The Reminder

Do you ever feel like you’re the reminder, the reminder of cancer? Do you sometimes wonder if your family and friends see you and then immediately think cancer thoughts? Sometimes I feel this way. One of those people I do not like reminding at all about cancer is my dad. He needs no reminders; he remembers far too much. But whenever I visit him, there I am, the reminder daughter. I don’t like being the reminder, the reminder of cancer. I wonder if he thinks about my mom and cancer whenever he sees me now. (more…)

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A Research Survey Opportunity via FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered)

I get requests all the time to share one thing or the other. Generally, I opt out for various reasons. But when I was recently asked by the good people at FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), to share about a research survey opportunity, of course I said yes; I’ll help spread the word. This survey is for younger women, which means those under the age of 45, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or who are deemed to be at high risk due to a genetic mutation and/or family history. It’s important to note that it is not only for BRCA+ women. Keep reading for the full explanation from FORCE. I’ll share exactly what I was asked to share; this way I won’t mess things up: (more…)

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20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Arrivals

If Angelina Jolie and I Could Chat, Part 2

Two years ago when Angelina Jolie startled the world by sharing about her decision to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy because of her high cancer risk due to her BRCA1 positive status, reaction was swift and widespread. People came out of the woodwork offering their opinions and reactions to her personal, yet publicly shared decision. I wrote about my reaction too. You can read that post here if you’d like. Recently, after a cancer scare, Ms. Jolie shared about her decision to go ahead and have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as well. (more…)

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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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