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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.   


Kids do say the cutest things…

During my cancer treatment, my kids helped to keep me happy and focused on feeling good.  They also said so many cute things that made me smile.  It’s fun for me to look back at my caringbridge site and remember some of the cutest comments and moments.  For those of you that read my caringbridge site, these stories won’t be new for you. 

My hair started falling out right before Halloween so I had the remaining hair shaved.  For those of you that haven’t experienced hair loss from chemo, it’s pretty uncomfortable when it’s coming out so I was very happy once it was completely gone.  I wasn’t sure how the kids would feel about the bald head but I found out quickly when I heard from another parent that my Kindergartener told her that his mom shaved her head and she looked beautiful.  That thought continued to echo in my head the entire time I was completely bald.  His sweet little friend couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful I looked and even said to his mom “Ellyn had earrings on and everything.”  Love those little boys.

Throughout my bald days, we had many playdates that ended with a couple of kids using my bald head as an art canvas.  I grabbed the washable markers, sat on a chair or the floor and let them decorate my head.   The kids had fun, and it made my bald head a lot less scary. 

Although the little guy was still pretty young, he loved my hats and bandanas.  In the beginning he tried to see if his hair would come on and off too. 

Little guy sporting my pink bandana.  I know he looks like a girl–this was before his first haircut. 

My daughter didn’t really care too much either way about my bald head.  But she had her own funny moments.  Early on, she named my port “lumpy” She made sure to hug me on the others side of my body to avoid an encounter with Lumpy.  One day after a chemo treatment, I apologize for being a little tired and a little cranky.  And her reply was pretty funny.  “I know Lumpy got medicine today” and she looked up in my eyes and asked “Was Lumpy scared?”

And one of my favorite stories was from the day before my last treatment.  I pulled this one right from my caringbridge site. 

“On Tuesday, Michelle convened my 7 year old and three of her friends to help make the brownie cake and cards. At the same time, my 5 year old and Michelle’s 5 year old were busy shopping with Michelle’s mom for an end of chemo gift. I got the cutest, sweetest cards from the 4 girls all decorated beautifully with “No More Medicine” displayed on the cards. One wished me a happy life and said she hoped I never had to do this again. As the girls were sitting around making the cake, they had an interesting discussion. One said, “I know we are doing this because Ellyn has cancer”, to which another responded with eyes wide, “Ellyn has cancer??” That’s when my daughter piped in, “Not cancer, BREAST cancer.” “Ohhhhhh” they all responded.”

Posting my blogs on has given me an opportunity to think back on some of my experiences last year and they weren’t all negative.  Yes, I’m glad they are in the past but I continued to live my life throughout the year enjoying many days and laughing with my kids whenever I could.   

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