Category Archives: breast cancer

Continue the fight against breast cancer and support the EARLY Act today!

Yesterday was a wonderful Mother’s Day. It started off with a great breakfast prepared by my husband and children and ended with a super night at the Fisher Theater seeing Annie. The kids loved it and it was fun to watch them enjoy it so much. I loved it too. In between, we had a soccer game (kids against adults because the other team did not show up). And I even scored a goal. As I went through the day, I couldn’t help but think about all the people who didn’t get to share Mother’s Day with their mother because of breast cancer. Especially the younger women diagnosed too late and leaving young children. Consider this:

• Each year, 10,000 women under age 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer.

• 1,000 of these women will die.

• Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women under 40.

Breast cancer awareness has traditionally been focused on women over the age of 40. Today, we have the opportunity to change the faces of breast cancer awareness advertising and education by supporting the EARLY Act. I encourage you to help keep more mothers celebrating Mother’s Day with their children by sending a note to your representative. It’s simple and takes less than 5 minutes but it can change so many lives. Do it for your daughters, your sisters, your friends and your mothers. Let’s continue to fight this disease together.


Two of the many reasons why I continue to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer — my daughter and my mom.

The TweetDeck keeps tweeting breast cancer news.

Everyday my TweetDeck is full of new breast cancer news.  What I should eat.  What I shouldn’t eat.  Which vitamins?  New ways to detect.  New genes found.  Etc.  It’s all very exciting and pretty overwhelming sometimes but it makes me realize that there are so many people thinking about this disease.  And that’s really good news.  I’ve taken small steps like switching to all organic cleaning products.  Not sure if it’s helping but I know it can’t hurt.

The latest news shows three genes that, when present, help breast cancer spread to the brain.  Why is this good news?  Because knowing the genes is the first step.  The next step is finding the way to block the process if this gene is present.  Keep going guys.  Don’t stop this research that will continue to keep me cancer-free and rid this disease from everyone’s lives.  I’ll keep raising money, spreading awareness, and listening to all the tips out there if you keep moving this research forward.

What steps have you taken to keep cancer out of your life?

Super easy breast cancer fundraising!

Today I was contacted by the Breast Cancer 3-Day to be an online ambassador.  Once again, I have the opportunity to combine social media with breast cancer awareness, advocacy and fundraising.  I’m totally passionate about both and more than willing to do my part.

This month they’ve asked ambassadors to share some fundraising ideas.  My favorite one is approaching quickly.  In 3 days, 125 people will see Annie at the Fisher Theater in Detroit, celebrate mother’s day and help raise money for breast cancer.  I can’t wait.  Annie is my all time favorite musical and I am totally excited to share this with my family.  I’m also super excited because this fundraiser was so easy to plan, no downside risk and netted nearly $3,000.

Here’s how it worked.  My high school friend works for Broadway in Detroit.  After reconnecting with her on Facebook, we met to discuss a possible fundraiser.  From there, I reserved tickets to Annie, sent out emails and created a Facebook event.  As people were interested, they emailed or called with the number of tickets they needed.  I purchased the tickets at the group discount rate and sold them for face.  I collected checks, distributed tickets and called it a day.  Done!  I will absolutely be planning another one next year.

Do you have any super easy fundraising ideas to share?  Share them with me by posting a comment.3DAY_Ambassador_Badge(2)

Here comes the 3-Day!

Time is flying by once again, and it’s hard to believe I’m already getting emailed training schedules with 10 mile walks.  Not sure where the winter went but spring is definitely in the air.  Just wish it would stop raining so I can get outside and get back to the walking.  For now, I’ll stick with the treadmill.

My last post was just before my talk with St. John Health, and I was very happy with how it went.  I got to meet the FORCE rockstar Sue Friedman in person.  We must have said goodbye about 15 times and just kept continuing on with our conversation.  She’s doing some tremendous things for our community and I’m so thankful for her work and her efforts.  I wish I had more time to work with her but I’ll do what I can in between work, kids and other breast cancer activities.

Finally, fundraising is going crazy.  Ta Ta Breast Cancer is up to 17 team members.  The group of 17 has collectively raised $12,410.12 through 191 donations and we are nowhere near done.  Thanks to all your support with all of our fundraisers to date, we have an additional $3,500 in funds for distribution sitting in our Ta Ta Breast Cancer account.  Each walker must raise $2,300 so the ongoing fundraising is really important.  Thanks to all my teammates for all of your hard work and all of you for all your support.  Last, we’d love to have any newcomers to our team.  So join in on the fun!

What is breast cancer?

I was working on my talk for St. John Health this morning while my little guy was playing. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was working on my breast cancer talk. So I asked, “What does breast cancer mean?” and he said “It means you walk and I clap and I get a sucker.” I absolutely love this definition out of his, almost 3-year old, mouth.


So much to share!

Oops.  I’ve been neglecting my blog again.  There’s always so much to share but so little time.  I’ve started training again—pretty short distances at this point but still takes a chunk of time.  It feels good to get back in walking mode and now that the sun is finally shining, I can’t wait to get outside.  Work is keeping me busy too—writing proposals, proposals and more proposals and working on our Brogan & Partner’s blog.  I was extremely flattered to recently be named Breast Cancer Survivor of the Month on the  And I still have my moments when I lose myself in Twitter and can’t find my way out.  If my tweet deck is up, breast cancer tweets pop up every other second and if they include links to articles or videos, I’m in big trouble.

This Saturday, I’m speaking at the St. John Health Breast Cancer Symposium.  Next week, I’ll be talking about Social Media to the Michigan Association of Realtors.  I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge in both areas through other speaking engagements.  I’m also very busy ramping up fundraising efforts for the 3-Day.  While the economy is tough right now, it’s nowhere near as tough as cancer.  If you’ve got a spare $5, please donate. 

I found a site last night that I thought might be helpful to some of my readers.  It’s from a fellow FORCE member.  She chose to have a prophylactic mastectomy and does a wonderful job sharing details of her decision-making process, the surgery and post surgery.  I was too busy going through chemo and didn’t really pay much attention to the surgery and expansion process but I think this would so helpful to people who do have the BRCA mutation and may be considering surgery.  The unknown is always far scarier.  She does include pictures throughout the process and has yet to have her final reconstruction.  Thank you to Lianne for sharing your journey. 

Happy sunshine and spring to those of you living in the State of Michigan.  Hope the rest of the country is sunny today!

Help fight Ovarian Cancer today!

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. I’m a lucky survivor. I caught my cancer early, I got my treatment and I feel great today. I did everything I could do to fight cancer—double mastectomy, lymph nodes removed, chemotherapy, oophorectomy combined with a full hysterectomy. My oncologist told me that even the most conservative radiation oncologist would not suggest radiation. I count my blessings everyday and continue to fight for my friends, Cousin, Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Sisters-in-Law, Daughter and all the other women and girls out there. Until there is a cure, we must be absolutely vigilant about our health. In the world of breast cancer, there are many things we can do. We can know our genetic status, we can go for yearly mammograms (or more frequently, if necessary), and we can do monthly self-breast exams. We can catch this disease early.

Unfortunately, we are not so lucky with other cancers—specifically ovarian cancer. But there is something that everyone can do right now—today–to help in this fight. We can ask our Senators to support two very important ovarian cancer programs. One is dedicated to research and one is dedicated to raising awareness so we can catch this disease earlier. This will take no time but it will help save lives. Please do your part for all the women in our lives. Together we can continue to make a difference.

New test may help some women avoid chemotherapy! Now that’s good news.

In the past two days, I’ve taken a deep dive into the world of Twitter and I’m finding it hard to do much except dig through Twitter and look at articles that other people suggest.  And of course, I’ve searched breast cancer and my tweet deck is lined up with a gazillion messages on breast cancer.  In fact, every time one comes through I get a little tweet and can’t help but check.  Yikes.  I need to curb my addiction.  But I’m sure that will come with time–hopefully. 

One of the more interesting articles I’ve come across has to do with a tumor’s likeliness to metastasis (spread).  This is pretty important and critical information because if a tumor has no intention of metastasizing, then, once you take the tumor out, theoretically there’s no need for chemotherapy or radiation . . . and who wouldn’t want to avoid that?  On the flip side, some women with stage I breast cancer may actually need chemotherapy to avoid metastatic disease and this test could help predict that too.

Even more exciting is the possibility of a blood test that could predict metastatic breast cancer before a tumor forms—something that could be very useful to people with a strong family history of breast cancer.  If you want more of the technical details behind this news, check out this article

If you find any new and exciting research in the area of breast cancer, be sure to share it with me by posting a comment.  And more importantly if you have any suggestions on how to avoid getting sucked into your tweet deck, let me know that too.   

Great breast cancer news straight from Washington!

I’m anxious to hop on my treadmill for a quick walk—back in training mode.  But I’m even more anxious to share my excitement at the latest news coming out of Washington.  Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz along with Senator Amy Klobuchar announced legislation they will introduce to educate young women (women under 40) about their risks of breast cancer.  In a TV interview, Debbie Wasserman Schultz talks about her own successful battle with breast cancer that included 7 surgeries over the course of the year. 

Ironically, she just told her children Saturday Night which made me chuckle a bit since there wasn’t anything my kids didn’t know.  I’m guessing if I was a Politician I might have kept my discussion about my new nipples to myself instead of posting on my Facebook status and blogging about them.  But I’m not and I did.  And now I’m digressing a bit. 

Representative Wasserman Schultz sums it up so well when she says that people don’t necessarily think about breast cancer under 40 (unless you have a family history and actually know you have one—unlike me).  Even Physicians don’t always look at breast cancer as a serious risk for women under 40 and often insurance companies don’t want to pay for diagnostic testing for women under 40.  So the plan for this bill is to change all of that with The Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act (EARLY Act) which would direct the CDC to implement a national education campaign directed at women under 40 and Physicians. 

This bill will truly save lives by making sure women understand their risks before they turn 40. Right now there are over 250,000 women under the age of 40 living with a breast cancer diagnosis.  Each year over 10,000 young women are diagnosed and 1,000 of them die.  It’s time to make sure everyone knows they are at risk for breast cancer regardless of their age.  Thank you my fellow survivor for helping us all through this battle. 

Fundraising in the new economy

In the 2008 Breast Cancer 3-Day, my team of 25 walkers raised nearly $87,000.  I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment and even happier to know that our efforts are helping everyday in the fight against breast cancer.  But I do understand things have changed since September 2008.  Many people watched their retirement dollars sink; others lost their jobs and still others took significant pay cuts.   So raising money is no easy task these days.  I have friends who confidently signed up last year knowing that raising the money would be no problem.  These people are hesitant this year to even try and I completely understand that.  My hope is that my fundraising effort will collectively subsidize the Ta Ta Breast Cancer walker’s minimum donations and more importantly continue to help in the fight.  I can’t help but think about how much funding will decrease this year in the area of breast cancer and I can’t help but continue to do my part.  So, yes, I’m still asking for monetary donations even if they are significantly smaller.  Every dollar helps.  But my goal is to find other fundraising opportunities that don’t require people to spend additional dollars outside of their normal budget.  With that, I’ve created a list of current efforts:

·         I just came across the cutest website–Note Card Farm–for personalized note cards, address labels and gift stickers.  They make great gifts and I ordered a bunch for my kids and my family.  Best yet, I’ve worked out a Ta Ta Breast Cancer promotion where 10% of your purchase goes to my team.  So order some cute note cards or address labels and help support our team. 

·         I’ve written often about  Please don’t forget to use this site.  It’s the best way to turn your everyday purchases into donations to breast cancer.  Once you are in the portal, check out 1-800-contacts,, Meijer or hundreds of other great retailers.  For a huge selection of every imaginable organic product, click on shop to earth. 

·         If you live in Southeast Michigan, the hottest new salon in town is helping us. Salon Pavlina is a full service hair salon catering to both men and women. They also do manicures/pedicures, facials, waxing and make-up. They are located on Northwestern Highway and opened up this past October. If you’ve never been there before, call and make an appointment–let them know you heard about them through Ta Ta Breast Cancer and they’ll donate 30% of your first visit back to our team. Pavlina, Christina and the rest of the team are all great. Check out their website for more information or call 248-539-3500.

·         There is still two more weeks to purchase Annie Tickets for May 10 at 6:30.  I have main floor seats for $64 and balcony for $44 and a large portion of the ticket price comes back to our team. 

·         If you need your carpets, windows or gutters cleaned, call In-home Window Cleaning at 248-623-5858. Schedule a free estimate. If you hire them, make sure to mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer and 10% will come back to our team.

·         Visit TD Nails in Berkley, MI for manicures, pedicures, waxing or facials on Mondays and Tuesdays and mention Ta Ta Breast Cancer, 10% will come back to our team.

·         If you would like your very own Ta Ta Breast Cancer long-sleeved thermal, tank or short-sleeved shirt, go to Sprout in Royal Oak on Washington or send me an email at


I am thankful for any support you can give in this fight.  Whether it’s supporting any one of our ongoing fundraisers or making a donation, your support is saving lives.  I know that first-hand and I’m tremendously thankful every day. 

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