Komen Blues

The dust has settled ever so slightly on the Komen-Planned Parenthood eruption. It seems everyone and their cousin has weighed in on the issue. Meanwhile, I’ve listened. My overall perception and opinion of Komen hasn’t changed at all, but I think the depth of my understanding of has.

Can Our Hair Reveal Breast CAncer?

Could hair tests someday provide a viable alternative to mammograms? An Australian research consortium is exploring the possibility after discovering that hair from women with breast cancer had a different cell structure to hair from women without the disease.

The technology being tested is a synchrotron particle accelerator, an x-ray machine that bombards hair strands (rather than our breasts) with x-rays. The pattern produced by the x-rays is described as a series of arcs, while in people with breast cancer a distinctive ring is superimposed on top of the arcs.

Whipple Reflections

There is one common thread that runs through human cancer stories - a renewed appreciation for life and love. Why is it that it too often takes serious questions of health or life to help us remember what really matters? While I wish I had the mental and emotional clarity and balance to live each and every day with the same love and appreciation, I’ll settle for finding the silver lining in life’s scariest moments.

Even Alopecians Get Hair

Is it just coincidence, or is the moon in hair growth phase? I’ve noticed that a number of my Alopecian friends on Facebook are experiencing hair regrowth and for the 2nd time in 11 years, I too have hair. Something seems to be in the air.

Pancreatic Cancer On My Mind

I bet even those living on the moon have heard about Steve Jobs’ passing due to pancreatic cancer. Like many, I feel very impacted by his death. Like many who have lost loved one’s to that terrible disease, I have mixed emotions. I am very sorry for his passing, for the loss to his family and to the world. I am feeling grateful that Jobs’ death has people thinking and talking about pancreatic cancer for a change, and in the midst of Pink October, of all months! But I also resent that it takes such a big name death to get people talking about pancreatic cancer.

Practicing Internet Medicine

Have you ever showed up for your doctor’s appointment armed with articles you downloaded from the internet? Did you note your doctor’s reaction? A roll of the eyes, a muffled sigh, a politely contrived smile. It doesn’t stop me. I’m determined to know what questions to ask because I have learned that if I don’t ask, they’re not offering. My sense is that many doctors idea of the ideal patient is the one that follows doctors orders, no questions asked.

Childhood Cancer - Seeing Gold Through the Pink

Cancer. The word alone makes us shift in discomfort and compels us to immediately redirect our thoughts away, towards words and thoughts that strike less fear, unless…. Unless cancer has become more than a word on our tongues and in our lives.

Previving Pancreatic Cancer

“We are asking you to take part in this study because you are at higher risk compared to the general population for developing pancreatic cancer, based on your personal or family history.”

Dreaming the Breast Cancer Vaccine

I have a dream. Well, I have many dreams, but this one is about an easy, almost painless means of ensuring that no woman ever has to face, fight or survive breast cancer again. A vaccine. Am I just dreaming? Maybe. Maybe not.

Life Has Never Looked Sexier Post-Mastectomy

Shortly after my prophylactic mastectomies and then my hair loss, my husband’s job was relocated from Philadelphia to Florida. Moving to a strange state with no hair AND no breasts, not knowing anyone for emotional support, was difficult at best. Adjusting to the physical changes in my appearance was even harder in such a warm climate, where tank tops, halters, and skinny tops are year-round fashion. Such fashion items tend to magnify my physical issues, but nothing was as difficult as dressing myself for the beach or pool.