Monday, August 12, 2019

Gyn Cancer Education Session - Sept 12, 2019 , NJ

I am honored to have been asked to speak at this patient education program on Gynecologic Cancer Awareness on September 12, 2019. The program is free and dinner is included. See graphic for information on how to complete the required registration.

I hope to see some familiar faces in the crowd.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Blog Hop Challenge

A cancer advocate I admire, Nancy Stordahl, writes the blog Nancy's Point about breast cancer and loss. Every summer she holds a blog challenge. This year it is a blog hop challenge.

From Linky Tools : "What is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS. When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog. Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!"

 I am up for the challenge so here goes:

2019 Blog Hop Challenge Questions
1.  Who are you? If applicable, share anything you want about your cancer (type, stage, when diagnosed, whatever.) Share something about yourself such as where you live, the name of your blog and it’s “mission” (no links here, though, or you might end up in spam), a challenge you have faced or are facing now, or whatever you want.
I am an ovarian cancer survivor and research advocate. I have been writing this blog since 2007 not as frequently as I did in the beginning but I try my best to stay on top of new research developments and share them and other news with my followers. I love dogs and painting.   

2.  Have you ever participated in a blog hop before?
Nope, first timer. 

3.  What’s your favorite sort of blog post to write and/or read – personal story, informational, how to, controversial, political, opinion, rant or other?
I like to read personal stories and informational blogs especially about new research like CAR-T and new screening tests.

4.  Describe yourself in three words. Yes, just three!
organized, kind, resilient 

5.  Name three of your favorite books from your youth (whatever age that means to you.) that had an impact on you.
Cheaper by the Dozen, Call of the Wild, Island of the Blue Dolphins 

6.  What are you reading right now, or what’s on your to-read list for when you have time?
 Memory Man BaldacciI have about 20 books on my to read list on Goodreads.

7.  What’s your favorite dessert of all time?

8.  Tell us about a special pet you have, had, or would like to have. (Never wanted a pet, that’s okay too.)
Amber,  an awesome All-American dog . She loves to jump and do agility.

 9.  What’s something people don’t know about you and might be surprised to learn?
 I wanted to be an astronaut when I was in high school.  

10.  Do you believe healthcare is a privilege or a right?
Most certainly it is a Right.

11.  What’s your favorite thing about blogging and/or reading blogs?
Being able to share information about cancer and the emotions I have experienced as an ovarian cancer survivor.

12.  What’s something you really suck at?
card games

13.  What’s something you’re pretty good at?

14.  How do you escape from cancer (or life in general) worries?
Reading, painting landscapes and animals, spending time with my family and dog.

Thanks for reading!

Every Day is a Blessing

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Long life and What I Forgot

On July 26, my husband and I drove up to Westchester County to see my dear mother-in-law. She has been in a nursing home a number of years dealing with Alzheimers.  She was a few months shy of her 100th birthday and her health was declining. I used that visit to show her photos of her great-grand sons, to tell her how important she was in my life and how awesome a mom, grandmother and great-grandmother she was. I am so glad I had that opportunity.

The next day in the afternoon we received the call that she had passed away. The next few days were spent getting things in order for her services and funeral. My son and daughter decided to fly in so we made a trip to the Philly airport  to pick them up - they arrived within 5 minutes of each other in the wee hours of the morning last  Wednesday. The next two days were spent in Brooklyn for the services. Spending time with my husband's family (many who flew in from out of state) and old friends was special. I value the years I have been a part of this wonderful family and I was happy to have so many memories when we celebrated her life. While we were busy celebrating her long life many of our friends and family helped to made our life easier. They sent mass card, condolences and food. Others helped take in the mail, put out the garbage and walk the dogs.

Our children flew back to their spouses and kids on August 6th and for the past few days my husband and I have been catching up on sleep and getting back to the things we had put to the side for the past ten days.

When I got back to my advocacy on Twitter, I  saw Christina's post that #gyncsm is almost 6 years old. It was then that  I realized that I had totally forgot my cancerversary.

On July 29th I celebrated 14 years as an ovarian cancer survivor.  I so appreciate my doctors at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey for making these years possible and I can't thank my family and friends enough for being by my side during treatments and for so many years after.

Deeply grateful,

Every Day is a Blessing

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

#CANCERSM Chat topic 11-Jul-2019: Basics of Biomarker Testing

A number of cancer Twitter communities( #gyncsm, #bcsm, #btsm,#lcsm etc) are joining together for a chat on Biomarkers on Thursday, July 11, 2019 I hope some of my followers will join that chat at 8pm ET. pPathologist Dr. Timothy Craig Allen (@TimAllenMDJD) will be moderating the chat.Learn more by reading the post below by Janet Freeeman-Daily.

#CANCERSM Chat topic 11-Jul-2019: Basics of Biomarker Testing
Until just a few years ago, chemotherapy was often the only option for some cancer patients. In just a
few short years, molecular therapies and immunotherapies have become commonplace as treatments
for cancer patients. But determining whether a particular cancer patient is a candidate for these new,
often very expensive, molecular and immunotherapies requires molecular biomarker testing. For manycancer patients and their families, the role of molecular biomarker testing in their diagnosis is a
unfamiliar and confusing. How is testing performed? How is the test result analyzed? What is involvedin getting helpful answers from biomarker testing? Does liquid biopsy have a role?
Pathologists are specialized doctors responsible for answering these questions. They identify any cancercells in the biopsied specimen, and guide the patient’s biomarker testing. Unfortunately, pathologists donot typically speak with patients, so patients and families–and even some doctors–often do not have aclear understanding of the role of molecular biomarker testing in the diagnosis and treatment ofcancers. Learning more about the basics of biomarker testing can help patients and families cut throughthe hype about biomarker testing, understand the patient’s specific disease more thoroughly, and learn what biomarker test results mean to the patient’s cancer treatment.

Please join moderator and pathologist Dr. Timothy Craig Allen (@TimAllenMDJD) at 8 PM Eastern Time
on Thursday, July 11, 2019, for a discussion about the basics of biomarker testing, a subject potentially
affecting all cancer patients and doctors. We will cover the following topics:
• T1: What is a biomarker and how is it identified?
• T2: What is biomarker testing and what is it used for?
• T3: What treatment options can be identified through biomarker testing?
• T4: What biomarker tests should be run for which types of cancers? What is a liquid
biopsy and when is useful?
• T5: Can and should patients pursue biomarker testing for treatment options if their
doctor does not offer it?

Please remember to include #cancersm in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them.
If you need a refresher, read the #LCSM primer on participating in a Twitter chat (the hashtag in your
tweets will be #cancersm, not #LCSM). Note that some tweetchat apps (like will not display
tweets longer than 140 characters. Hope you’ll join us!

Every Day is a Blessing!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Hashtag Collections and Communities - JCOCCI Article

I am so pleased to have co-authored and to have the #gyncsm community and chat be a part of a newly published article in the JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics journal.

Organizing Online Health Content: Developing Hashtag Collections for Healthier Internet-Based People and Communities  

"Cancer tag ontology evolved from patient-centered, disease-specific, Twitter-based chats as a cooperatively designed system that has grown in use from 2011 to 2017. This article provides guidelines, challenges, and opportunities for using hashtags to develop online communities of interest."

Thank you Matt Katz, MD for spearheading this important work for physicians, patients and health care providers. 

Dee                                                                                                                                                      Every Day is a Blessing! 





Saturday, June 8, 2019

#ASCO19 Opening Session - Focus on Patients

The theme of this year's ASCO Annual meeting was
Caring For Every Patient, Learning From Every Patient

This theme was exhibited in many sessions I attended and highlighted in the Opening Session starting with Dr Bertagnolli, in her President's Address.You may read her complete speech at

Dr Ang, a medical oncologist from Aukland, New Zealand spoke next.

Having read two books Dr Atul Gawande wrote,  I was thrilled to be able to hear him in person.

 As I heard these next words I thought of how it matched with what I would be saying later that afternoon in the Fireside Chat with Dr Dickson.

It was a privilege to speak at this year's ASCO meeting and Tweet from the meeting.
I was moved by the dedication of the over 40,000 health care providers -surgeons, oncologists, nurses, social workers, and researchers from around the globe who attended the meeting to learn how to improve cancer patient care. Thank you to each and every one of them.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Oral Abstracts at #ASCO19

The Oral Abstract session took place on Monday June 3.
I was able to listen the first three abstracts presented before I left for the airport.

You may search the abstracts available online at
for information on the other studies presented during that session. 
5503 NACT compared to chemoradiation in cervical cancer
5504 Recurrence rates in cervical cancer abdominal vs minimally invasive surgery
5505 Niraparib and Bev vs niraparib alone in recurrent plat sensitive OC
5506 Olaparib monotherapy vs chemo for germline BRCA plat sensitive relapsed OC
5507 CLIO study on olaparib monotherapy vs chemo in plat sensitive OC
5508 EWOC-1 Three different first line chemo regimens for vulnerable elderly women with OC

5500 Powell -  Ph 3 Paclitaxel + carbo vs Paclitaxel + ifosfamidein chem naive patientswith carincosarcomea of the uterus or ovary
5501 Antill - Duralumab in adv endometrial cancer accroding to mismatch repare status PHAEDRA Study
5502 Konstantinopoulos  Ph2 avelumab in patients with microsatellite stable(MSS)  ,microsatellite instable (MSI) and polymerase epsilon mutated  (POLE)recurent endometrial cancer

My last post on ASCO19 will be about the Opening session.

Every Day is a Blessing!