]

By |November 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|13 Comments

Wink-Wink!!

After spending two weeks traveling throughout Holland, Ireland and England, speaking on behalf of Get In Touch to students, School Nurses, Health Educators, parents and survivors, I came back home to the sometimes unsettling reality of living with cancer. Chemotherapy was waiting for me on Wednesday, followed by a Friday afternoon surgical biopsy on one of the thoracic nodes that has decided to give me trouble. The biopsy went off without a hitch...until the car ride home when the anesthesia began to wear off.  Combined with the heat and the motion, well, let's just say if you are ever going [...]

By |November 25th, 2013|Uncategorized|8 Comments

Angelina Jolie is my daughter

As October comes to a close, I am keenly aware of the fact that women (and men) are diagnosed with breast cancer during each month of the year.  I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2004. I refer to October as Breast HEALTH Awareness Month, preferring to focus on what we can do to remain healthy, rather than focus on cancer.  My mission with The Get In Touch Foundation is all about breast health education, encouraging girls (and guys) of all ages to "get in touch" with their bodies, know what their normal, healthy breast tissue feels [...]

By |October 22nd, 2013|My Blog|6 Comments

My great big oxymoronic life.

Contrary to anything my children would tell you, I do not have something to say about everything. I haven't posted on my blog in several months because I've been finding my groove with the new chemotherapy treatment I've been receiving, launching my new book, running a global educational nonprofit organization, and taking some very necessary "mommy and me" time with my kids. The "miracle-drug" I have affectionately referred to as TDM-1 for almost a year now has an official name - Kadcyla.  This lifesaving mix of targeted therapy and chemotherapy has been pumping through my veins every third Wednesday since May 15th.  "Lucky [...]

By |October 10th, 2013|My Blog|18 Comments

Not if, but when…

I've always known that the drowsy little metastatic buggers that took up residence in my body just about two years ago when I was diagnosed with a recurrence of my breast cancer would one day stretch their arms and legs and become "active." My oncologist has been careful to point this out, encouraging me to celebrate and live with abandon, since every three weeks when I go for treatment, my blood work would reveal whether or not my cancer was quiet...or not. We scheduled a PET scan to check on the success of last November's CyberKnife therapy to the tumor in my [...]

By |April 26th, 2013|My Blog|1 Comment

Karma 206

The fog is thick over the Stockbridge Bowl this morning.  It is my final day of a self-imposed retreat that brought me back to Kripalu in the Berkshires, where I have spent several days reading the final proof of my book, approving artwork, and completing the oh-so-important press release questionnaire. I first learned to express myself with the written word when I was in high school.  Norm DeTullio was my creative writing teacher and he was (and still is!) as colorful as the words I struggled to find during even the most simple of writing exercises. All of this creativity [...]

By |March 12th, 2013|My Blog|Comments Off on Karma 206

“Cover” Me

I'm happy...seriously happy! After a few rough months of recuperation from the CyberKnife therapy to my spine, and a whopping bout of pneumonia that sidelined me, I feel rested and ready for life, PET scans and all! My book, "A Diary of Healing:  My Intense and Meaningful Life with Cancer," will be released next month on the first day of Spring. I won a publishing contract from Architect of Change Maria Shriver at her California Women's Conference in 2010.  (Pretty cool, huh?!  Maria is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside...an extraordinary human being!) I journaled prolifically throughout [...]

By |February 17th, 2013|My Blog|Comments Off on “Cover” Me

Crisis or opportunity…gratitude awaits…

Each phase of this long, slow dance with cancer has allowed me to experience one medical miracle after another, a treatment or a therapy that until quite recently had not been in existence, not an option, not a door, not even a window for oh so many that have gone before me on this path of healing and life. I sat amidst my faith community at Mass this weekend and listened to the words of the celebrant encourage us to look at the way in which we view the challenges in our lives..."crisis" or "opportunity," we get to choose. For [...]

By |November 20th, 2012|My Blog|Comments Off on Crisis or opportunity…gratitude awaits…