Archives For Cancer Stories

img_7830This past Sunday one of our dogs, Kenyon, appeared to be fine. On Monday he was throwing up mucus and pieces of grass. This type of throwing up is not unusual for either of our dogs. They eat grass when they are having digestive problems, like constipation. His vomiting continued intermittently throughout the day. I went to dance practice Monday night. On Tuesday morning my husband left me a note telling me that Kenyon hadn’t eaten Monday night nor Tuesday morning. He informed me that the dog had ingested part of Continue Reading…

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As most of you may know, we are almost finished with the latest new six-episode installment of the show ‘The X-Files’. For the uninitiated, ‘The X-Files’ is about a fringe group of the FBI that is tasked with investigating alien abductions and beings as well as other unusual phenomenon. The two agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, over time, believe that there is a larger government conspiracy to cover up the aliens, the abductions Continue Reading…

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In March, like millions of people, I sat enrapt watching the three-night premier of the documentary by Ken Burns, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.” As you know cancer is very personal to me. I have “battled” and “survived” the diagnoses of multiple tumors for more than twenty years. I am not a doctor or scientist but a “career” cancer patient. I have had different bilateral breast cancers, pancreatic Continue Reading…

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The Ken Burns Event

Just like many millions of people, I spent the past three nights watching Ken Burns’ Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. This has been something I have been very excited about, have talked about, blogged about, posted, and tweeted since I learned that the Pulitzer-prize winning book by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee was going to be made into a documentary.

My impressions:

First of all, in my history and devotion to PBS, I have never seen as many sponsors listed before the Continue Reading…

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As you are aware the end of the year and the holiday season may be a difficult time for The Nation of Cancer. It is a time of reflection; a time to look at where one is in their life. It is also a time that may exacerbate the loss felt if a loved one has died or is very sick. It can also be a time of sadness if you, yourself are dealing with your own illness. I know that there have been many years this has been true in my life and this year has been no exception.

As I have been writing out holiday cards, I have been struck by how difficult this year has been but also struck by the gratitude I feel for what I do have. For one thing, I feel very grateful that I was able to accompany Jean Shinoda Bolen on a trip to Ireland a few years ago. I am also grateful that she graciously endorsed my book.

I have read most of her books and have always learned so much from her. Her latest book: Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywomen is a prime example of her writing, another wonderful book full of stories of mythology and how they still apply to each of us. This book has helped in better understanding my nature, further identifying mythological archetypes and contributed to continuing my journey of knowledge of who I am and what I can be.

I am including an e-mail that I received from her that I think is something to ponder as we continue on our path of healing. As suggested, I am passing along the gift of Jean Shinoda Bolen.

December 11, 2014

“Still Here” is a short essay that I read in one of my workshops at Esalen and said that I would send it to them. Intuition after hearing from others about people they have lost:  send it out to all. Continue Reading…

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As many of you know I have a genetic defect called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome.

Per ‘’Medscape” Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a rare autosomal dominant syndrome in which patients are predisposed to cancer. Li-Fraumeni syndrome is characterized by the wide variety of cancer types seen in affected individuals, a young age at onset of malignancies, and the potential for multiple primary sites of cancer during the lifetime of affected individuals.

(see http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/987356-overview)

This past year a group of friends that also are affected by LFS started a non-profit called LivingLFS.org. All of us ‘met’ in a ‘closed’ Facebook support group and then in person last year. It Continue Reading…

Leiomyosarcoma

The wave is coming!

There has been so much going on since my last blog post necessitating my absence. In July, from a biopsy, my daughter was diagnosed with a leiomyosarcoma in her liver. This required finding a liver surgeon to determine if this was operable, while all of her and my usual doctors were on extended vacations. We knew the wave was coming and were trying to strategize how to get to the highest ground to be able to survive the hit. Continue Reading…

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On July 5th while my husband and I were visiting New York City we decided to go downtown to Ground Zero and see the new ‘Freedom Tower’, the ‘Memorial’ fountains and the 9/11 museum. It was a pure coincidence that we were the there the day after Independence Day and not one that the Freedom Tower was designed to be 1,776 feet tall. That day was also the day after the anniversary of the death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both signers of the Declaration of Independence.

My husband and I met while working at One World Trade Center and here we were almost 27 years later peering into the fountains contained within the footprints of One World Trade and Two World Trade. I stood mesmerized as the water cascaded over granite walls and fell into infinity. Etched into the perimeter of each fountain were the names of those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and 1993. The fountain memorial was very profound and moving. For me it was symbolic of the collapse of the buildings and the vacuous plunge to a state of death and then infinity. It also reminded me of the initial and long-lasting hole left in the heart after the death of a loved one. Yet even still I mused that water was symbolic of life. I also noticed that the fountains were surrounded by rows of mighty oak trees outlining the outside footprint of the missing buildings. Continue Reading…

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As communication has evolved to include blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, we now have this new term called ‘selfies’. A selfie is defined as someone who takes and posts pictures of oneself on the Internet. But the term or label has now somehow expanded to those who share anything personal.

Humans, being social creatures, have a need to connect, even when society in the larger context doesn’t want to. Unfortunately, once again, I am appalled by the non-supportive view of cancer in the press. On Sunday 1/12/2014, The New York Times – The Opinion Pages, posted a piece by Op-Ed Columnist Bill Keller (former executive-editor) entitled ‘Heroic Measures’. Continue Reading…

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HOW

The answer to the first question is, well, no and yes. The how is that you have to find an agent to represent you and your manuscript to a publisher. According to the six agents that were contacted regarding representing me to sell my manuscript to a traditional publishing house, the answer was ‘NO’. The reasons given basically were as follows:

  1. Traditional publishing is rapidly changing. A memoir about cancer by an unknown author will be a hard sell.
  2. While your story is amazing, we no longer represent these types of books. We are more into ‘YA’ or young adult fiction. Good luck to you though!
  3. Even though your story sounds intriguing, I do not have the time to read it and would need to further understand the context.
  4. No response
  5. No response
  6. The market is saturated in this field.. or in my words–“Been done to death”

WHAT

So what is a person to do? I could keep working on trying to find an agent. This would require a dog and pony show, letter writing, writing for magazines, blogging for the Huffington Post. I get cancer with the frequency of turning over a leased car…therefore, I have no time to mess around. Continue Reading…