Saturday, August 18, 2018
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Groucho Marx famously said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” Pink ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia) When I stood up in church recently, during the time when congregation members share their joys and sorrows, I told them, “I have Stage II breast cancer.” A short time later, a member stood up to tell me, “Carol, welcome to the club I know you didn’t want to join. There are many of us survivors here.” I’m in the “This isn’t fair,” phase of this journey. I have no risk factors that I can identify. I don’t smoke, have no cancer in my family,... (Read More ...)

My former college roommate had called me at work six months before and we talked for an hour. Michigan, highlighting Ann Arbor in red. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) She had been undergoing aggressive chemotherapy at Duke for the breast cancer that had recurred. When she and I met in college in some Spring-quarter Freshman course, we connected instantly. When we moved in together our Sophomore year, she joked about how everyone on our dorm room floor must think us an odd couple. She, sexually abused by her father. Me with such a normal family you’d have thought we’d been painted. She had come home... (Read More ...)

Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Two women met when they found out they were both breast cancer survivors. One had decided to climb to the top of a mountain to show the world there is life after breast cancer. One agreed to raise money for the climb to show the world that breast cancer is a public health crisis. Together, Laura Evans, who founded Expedition Inspiration, and Andrea Ravinett Martin, who founded the Breast Cancer Fund, created a movement. Their book, Climb Against the Odds: Celebrating Survival on the Mountain, describes their journey. Though Laura Evans was an... (Read More ...)

What Do 10 Breast Cancer Survivors Have in Common? A couple of women in a breast cancer support group decided to tell their stories to a larger audience. Breast Cancer 3-Day Atlanta 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The book that came out of this decision was B.O.O.B.S.: A Bunch Of Outrageous Breast-Cancer Survivors Tell Their Stories of Courage, Hope and Healing. They approached an editor to help them write their book. Her name was Ann Kempner Fisher. She asked them how many women they planned to include in this project. When they answered three or four, maybe as many as five, she replied that they... (Read More ...)

Picture of a beam in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Last week, readers spent the most time on: What Size Is Your Hat? Time and Toilet Paper Rolls Would You Want to Be Named After a Food? Sugar Easter Eggs How Did You Create Your Grandma Name? Last month, readers spent the most time on: What Size Is Your Hat? Have You Ever Had a Dog? Time and Toilet Paper Rolls Would You Want To Be Named After a Food? Where’s My Soldering Iron? Coming up next week: They Burned Down the House. Monday, March 18, 2013 Potato Famine. The Troubles.... (Read More ...)

A story of a cartoonist, New York City, and breast cancer. Times Square. New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia) When you’re 43, are thin, have great shoes, live in New York City, are about to get married and are a cartoonist for The New Yorker and Glamour magazine, it does not occur to you you might get breast cancer. So, you let your insurance lapse. This is a story about the shoes Marisa Acocella Marchetto wore to chemotherapy. Yes, she had surgery, a lumpectomy, to remove a 1.3 cm tumor. She discovered it in 2004 when she felt a lump in her breast and her arm hurt when she went swimming. A... (Read More ...)

Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy At 27, in 1995, the lovely young producer on 20/20, Geralyn Lucas, was met with sad eyes when people found out she’d just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Red Lipstick (Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography. Creative Commons) “Extensive intraductal carcinoma, poorly differentiated, clean margins, negative estrogen receptors, lobular.” “You’re so young.” “You’re so pretty.” “It’s such a shame.” Well, that was not helpful. So, she decided she needed to take control of her life. She put on lipstick and high heels and went to a strip... (Read More ...)

Stealing Second Base. A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Experience A pair of Discrene brand masectomy breast forms with optional false nipples glued on (Photo credit: Wikipedia) At 5’2”, with 44D-sized breasts, Lillian Shockney, RN, was not prepared to read in her own pathology report, which she sneaked a look at while her doctor was out of town, “breast carcinoma.” Those not in the medical field might not know what that meant. Shockney, who goes by Lillie, is an oncology nurse, and she knew exactly what it meant. She had wept with a patient years before who begged her not to tell her her breast... (Read More ...)

Bridging the Divide: My Life, Senator Edward W. Brooke I bought Senator Edward W. Brooke’s book, Bridging the Divide: My Life, for his story about his survival from breast cancer. Edward W. Brooke, United States Senator from Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I found an autobiography of an African American who lived through and shaped history. He was the first Republican to be elected Senator in Massachusetts. Click on interview with Brooke for a YouTube video of an interview with Brooke on his decision to run. He was the first African-American Senator to be elected to the Senate by popular... (Read More ...)

Weekly Recap. Last week, readers spent the most time on: Edward W. Brooke is congratulated by the President George W. Bush at the Ceremony for the 2004 Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The East Room of the White House. Source of image: (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Saving Jack The Christmas Surprise Paper Towels and Water Mary Fox Fudge Who Wears Panty Hose? Last month, readers spent the most time on: Who Wrote Jingle Bells? Which Baby Can Be in a Forward-Facing Seat? Walk Along Glider What Are 10 Top Tips for a Long... (Read More ...)