Another Trip to the Oncologist – Still NED, Still Grateful

Recently I had my six-month oncology checkup. In some ways, these appointments have become routine-like. In other ways, the very fact that I have oncology appointments at all still seems quite remarkable. Requiring an oncologist is not something one ever expects. Still, after four, almost five years, I am not as nervous about oncology appointments now. For the most part, I know what to expect. I know that more than likely there won’t be any big surprises because my oncologist follows the guidelines. This means he orders no tumor marker tests. He orders no tests period unless I have symptoms, which thankfully, at this time I do not. I do have lingering side effects from chemo and other various side effects from Aromasin, but I have no symptoms suggesting cancer recurrence. I am still NED (no evidence of disease). And yes, I am grateful. (more…)

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Finding Novel Cancer Treatment Options Using Molecular Testing – A Guest Post by Kim Pelak

I am pleased to feature a guest post written by Kim Pelak, Ph.D. Dr. Pelak is an old friend of dear daughter’s. Dear daughter and I have known Kim since she was in fourth grade (yours truly was one of her Girl Scout leaders) and even back then she was interested in genetics. We all knew Kim would be doing important work some day and she is. Recently Kim offered to write a guest post explaining a bit about her work, which involves helping to find cancer treatment options using molecular testing. Targeted medicine based on each individual patient’s genomic information is where the future of personalized cancer treatment is likely heading. Thank you, Kim, for sharing about the exciting work you do.  (more…)

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Who Should Take the ‘Heat’ for the Melissa Etheridge/Sheryl Crow AARP Article?

I wasn’t going to blog about the recent Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow AARP article that caused a bit of a ruckus on social media and elsewhere. Sometimes I just get weary of this celebrity stuff. But I guess you can tell how my plan to keep silent turned out…

Sometimes I wish celebrities would just keep quiet about their disease woes and triumphs, but then they do often provide fodder for bloggers like me, right? That’s supposed to be sarcasm. Seriously though, I am all for everyone and anyone (including celebrities) sharing personal stories about cancer or whatever it might be. I am totally for free speech, sharing stories, offering advice, reaching out to help others and so on. But what I do not support is someone coming across as making her story the right story as Melissa Etheridge seemed to do in this piece, or more specifically, in the ‘lessons for all of us to learn’ image at the end of the article, which is the focus of this post. (more…)

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Wrapping Up Another Pinktober with a Giveaway!

Another Pinktober is almost behind us. Many, maybe even most, in the blogosphere are breathing a collective sigh of relief as November appears on the horizon. I guess I’m sort of a misfit because I have never minded Pinktober. As I’ve said before, I look at it as another opportunity to be a little louder. But I must say, it’s not like I’m sad to see the month of breast awareness, I mean breast cancer awareness, come to a close either. I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, but I don’t think I saw as much pink crap in the stores this year. Did you? Or maybe I just haven’t been shopping much lately. Yeah, that’s probably it.  (more…)

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BRCA testing

Should Universal Testing for BRCA1 & 2 Mutations Be an Option for All Women?

Geneticist Mary-Claire King recently accepted the prestigious Laskar science award and during her acceptance speech, she surprised many by sharing her recommendation that genetic screening for brca1 and brca2 mutations should be made available to all women around age thirty as part of routine medical care. This would be an option, not mandatory.

Ever since I heard about Dr. King’s announcement, I’ve been trying to figure out where I stand on this issue. I have been reading with great interest many of the articles written after her stunning (to some) recommendation. At first I was torn, but after thinking more about it, I know where I stand.  (more…)

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