tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-253338352008-01-04T11:04:40.508-05:00Jayne's Breast Cancer BlogJayneBlogger133125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-30258632020164993812007-12-26T09:31:00.001-05:002007-12-26T10:01:25.434-05:00Vintage Christmas IINo matter where you are in your cancer journey, I hope that there is some peace and some joy in your life this holiday season.<br /><br />I took some of my vintage cuties outside yesterday.<br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-style: italic;">This little elf is new to me this year. I just love his sweet little face.</span><br /></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="#topofpage"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JmFOBEn5I/AAAAAAAAAOA/yKlhSaDwWzc/s320/elf.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5148289563885870994" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-style: italic;"><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JqQOBEn9I/AAAAAAAAAOg/4-ihmQLMIEk/s1600-h/elf1.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JqQOBEn9I/AAAAAAAAAOg/4-ihmQLMIEk/s320/elf1.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5148294150910943186" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br />The rest of these have been with me since childhood. These little elves aren't even two inches tall. We used to have snowmen and angels, too - where are they now?<br /><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="#topofpage"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JmFOBEn6I/AAAAAAAAAOI/LkT5RXgzLsk/s320/elves.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5148289563885871010" border="0" /></a><span style="font-style: italic;">Santa pulling sleeping reindeer? Weird but charming. The reindeer lift off. I guess it's a candy dish or something like that.</span><br /><span style="font-style: italic;"></span></div><span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="#topofpage"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JmFeBEn7I/AAAAAAAAAOQ/bQCv62dWylU/s320/santa.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5148289568180838322" border="0" /></a><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JmFeBEn8I/AAAAAAAAAOY/LgTimhhTHig/s1600-h/santa1.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R3JmFeBEn8I/AAAAAAAAAOY/LgTimhhTHig/s320/santa1.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5148289568180838338" border="0" /></a><br />And, if you are interested, here is last year's <a href="http://www.jaynesbreastcancerblog.com/2006/12/its-beginning-to-look-lot-like-vintage.html">It's beginning to look a lot like (a vintage) Christmas</a> post.<br /><br />Cheers.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-59015575476124188242007-12-15T19:04:00.001-05:002007-12-16T20:10:52.355-05:00"She Is So Brave" by Allison StrineHave you discovered <a href="#topofpage">Etsy</a> yet? I have, and I could spend all day there! It's a place to buy and sell handmade items. Browsing around, I discovered this two-sided pendant by Allison Strine:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R2UCUeBEn2I/AAAAAAAAANo/pHO6s_mnCUc/s1600-h/sobrave.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R2UCUeBEn2I/AAAAAAAAANo/pHO6s_mnCUc/s400/sobrave.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5144520700018859874" border="0" /></a><br /><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp2.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R2UCd-BEn3I/AAAAAAAAANw/40TpNoGE-UQ/s1600-h/sobrave1.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp2.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R2UCd-BEn3I/AAAAAAAAANw/40TpNoGE-UQ/s400/sobrave1.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5144520863227617138" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">This photo shows you the size:<br /></div><a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R2UCseBEn4I/AAAAAAAAAN4/XW-v9DWO0Mw/s1600-h/sobrave2.jpg"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/R2UCseBEn4I/AAAAAAAAAN4/XW-v9DWO0Mw/s200/sobrave2.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5144521112335720322" border="0" /></a><br />WOW. I find a lot of breast cancer jewelry to just be ho-hum, but this piece is <span style="font-weight: bold;">gorgeous</span>.<br /><br />Here is the Etsy link to the pendant:<br /><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">She Is So Brave by Allison Strine</a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />(Photos courtesy of Allison Strine and posted here with permission.)Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-60022100637581595932007-12-12T12:25:00.000-05:002007-12-12T13:31:41.484-05:00Journaling Resources for Cancer SurvivorsThere are some great websites that will either get you started or give you some new ideas.<br /><br /><br />Journaling and the Cancer Experience:<br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Journaling the Cancer Journey</a><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Journaling Through Breast Cancer Treatment</a><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Writing for Wellness</a><br /><br /><br />General Journaling Sites with lots of articles and links:<br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Journal For You</a><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Journaling Life.com</a><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Journal Writing at the Creativity Portal</a><br /><br /><br /><br />I'll keep adding to this list and I'll put it on the sidebar.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-59774001805290247882007-11-27T16:08:00.001-05:002007-11-27T16:39:26.976-05:00Poet (and cancer Survivor) teams up with ComposerBreast cancer Survivor Annette Pashayan wrote a series of poems about her cancer experience and teamed up with composer Ella Milch-Sheriff. The result is called "Songs from the Edge."<br /><br />Watch a <a href="#topofpage">video clip</a>.<br /><br />Read <a href="#topofpage">an article</a>.<br /><br />Check out <a href="#topofpage"> Ella Milch-Sheriff's website</a>.<br /><br />Cool Project!Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-56750430461554968502007-11-13T10:42:00.000-05:002007-11-17T15:19:30.038-05:00The Story of a SuitOnce upon a time there was a young woman with a good job. The job paid quite well and was reasonably fun. It also required that the young woman own a lot of suits. She preferred Ann Taylor suits over all others.<br /><br />Slowly but surely, things changed in the young woman's life. Stuff happened in both the corporate arena and her personal life and the young woman ended up becoming a Stay-At-Home-Mom. Naturally, this paid nothing - but it was reasonably fun. Her suits gathered dust and slowly went out of style. Yes, even classic garments have limited life spans.<br /><br />Years passed and the woman became not-quite-so-young. She also moved many times. Slowly the suits were given away.<br /><br />This past April the woman, now forty-something, needed a suit for a trip to Washington DC. She was very excited about this trip - she was going to do some breast-cancer-public-policy volunteer work. But of course because it was volunteer work it paid nothing. She did not buy a suit from Ann Taylor. No, she bought a suit from the clearance rack at a nondescript department store.<br /><br />While trying on this suit, an elderly woman (who was also trying on suits) gave the forty-something woman a hard time. The elderly woman chastised the forty-something woman for buying a trendy suit.<br /><br />"You shouldn't buy that suit. That little ruffle is too trendy."<br /><br />The forty-something woman ignored the elderly woman's advice, and has worn the suit several times now. Her career has been ramping back up and the suit has come in quite handy. The trendy little ruffle has actually received several compliments. Right now, the skirt is a wee bit tight on our main character and this has put her in a funk - but that is a story for another day.<br /><br /><br /><br />The End.<br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5132347545635006578" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RznC5oFsKHI/AAAAAAAAAM4/_JYvls9KpN8/s400/HPIM1406_edited-1.jpg" border="0" /> <p align="center"></a></p><p align="center"><br /><em></p></em><em><div align="center">The Trendy Little Ruffle </em></div><p></p>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-42440125512960468782007-11-02T21:30:00.000-04:002007-11-03T08:47:59.943-04:00A Conversation with Anita DuJardin HockersAnita DuJardin Hockers, author of "Breastless But Still Breathing", was kind enough to do an email interview with me. I was really curious about her writing experience.<br /><br />So here is the interview, with Anita's answers in italics:<br /><br /><br /><br />When did you start writing your book? <span style="font-style: italic;">Right after radiation treatments, 8 months after diagnosis.</span><br /><br />How long did it take you? <span style="font-style: italic;">Crazy...but it only took about 6 months to have a book ready to be published. My editor/publisher was fabulous and I guess I had a hidden talent for writing.</span><br /><br />Did you have journals to help you remember details? <span style="font-style: italic;">I did not journal. Hard to believe. I did keep a calendar of all my appointments. When I decided to write it all down, I opened up the calendar and tried to remember everything about every appointment I had had.</span><br /><br />I'd imagine that going through the writing process would invoke a range of emotions. What was that like for you? <span style="font-style: italic;">Very emotional. The truth...I hated reliving it. I did it because I wanted to remember and to have something concrete for my daughter. I also wanted to help the Ribbon of Hope foundation.</span><br /><br />Toward the end of the book, Anita wrote that "I never thought I would say this, but I recommend that anyone going through a rough time in life should write about it. Writing this book made me aware that we as humans have to let go of things in order to move on." I asked her to elaborate:<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">I was never a believer in writing things down. Never journaled. But after I put it all on paper, I realized that it can only help someone else going through this and after all, isn't that what it is all about.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Writing a book was not the goal to me. The goal was to help other women in my shoes understand that they can beat this. They can move on.</span><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Thanks, Anita. I hope this blog post inspires someone to get busy writing!<br /><br /><br />Links:<br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Breastless But Still Breathing,</a><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Ribbon of Hope</a>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-11189045818619583582007-10-26T19:50:00.001-04:002007-10-29T08:23:33.276-04:00Review: The Faces Behind Breast Cancer<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="#topofpage"><img style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" src="http://bp2.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RyUXXXemgFI/AAAAAAAAAMw/d5FcfOq7o20/s400/facesbehindcover1.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5126529441037975634" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><br /><br /><div>I was given a preview copy of this book and it is stunning. Josephine Caruso Sethi, "Josie," was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. In March 2006 the cancer returned. With a sense of urgency driving her creativity, Josie went about creating this book of pictorials. They are the faces of the folks that Josie met while undergoing treatment at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. </div><br /><div> </div><br /><br /><div></div><div><br /><div>From Kristi, whose family has had a history of breast cancer: She doesn't want breast cancer to define her family legacy. Instead, she wants the family legacy to be defined by "action, courage and survival."</div><div></div><br /><div>From Cheryl: "The right time is now. Work. Create. Grow. Give."<br /><br />The book is pricey ($30) but net proceeds will go to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. And I have just put my money where my mouth is and ordered a copy - it's for a gift.<br /></div><br /><br /><div></div><div></div><div></div><div></div><div></div><div></div><div></div><br /><br />Visit Josie's website, <a href="#topofpage">The Pink Crusader</a>, for more information.<br /></div><br /><br /><div></div><br /><br /><div></div><br /><br /><div></div>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-74922280353319926672007-10-21T10:21:00.000-04:002007-10-21T18:51:30.103-04:00ConvergeSouth 2007I spent the last two days at <a href="#topofpage">ConvergeSouth</a>, a (mostly)regional conference for bloggers. I love blogging, and it was fun and interesting to meet lots of folks who are totally into it. I learned plenty from the sessions, but the best part was talking with people when we weren't in session. I met science bloggers, political bloggers, industry bloggers...<br /><br />I also had the good fortune to meet Jinni Hoggard. Jinni was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, just months after I had moved here. Her journey was profiled in our newspaper, and even though I hadn't yet been diagnosed and wasn't yet paying much attention to BC, I did read some of her story in the paper. Her story, Jinni's Journal is <a href="#topofpage">archived online</a>, and I'm going to go back and read the whole thing. To me, one of life's true pleasures is laughing and chatting with other Survivors &amp; there's just a little something extra that flows from those who are "further out" than you. Jinni totally rocks!!<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RxuccaNKioI/AAAAAAAAAL4/17tSjj28YA4/s1600-h/HPIM1280a.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5123861012948880002" style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center;" alt="" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RxuccaNKioI/AAAAAAAAAL4/17tSjj28YA4/s400/HPIM1280a.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Jinni and Jayne</span><br /></div><div></div><br />Elisa Camahort, founder of <a href="#topofpage">BlogHer</a>, was one of the keynote speakers. She did a really good job conveying the massive cultural shifts that are happening because of blogs. Oh, and lest you think that political bloggers hold the monopoly on controversy, go check out <a href="http://blogher.org/pink-ribbon-madness-say-no-breast-cancer-exploitation-corporate-profit">this BlogHer post and all of the comments</a> about Pink Ribbon Madness.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-55129167157883124742007-10-15T06:34:00.000-04:002007-10-16T08:33:34.640-04:00"Voices of Breast Cancer"<a href="#topofpage"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5121618284106123874" style="margin: 0px auto 10px; display: block; text-align: center;" alt="" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RxOksaNKimI/AAAAAAAAALs/FUtgqDsLE_I/s400/bc+cover+image1.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Voices of Breast Cancer</a><img style="border: medium none ; margin: 0px;" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&amp;l=ur2&amp;o=1" border="0" height="1" width="1" /> is a brand-new book.And guess what????????!!!!!!!! I'm a contributor. My essay is on page 41. Am I excited? Beyond.<br /><br />Edited by <a href="#topofpage">The Healing Project,</a> the book is the third in the "Voices of" series. Debra LaChance is the creator and founder of the Healing Project, a nonprofit organization, and she is also a breast cancer Survivor.<br /><br />The book is filled with more than fifty real-life breast cancer stories, including contributions from Peggy Flemming and Dr. Michael Shepard, a leader in the discovery and development of Herceptin.<br /><br />I can hardly wait to curl up with this book and read all of the stories. I'm thrilled to be a part of it.<br /><br /><br />(Cover image courtesy of LaChance Publishing.)Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-235194016996755272007-10-11T06:22:00.000-04:002007-10-11T18:39:16.157-04:00Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Tale of Three OctobersBecause October is <a href="#topofpage">National Breast Cancer Awareness Month<br /></a>(NBCAM) even the blogs that aren't about breast cancer are blogging about breast cancer.<br /><br />My completely unscientific survey of people's attitudes towards NBCAM shows that most people fall into one of four categories. They are either:<br /><br />(1) Completely unaware of the designation.<br />(2) Completely neutral about it.<br />(3) Totally into it.<br /><br />or<br /><br />(4) Totally annoyed by it.<br /><br /><br />(1) and (2) tend to be people with no connection to the disease. Survivors and their loved ones fall somewhere in or between (3) and (4).<br /><br />And as for me... I have a tale of three Octobers to tell:<br /><br />October 2005. I went through the month completely oblivious to NBCAM. My journal from that month is filled with the stuff of my "normal" life: the kids' progress report card results, accounts of Halloween parties, the books that I'd been reading, and my everlasting lament that I need to get more organized . The only section that reaches beyond such normalcy is the part about my Aunt Helen. She died during that month, and I wrote about her stay in hospice &amp; my family's vigil for her. I mourned her and I was beside myself that I didn't get to go the funeral. But I had no idea that it was NBCAM.<br /><br /><br />October 2006. I was seven months out from my diagnosis. I'd had a bilateral mastectomy, four rounds of chemo, and my ovaries removed. I knew darn well that it was NBCAM. But I made seven blog posts that October and never mentioned its existence. I just wasn't ready to deal with it.<br /><br /><br />October 2007. My life is in high gear. I'm insanely busy, mostly with good things. I've found my "new normal." How do I feel about NBCAM? Right now, I'm a little bit (3) totally into it and a little bit (4) totally annoyed by it. Usually, when people express annoyance about NBCAM they are referring to the commercialization aspect. But what is driving me crazy is that it is so <span style="font-weight: bold;">concentrated</span>.<br /><br />Every organization out there that is related to breast cancer is having a conference or a fund raiser or a Survivor celebration or all of the above. There are so many activities and invitations compressed into such a short period of time that I've had to decline the opportunity to participate in several events that I'd love to be a part of - and that frustrates me.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-82032381348538849262007-09-19T20:31:00.000-04:002007-09-19T20:45:55.256-04:00I CavedI've been having some pain around my ribs. My oncologist's office ordered up a bone scan for me to check for metastasis to the bones.<br /><br />I decided to wait and let them call me. I was determined NOT to call the office and ask for my results.<br /><br />This is what I told my friend:<br /><br />"The old me would have been on the phone to the doctor's office the very next day asking for those results. But now, I look at it like this - what if it is bad news? I can't change it. Why would I want that bad news even one day sooner? Why not just enjoy as many days as possible believing that I am cancer-free?"<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />I made it four days &amp; then I caved.<br /><br />I called and asked for my results: all clear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />I'm due back for another follow-up in December.<br /><br />Oh and I also have to tell you: I am seriously loving my hair. I am 15 months post-chemo and my hair doesn't just look good it looks <em>great</em>. I really need to get some new pictures up. The one on the sidebar is quite outdated.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-79793909199651774702007-09-14T12:40:00.000-04:002007-09-14T13:05:20.272-04:00Breast Cancer StoriesI never get tired of breast cancer stories. If I do, I'll shut down this blog.<br /><br /><hr /><br /><br />Meanwhile, I'm totally digging <a href="#topofpage">BreastCancerStories.com</a> .<br /><br />You can put your story on their site &amp; arrange it by chapters (for example, Diagnosis, Chemotherapy, Telling My Friends, etc.).<br /><br />As a reader, you can search for stories of interest with various filters. I put in ILC (invasive lobular cancer) and got 7 results.<br /><br />You can filter by age of diagnosis, location, type of treatment...Be forewarned that sometimes you click on a story and it just says "Future Home of So-and-So's Story."<br /><br />Go to their home page then click on "Stories" to get started.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-13038410438257733222007-09-11T12:59:00.000-04:002007-09-11T15:44:17.534-04:00Finding A Little Bit of LifeFrom time to time, I've posted pictures of my garden on the blog. Right now, I have a hard time finding bits of life in my yard. Here in central North Carolina we have been in a severe drought. Honestly, I can't even recall the last time that we had rain. And temps remain in the 90s. Stuff is dying right and left;even the established trees look stressed.<br /><br />But this is a blog about LIFE, and finding the little bits of it where you can. Here's what I came up with:<br /><br /><a href="#topofpage"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5108994772628861250" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp3.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RubLrVXe8UI/AAAAAAAAALE/IlOWDwtChTM/s400/HPIM1261a.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><a href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RubLrlXe8VI/AAAAAAAAALM/xjYF7qfg_KE/s1600-h/HPIM1263a.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5108994776923828562" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp0.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RubLrlXe8VI/AAAAAAAAALM/xjYF7qfg_KE/s400/HPIM1263a.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><a href="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RubLr1Xe8WI/AAAAAAAAALU/2SbA_NO9gvw/s1600-h/HPIM1262a.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5108994781218795874" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RubLr1Xe8WI/AAAAAAAAALU/2SbA_NO9gvw/s400/HPIM1262a.jpg" border="0" /></a>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-71674314593291886032007-09-08T14:49:00.000-04:002007-09-08T15:33:17.982-04:00Review: Breastless But Still BreathingOver the holiday weekend, I read <a href="#topofpage">Breastless But Still Breathing</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" border="0" /> by Anita DuJardin Hockers (with Kathleen Marie Marsh). The subtitle is "A Breast Cancer Survivor's Journey," and it is indeed a memoir. The book doesn't take long to read - I read it in two sittings - and what I really liked about it was that I felt like I was sitting down with Anita and chatting over a cup of coffee.<br /><br />She tells her story in a straight-forward, conversational way that I found endearing. I'm always fascinated by each survivor's unique take on the universal Big Moments like finding the lump (or finding out that your mammogram is suspect), receiving the diagnosis and telling your family. And I like to read about the series of Small Moments that also seems to be fairly universal: discovering who your real friends are, exploring your treatment options, and the lessons learned along the way.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />As a reading experience, the book had a nice balance to it. There was both familiar turf that I could relate to and something to be learned.<br /><br />On on the one hand, Anita DuJardin Hockers and I have some things in common beyond sharing the dreaded diagnosis : we're about the same age, we have children that are of similar age, and we both married a great guy that we've know since we were quite young. But through reading the book, I discovered what it is like to live with a strong family history of breast cancer and the sense of inevitability that can come with that history. I was also really interested in reading through her reasons for NOT having reconstruction.<br /><br /><br /><br />The last chapter is called "Smile: You're on This Side of the Sod." Gotta love that.<br /><br /><hr /><br /><br />Amazon Link:<br /><a href="#topofpage">Breastless But Still Breathing</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" border="0" /><br /><br />Author's Website:<br /><a href="#topofpage">Breastless But Still Breathing </a>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-50696587193424879592007-08-29T08:58:00.000-04:002007-08-29T10:19:13.228-04:00On TV Tonight: "Crazy Sexy Cancer"<a href="#topofpage">Crazy Sexy Cancer</a>, a documentary film by by Kris Carr, <a href="#topofpage">premieres tonight on The Learning Channel</a>.<br /><br /><br />In 2003 Kris Carr was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of cancer (not breast cancer) at the age of 31. Like so many of us, she needed to process the experience through a creative outlet. The result- after four years of filming- is this documentary and the book <a href="#topofpage">Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" border="0" />.<br /><br /><br /><br />I just spent some time wandering through the TLC website and Ms. Karr's website (links above). I watched the trailer and the Today show interview. It was time well spent. I hope I get the opportunity to see the film sometime - alas, I won't see it tonight.<br /><br /><br /><br />If you watch it, let me know what you think!!<br /><br />PS Many thanks to my friend Martha for letting me know about the premiere. Kris Karr talks about her "cancer posse." Martha is definitely part of mine.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-362215325538090372007-08-21T19:52:00.000-04:002007-08-21T19:59:48.382-04:00On Lending Out My StuffLast year I bought lots of items to cover up my bald head. I still have all of it and so I offered to lend it to a friend who is currently going through chemo. But with a caveat:<br /><br /><br />"It might sound weird, but I would want my stuff back when you're done with it even though I obviously hope that I'll never need it again. It's just like -you know- as soon as you give your maternity clothes away you get pregnant."Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-88954147646477881022007-08-16T13:32:00.000-04:002007-08-16T13:57:46.567-04:00Life with Arimidex: An Uneasy PeaceI've been taking Arimidex for approximately 8 months now. Arimidex is one of the "hormone therapy" drugs that have received a lot of attention in the press.<br /><br />At this point in time, it is only given to post-menopausal women with estrogen receptive tumors. It can have loads of unpleasant side effects - none of which I seem to have been cursed with, thank goodness.<br /><br />However, it might (does?) accelerate bone loss and thus might (will?) accelerate my slide into osteoporosis. I had a bone density scan done in June. I lost a lot of bone density in one year. If I keep losing that much every year, I'll be a jellyfish in no time.<br /><br />But...I am still within the normal range for bone density. Maybe this next year won't produce the same drop in density. Maybe the chemo and the surgically induced meno whomped me good and now I'll just gradually lose bone density like (almost?) every other post-menopausal woman.<br /><br />How did I take this news? Not well at all. It has taken me two months to write about it - what does that tell you? At least this problem is not as urgent as cancer. It's an issue and it needs my attention but I can take my time and figure out what I really need to do. I don't want to stop taking Arimidex.<br /><br />I take calcium and do weight-bearing exercises. Do I do enough? I don't know yet. <br /><br />When I started my breast cancer blog, I was in heavy-research-mode. There are shelves full of books about osteoporosis and a gazillion websites about same. I haven't gone into heavy-research-mode on this yet. I will. I just haven't been ready.<br /><br />What am I ready to do? Go ice-skating and skiing and do anything else that someone with weak bones would have to avoid.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-60995878516377380302007-07-30T17:30:00.000-04:002007-08-05T10:36:26.794-04:00Scholarships for Cancer Survivors and their FamiliesYes, it really is time to start thinking about the school year again.<br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">FinAid</a>, a source for all sorts of financial aid information, has a page dedicated to <a href="#topofpage">Cancer Scholarships</a>.<br /><br /><br />This looks like a great resource.<br /><br /><br />Be sure to scroll all the way down through the list. About two-thirds of the way down you'll get to the category of scholarships for "Children of Parents Who Have/Had Cancer."<br /><br /><br />Some (but not all) of the listed scholarships are limited to breast cancer patients and/or their families.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-67042329309792950232007-07-18T09:45:00.000-04:002007-07-18T15:36:59.110-04:00'Fessing UpI've been having a lot of fun. Last summer, I spent much of the summer coping with chemo, recovering from surgery, and dealing with an unplanned three-day-hospital stay because of a bleeding colon polyp.<br /><br />This summer, I've been on two vacations and when we haven't been away I've been hanging out with my friends and family. We've been roller skating, at the movies, at the water park, attending the free concerts in the park, and so on and so on.<br /><br />It's been delightful but...my clothes are getting tight.<br /><br /><br /><br />Yesterday, my friend and I took our little people to the local water park. I was floating along in the Lazy River, burning perhaps 2 calories per hour, and I told my friend:<br /><br />"One of my most popular posts is <a href="http://www.jaynesbreastcancerblog.com/2007/01/one-naturally-thin-persons-eating.html">One Naturally Thin Person's Habits and Resolutions</a>. I need to read it and remember what I said."<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />So here's the deal: I'm not going to turn this blog into a weight loss journal (I promise!) but I'm making a public statement that I'm going to reverse the upward trend. Because that's what a naturally thin person does, right? I'm at the top of my personally-acceptable range. Blech.<br /><br /><br />For starters, I'm going to make sure that I get my exercise first thing in the morning, before it gets too hot.<br /><br /><br /><br />I'm going to make sure that I get enough sleep. For me, sleep deprivation leads to junk calories. And I've been staying up late and getting up early. Sometimes it is worth it (like when I took the teens to the midnight release of the Harry Potter movie), and sometimes it is not (like when I stay up to watch more episodes of I Dream of Jeannie).Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-85314541345543135812007-07-16T11:11:00.000-04:002007-07-18T10:24:10.573-04:00Review: "Cancer Vixen" by Marisa Acocella Marchetto"Cancer Vixen" is a graphic novel written by a professional cartoonist who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 43.<br /><br />I've had this book in the TBR (to be read) section of my mind for some time, so when it was chosen for <a href="#topofpage">Discussing Breast Cancer's</a> monthly read, I was finally motivated to actually getting around to reading it.<br /><br />Going in, I was 50/50 on predicting whether or not I'd enjoy this book.<br /><br />My biases going in:<br /><br /><em>Pro:</em> I L00000VE graphic novels. Ever since I discovered <a href="#topofpage">Maus</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" border="0" />, I've been smitten with the form.<br /><br /><em>Con:</em> I can't stand <a href="#topofpage">chick lit</a> - probably because my idea of fashion is replacing my Levis and my Born shoes when they wear out. The cover, the dust jacket, and what I'd already heard about "Cancer Vixen" tipped me off that shoes and shopping were going to be major themes.<br /><br />The Result? I do think that "Cancer Vixen" is a great read, and very creative. Everyone has a unique and interesting cancer story, but not everyone has Marisa Acocella Marchetto's unique talent to convey it graphically.<br /><br />There are numerous panels that are just <em><strong>so</strong> </em>clever that I find myself looking at them over and over again.<br /><br />According to several websites, Cate Blanchette will be starring in the upcoming movie. Hmmm. Unless the movie gets glowing reviews, I won't bother seeing it. For me, it was the form of this book that really swept me away, not the love story or the hip, urban setting.<br /><br />Useful Links:<br /><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">More About the Book</a><br /><a href="#topofpage">Review from Discussing Breast Cancer</a><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><iframe style="WIDTH: 120px; HEIGHT: 240px" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&o=1&amp;p=8&l=as1&amp;asins=0307263576&fc1=000000&amp;IS2=1&lt1=_blank&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;f=ifr" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-82829900203162438312007-07-10T21:44:00.000-04:002007-07-13T06:19:57.263-04:00Mental GyrationsLast week, we were on our way to Walt Disney World and had a car accident. We were <em>very </em>lucky that no one was seriously injured and that the car was still able to limp its way to Disney.<br /><br />I was seated in the front, passenger seat. Right after the impact, I recall this split second of wanting to turn around to check on my family but being terrified at what I might discover.<br /><br /><br />(One of my boys had to be taken to the hospital for observation, but he was totally OK.)<br /><br />As far as the car, it still needs a lot of work. We had to drive home from Florida (10+ hours ) with no air conditioning. Ugh.<br /><br />The experience was unsettling, but it could've been so much worse. And except for the accident, we had a fantastic trip. We met another family there, so in total there were nine of us on the vacation. It was an intense, crazy, and wonderful week. It was the closest that I've come to having a week wherein I didn't even think about cancer.<br /><br />I admit to checking my reconstructed breasts obsessively for changes or oddities. But when I'm away, I avoid checking them. Who wants to find something on vacation? It's not like I'd immediately fly home. So I just do my best to ignore my breasts for a week.<br /><br />The night we got home I had a dream that there was a raised ridge on my left (non-cancerous) side. When I woke up I thought, wow, that's really weird that I actually haven't had cancer dreams. I haven't dreamt that my hair fell out again, or that my cancer came back, etc.<br /><br />Now, don't say "yeah, right" about this next part, OK? A day after that dream I found a raised ridge, but it was on my right (cancer) side. Uh-oh. Except that it was ethereal. Sometimes I could locate it and sometimes I could locate only part of it. Sometimes it was a ridge and sometimes it was two discrete circles (lumps? nodules?), sometimes three circles.<br /><br />I began to suspect that it was part of my implant. One of my Survivor friends suggested that it might be the fill valve. <br /><br />Fortunately, I was due for a follow-up with my plastic surgeon and indeed I am feeling the fill valve. Nothing to fret over at all.<br /><br />By the way, the car accident made me so glad that I'd chosen saline implants. With saline, if the implant is broken it completely deflates. There is no need to wonder whether or not it is intact.<br /><br />The plastic surgeon asked me about scheduling nipple reconstruction. "No way," I told him. Reconstructed nipples are always erect. Right now I can wear a thin tank top and look great. I can go without a bra. As far as I'm concerned nipples would just mess up how I look in my clothes. Thanks-but-no-thanks.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-79458446165735359782007-06-27T20:45:00.000-04:002007-06-28T13:37:11.099-04:00Getting Over Myself<div align="left">In the past few months I've had the following cancer-related speaking opportunities:<br /><br />A newspaper interview<br />A radio interview<br />A TV interview<br />A keynote speech<br />An interview for a documentary film<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />And I've yet to come away without wishing I'd have said something differently. In fact, I think that I've made some pretty big bungles.<br /><br /><br /><br />But I'm not going to give up. Nor am I going to enumerate my mistakes, because I'm trying to learn from them instead of marinate in them.<br /><br /><br />Writing sure isn't easy but at least you get to make as many drafts as you want before you release it.<br /><br /><br />Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is a good thing, right?<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></div><div align="center"><br /><em>Pictures from the Beach:<br /></em><br /></div><div align="center"><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></div><a href="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RoL0d1ZaPqI/AAAAAAAAAKc/USBHSk96NnQ/s1600-h/turtles_web.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5080892123014381218" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RoL0d1ZaPqI/AAAAAAAAAKc/USBHSk96NnQ/s400/turtles_web.jpg" border="0" /><br /><br /><p align="center"></a></p><p align="center"><em>Turtles at the Aquarium</em><br /><br /></p><em><p align="center"><br /></p></em><a href="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RoL0d1ZaPrI/AAAAAAAAAKk/URZ9cwvtsco/s1600-h/kite_web.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5080892123014381234" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp1.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RoL0d1ZaPrI/AAAAAAAAAKk/URZ9cwvtsco/s400/kite_web.jpg" border="0" /><br /><br /><p align="center"></a></p><p align="center"><em>Flying Our Kite. This was our one-and-only gloomy day; every other day was hot and sunny. <br /></em><br /><br /></p><a href="http://bp3.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RoL0GVZaPpI/AAAAAAAAAKU/Wqqm5l6HuHs/s1600-h/castle_web.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5080891719287455378" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://bp3.blogger.com/_nUQerNk1BRs/RoL0GVZaPpI/AAAAAAAAAKU/Wqqm5l6HuHs/s400/castle_web.jpg" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><div align="center"><em>One of Our Sand Castles</em></div>Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-9040851156486905662007-06-26T20:09:00.000-04:002007-06-27T11:17:05.319-04:00Blogging on TVOk, this was pretty exciting. My blog was featured on a local TV news station.<br /><br />Here's the link to the video clip:<br /><br /><br /><a href="#topofpage">Inspired Living: Breast Cancer Blogger</a><br /><br />Doing the interview was a fun and pleasant experience (although I did have to clean the house!) - watching it was weird. I'm tempted to pick apart &amp; analyze what I said and what I should've said but I'm just absolutely going to resist the urge.Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-54942586748636739302007-06-26T10:17:00.000-04:002007-06-26T20:36:16.851-04:00Seven Random ThingsI've been tagged to post seven random things about myself. I'm a bit tardy with my response because<br /><br /><strong>One:</strong> I've been enjoying some R & R. We just came back from the beach. I spent a whole week without news. No TV news, no newspaper, no NPR, no internet. Since I'm somewhat of a news junky, I think that the break was really good for me. I did spend a chunk of down-time watching season one of <a href="#topofpage">I Dream of Jeannie</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" border="0" />, my all-time favorite TV show.<br /><br /><strong>Two:</strong> I have a great sense of direction and am quite good with maps. I don't get lost easily.<br /><br /><strong>Three:</strong> I am enamored with all things Dutch. The painters, the landscape, Anne Frank (yes I know that she wasn't actually Dutch), the culture, the history...I've been to the Netherlands twice. I hope to go back someday. Eventually, I plan to study the language but<br /><br /><strong>Four:</strong> I'm already working on Spanish (almost intermediate) and Polish (total beginner).<br /><br /><strong>Five: </strong>I have a mechanical engineering degree and an MBA. I haven't worked in my field for a long time. Certain aspects of that career still interest me & I might start re-incorporating them into my grand scheme - however<br /><br /><strong>Six:</strong> Someday (looong time from now!) I'll be an empty nester. Then, I want a job that pays me to travel. But what will it be? Travel writer? Long distance trucker? Tour guide leader? Ambassador? TBD.<br /><br /><strong>Seven:</strong> Right now I'm reading <a href="#topofpage">The Golden Compass</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&amp;l=ur2&o=1" width="1" border="0" /> by Philip Pullman and <a href="#topofpage">Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell</a><img style="BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; BORDER-TOP: medium none; MARGIN: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none" height="1" alt="" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=jaysbrecanblo-20&l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" border="0" /> by Susanna Clark. I don't usually read two novels at once, much less two fantasy novels, but {shrug}.<br /><br />That was all pretty random, huh? Thank you, Karen Lynch (<a href="#topofpage">Discussing Breast Cancer</a>) for the tag!Jaynetag:blogger.com,1999:blog-25333835.post-19378335410669611942007-06-10T21:29:00.000-04:002007-06-11T09:34:52.507-04:00Essay by Colleen Shaddox: Spot-OnA round of applause to Colleen Shaddox for her recent op-ed essay in the Washington Post "<a href="#topofpage">It's Cancer, Not a Moral Crucible</a>". She writes about "the myth of cancer sainthood." Please go read it - especially if you have not had cancer.<br /><br /><br /><br /><hr /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />My own observation: it is bewildering to be called "brave" or "strong" because my hair fell out and I didn't spontaneously combust. I did what I needed to do. I didn't like it. I cried a lot.<br /><br /><br /><br />Sometimes the comments were of the "I don't know what I'd do" variety with a bit of a shudder attached to them. Well, of course you don't know what you'd do. I suspect that you wouldn't like it. And you'd probably cry a lot. But you wouldn't spontaneously combust. Trust me.<br /><br /><br />I'm all for having a positive attitude. Despair, hopelessness, and general crankiness are not fun, make it difficult to concentrate , and cut down on your invitations to the good parties. However, I doubt that they make cancer cells multiply - and to imply that they do puts an unfair burden on the person dealing with cancer. Sometimes cancer kills good, sweet, joyful people. Trust me.Jayne