Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tierney's breast cancer recovery continues with new role

I caught Maura on "Kimmel" a few nights ago. She looked great. Cute cropped haircut, great arms.
I have not seen the new show, "The Whole Truth," but the reviews are not the best. I am still sad she had to give up "Parenthood" which is a pretty creative program.

Here is a new article on Mara's journey.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More debate over mammograms

Just in time for October, a new mammogram study.

I will have internet and be back up to speed soon!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Race for the Cure in NYC

I don't know why I dragged my heels about participating in the Race for the Cure. During the Revlon walk I felt a bit overwhelmed by the crowds, and I was worried this event would be worse. I have not been that involved with Komen in the past, and I have even occasionally cringed at some of the organization's marketing partnerships.

All that being said, they put on a heck of an event. I had a great time, felt included, valued, and inspired. I will be back next year and my goal is to run, baby, run!

I decided to participate foremost to support my friend Darlene. Darlene is a remarkable person, a jewelry designer, and a uber-survivor. Her aggressive stage 4 Her2+ breast cancer has gobbled up much of her body, she has endured bone and joint replacements, along with ongoing treatments. She always looks beautiful, dates, and gets about NYC. I complain about my physical aches and pains all the time, Darlene does not. She truly celebrates life. It wasn't comfortable for her walking all those miles early in the morning but she did it. So go Darlene!

The best moment was when heard a squad of cheerleaders rooting for Team DarStar. It felt like something out of a movie.

After walking with Darlene and her friends for 2 miles, I decided to challenge myself to pick up my pace. I even ended up jogging the last 1/3 of a mile, and that is when they snapped the photo. I can't wait to see it. The event has a special start slot for survivor/runners and next year I would really like to be one of them. To be honest cancer has taken away a lot of my ability to do some of my old recreational activities like social dancing, so I look forward to having a new challenge.

I even made it to the opening survivor ceremony. Compared to the Revlon walk I felt like the survivors were really valued and cared for at this event, with plenty of food and beverages and just a friendly encouraging vibe.

I got to chat with celebrity spokesperson Gabrielle Union, who could not have been more down-to-earth. She spoke quite movingly of her friend's five year battle with cancer, and how this was the first year she would be walking in her friend's memory.

Not to go all US Weekly, but I really think Gabrielle may be the prettiest movie star of her generation. I'm not one to have my picture taken with celebrities, because who looks good standing next to a covergirl, but I made an exception.

I give Komen a lot of credit, the event was not just about raising funds, it was really about raising hope. I want to be back there next year, stronger and healthier. In fact I can't wait.

Here is the link to Komen's Web site for the NYC race.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sore Feet:Happy Heart

Just got home from my first NYC Race For the Cure. I will do a proper post ASAP. It was a lot of fun, very well run. (No pun intended, my running is anything but good.) I was impressed and I will be back again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beth Gainer Guest Post:Mind Games

A month ago I injured my foot while walking on uneven sidewalk.
Instead of seeing a doctor, I saw the pain get progressively worse.
People without prior or current health issues might be unfazed by such a minor injury and just go see the doctor.

Cancer survivors like me tend to panic.

I am so happy and lucky I survived breast cancer. However, my very
survival has come at a steep price: unlike the pre-cancer me, I can no
longer tune out every ache and pain that plague me. A body ache can
mean my cancer has returned or never left me in the first place.

That’s why my foot injury has me on shaky ground – even though I am a nine-year survivor. The statistics being in my favor do not comfort
me. When one is in pain and panicked, numbers simply don’t add up.

I really love my general physician, but from my perspective, it’s one
more doctor added to a list of follow-up doctors I have to see.

The first year after treatment was a difficult roller coaster of
emotions and fears. Since then I’ve kept my inner turmoil and mind
games at bay in spite of the normal aches and pains that assail my
body from time to time. For the cancer survivor, being years out of
treatment is not always reassuring.

This week, thanks to the tough-love support of my friends, I finally
picked up the phone and made an appointment with my general physician.

My appointment is tomorrow.

I am doing my best to stave off panic for at least another day.

This experience has reminded me that, while my physical fight against breast cancer is over for now, the mental fight perhaps never will be.

I am making strides toward overcoming my fears, one mental battle at a time.

My PhotoBeth L. Gainer has had numerous publications, including an essay in the anthology Voices of Breast Cancer. Her popular Calling the Shots blog at offers information and advice on how to navigate the medical system. She is a contributing member of Medpedia and Navigating Cancer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Cancerversary to Me

So it's today.

I struggled with the whole cancerversary concept. Did I really want one? What day should it be? My "you've got cancer" mammogram, my biopsy results, my surgery?

I decided I did need a day to mark. It would somehow free me a bit.

To tell the truth, I picked the day I found out. Last August I had my first mammogram at a downtown NYC hospital. It was an awful experience. A group of us, braless and in robes were lead down the a hallway the length of a city block like some pathetic chain gang. The technician was rough with me.

I said I was never going back.

Then two weeks later I got a call I needed more mammograms. I can't tell you what I expected. But I chose September 1st for my follow up.

The date was after a short vacation and a journalism convention I planned to attend. If I was gonna have cancer, I wanted those two trips first. At the convention I had a surprise chance to dine with my personal hero and role model, the amazing Boyd Huppert of KARE-TV and I thought that evening in Indy, at least I am getting to do this before I have cancer.

I waited for my biopsy results through Labor Day weekend, my surgery was in October, but September 1st was the day my life changed. And I picked it, I did. So here we are, one year later.

The date seems to fall in the middle of an emotional minefield. After the anniversary of Katrina, before 9-11, and just around the Jewish holidays when it is believed the "book of life" is open. Of course there is also the big pink October cloud on the horizon. While some of these occasions put my own experience into perspective, it seems like a time when we are reminded how epic and unpredictable life can be. At least the weather is nice.

Some people mark these dates with a celebration, and I respect that. They are doing the happy dance to be alive, and maybe in future years I will do the same. Perhaps at least I will have a few drinks, maybe a "pink lady?"

The day I found out, my husband left work early, and ironically I took advantage of cool clear evening to cookout. At that point I wasn't sure how many chances I would have remaining, and I had always wanted to have a barbecue in New York City.   Maybe that will become my tradition.

But for this year the day feels solemn. Not sad, just solemn. I am happy to be alive, and to have a good prognosis. I still struggle with some physical problems and that is frustrating. I told my husband to send me flowers, we'll see what happens. I'm not holding my breath.

So life goes on. Thank God.