Thursday, April 27, 2017
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When I was fighting breast cancer, I dropped below 100 pounds. At 5’6”, that is danger territory. Between nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and just no appetite, my husband, the cook in our family since I went back to work after our second son was born, and my caregiver, did everything he could to entice me to eat. For most of the five months of chemo, my standard fare was Cream of Wheat, with water, not milk, boiled potatoes without even butter, Jell-O™, hummus with spears of fresh cucumber, popsicles and ginger ale. A couple of friends discovered I could eat ginger snaps, and kept me supplied.... (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 ...)

Bald in the Land of Big Hair: A True Story. Joni Rodgers is a comedian. Portrait of Jane Austen, from the memoir by J. E. Austen-Leigh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) But, cancer is not funny. Except, if you’ve had it. Then, you can appreciate the dark humor that helps lighten the load for those not as far along on their journey and help those who care about you. “Luckily, everyone with cancer is issued a Brave Sick Person face. “It comes with the wig.” Joni Rodgers was the mother of a five-year-old and seven-year-old when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1994. She found... (Read More ...)

Saving Jack. “Can men get breast cancer?” Drawing of a breast duct containing ductal carcinoma in situ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) That is the question Jack Willis, journalist and professor, asked his wife when he felt a lump in his breast, after casually brushing it in the shower. Though breast cancer is uncommon among men, it is possible. Willis had invasive ductal carcinoma. Willis’ doctor wrote in the Forword to the book, Saving Jack: A Man’s Struggle with Breast Cancer, that there would be an estimated 2,000 men that year with breast cancer, of whom 450 would be told it had spread. The... (Read More ...)

Michael J. Lippe’s Story – Pancreatic Cancer: A Patient & His Doctor Balance Hope & Truth In December 2007, Michael J. Lippe was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer. It was inoperable and incurable. On average, 20% of pancreatic cancer patients live one year. Pancreatic Cancer Action logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Five percent live five years. Median survival is four to six months. Most of those who survive are among the 15% eligible for a surgical procedure known as the Whipple, which carves the tumor out of the pancreas. Lippe was not eligible for this procedure because... (Read More ...)

The White House Is Bathed in Pink Light for Breast Cancer Awareness, October 7, 2008 Jokes. Chocolate. Prayers. What Do You Say to a Chaplain Who Gets Cancer? Here’s what you don’t say. “But, you’re a chaplain. How could this have happened?” Understanding that her profession gave her no exemption, Debra Jarvis, author of “It’s Not About the Hair, And Other Uncertainties of Life,” still wondered why she, in training for a marathon, fit, who ate well and was in a happy marriage, could get breast cancer. Risk Factors The American Cancer Society lays out a detailed list of risk factors.... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia Author Chris Bledy autographed my book, “With love and gratitude all things are possible!” “Beating Ovarian Cancer: How to Overcome the Odds and Reclaim Your Life,” a Survivor’s Journey for Women with Cancer, lays out the strategies Bledy followed in her cancer journey. She wrote this book eight years after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer? Bledy was found to have ovarian cancer after a couple of missed periods sent her to her doctor. Called the “Silent Killer” because its symptoms are mild and easily ignored or mistaken... (Read More ...)