Genetic Testing ~ A Tough Decision

Genetic Testing ~ A Tough Decision A recent article I read, Beyond BRCA: Testing negative and living in the “gray zone” for cancer risk, motivated me to write a personal response.  This is the story of my own genetic testing that for me was a tough decision. The article was about a fellow Twitter advocate in the breast cancer community, Stacey Tinianov. We have a bit in common as you can see by the list. Both love coffee and tweeting. You can find Stacey on Twitter @coffeemommy and me @6state Both maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle Both gave birth to our children before the age of 30 Both had two children and nursed them Both love the “blueberry diet”… AKA…”a lifetime of following the myriad of published “cancer prevention” techniques Both diagnosed with breast cancer in our 40’s (me> a 2nd diagnosis in my 50’s) Chemotherapy – Shared Continue Reading →

#WorkoutWednesday

#WorkoutWednesday Exercises Let’s call today’s blog #WorkoutWednesday. I’m back at my desk today after an amazing trip to one of my favorite places on the earth, Seattle, Washington. I was able to enjoy family and friends as well as schedule meetings and dinners to connect with more amazing women in the breast cancer and breast reconstruction community. I unpacked my week and a half’s worth of luggage as well as my “portable office” after my flight yesterday. I was amazed at how happy I was to set my laptop back up in the office space in my home or as I have fondly named it, “The She Shed”. I missed writing, blogging, researching, sharing and reaching out to the on-line community. But the face to face meetings I had last week were invaluable. There will be blogs written as follow-ups to those experiences. It was important for me to get Continue Reading →

Breast Cancer, Breast Reconstruction & New Challenges

Breast Cancer, Breast Reconstruction & New Challenges What new challenges have you taken on since being diagnosed with breast cancer?  What have you had to deal with after losing your breasts to cancer, or finding out that you are a BRCA gene carrier? I was inspired to write this blog based on an article seen on social media from Living Beyond Breast Cancer. I include my BRCA friends in this post because I advocate for all choices of breast reconstruction and we have all had the perspective of experiencing some difficult decisions regarding our health. Events in life, good or bad, change us. They catapult us into decisions that we likely would not have come to based on the event. Being diagnosed with cancer for the second time in 2014, facing a mastectomy and then delayed DIEP flap reconstruction later that year, reset my compass. A Side Trip on my Continue Reading →

Diagnosis #1

First the Good News You never forget where you were or what you were doing the moment you are told you have cancer, even if it was over a decade ago and the first time. My initial diagnosis was in January of 2002. I was ironing my husband’s shirts and watching a cooking show. It was 9:15 in the morning when I received the call. The doctor started out with the good news first. “Some of the tumors we biopsied were normal, but”… But…… As soon as he said that word “but” I knew. I turned the iron off quickly and sat down and grabbed a pen and paper. I had invasive lobular carcinoma in my left breast.  I began trembling as a tried to write down notes. My handwriting was so shaky I couldn’t even read what I was writing. Meaningless fragments of words appeared on the page. I Continue Reading →