Monday, September 29, 2008

DoD Appropriations Bill passed by House and Senate

The DOD Appropriation Bill is awaiting President Bush's signature. The Senate passed the bill on Saturday. The House last Wednesday.

Included in the bill is $20 million in funding of the Peer-Reviewed Ovarian Cancer Research Program and $6 million in funding for Gynecologic Cancer Research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center .

Every Day is a Blessing

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family In the News

Both my son and my sister were in the news this week. Check out their stories.

Matt's article is entitled"Women's Club Crew becoming a Team Effort at Tech" and is found in the Collegiate Times. I especially like the photo gallery connected to the online article. I've loved crew since my days on the banks of the Raritan as a coxswain for the Rutgers men's lightweight crew team. I am so proud of Matt, a grad student and head crew coach at VT.

Melabee's article " Trick Photography" is found in the Star Ledger. Mel is an awesome photographer. She is collaborating with an interior designer on "Can't Fail Window Treatments," a DIY book to be published by Creative Homeowner next spring.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Michelle's Law (S. 400) Passes the Senate !

Just wanted to share this info from the ACS about Michelle's Law:
We would like to share with you the exciting news that
Michelle’s Law (S. 400)unanimously passed the US Senate
yesterday! This bill is now moving on to the President’s
desk to finally be signed into law.
Thank you to all who took action and emailed your Senators
about this very important bill for college students. We have
heard from a number of Senators’ offices of how impressed
they were with your commitment to see this bill become
law. This week’s victory further proves the power of your
voice to fight cancer.
Because of you, thousands of college students will be able to
remain on their parents’ health care plan should they be
forced to take time off from school due to a serious
injury or illness such as cancer.

Thanks to all my friends who wrote their
We have made Cancer a National Priority!


Last KOH Walk

Tomorrow, Saturday Sept 27th is the last KOH walk. It takes place in Avon -By-The-Sea a beautiful shore town in Monmouth county NJ. The location of the walk on the beach is wonderful. I am hoping the rain moves out before registration begins at 8am tomorrow.
Please join us to raise funds for ovarian cancer research.

Annual Avon/Monmouth County Walkathon
Time: Registration and warm-up, 8:15 - 9:00 AM
Announcements, Speakers: 9:00 AM
Walkathon Begins: 9:15 AM
Celebration: 10:30-11:30 AM
Place: 600 Ocean Avenue, Avon-by-the-Sea Boardwalk, Avon
Distance: One, 3 and 5-mile routes
Sorry, no dogs are allowed on the boardwalk
Directions: From the Garden State Parkway: Take Exit 100-B (Rte. 33 East). Take Rte. 33 East all the way to the end, which is the traffic light at Main Street in Bradley Beach. Take a right and follow Main St. for about 1.5 miles into Avon. Take a left onto Woodland Avenue and stay on it to Ocean Avenue.

You can register online at

or the day of.

I will be working registration so be sure to stop by and say "Hello".



Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

OC Lecture at Sloan Kettering - Monday Sept 29,2008

Memorial Sloan Kettering will be presenting a free lecture regarding the latest research and treatment news on ovarian cancer on Monday September 29,2008 from 1:30 - 4:00 pm. Some of MSK's leading physicians will be speaking including Dr. Barakat, Dr. Sabbatini, and Dr. Spriggs.

Reservations are required call today- 877-253-6062.
Arlene and Arnold Goldstein Auditorium
430 East 67th St ( between York and First Avenues)
Date and time:
Sept 29,2008 1:30- 4:00 pm
Coffee at 1pm


Every Day is a Blessing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Fun Trip to Oklahoma

I recently returned from a fun trip to Oklahoma to visit my daughter and her husband.

The flight from Dallas to Lawton was interesting since it is the first time I have ever flown on a American Eagle ( Audi made) propeller plane. It was not as rough as I thought it would be. And I did not feel as claustrophobic as I imagined I would feel when I read that there were only 12 rows on the plane. But we landed safely at the Lawton / Fort Sill Airport, a very small - 1 gate - walk down the steps off the plane type of airport.

While in OK we got a chance to visit the Wichita Mountains, the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Old Fort Sill and the Apache cemetery which is where Geronimo as well as some of his wives and children are buried. There was beautiful countryside outside of Lawton . There were buffalo ( the black dot on the left photo) and pretty lakes and wildflowers. I kept imagining that the Lone Ranger would come riding over the hill. Good thing we didn't see any rattlesnakes.

By visiting Oklahoma, I was able to get closer to my goal of visiting all 50 states. I am more than half way there- only 19 more to go.

Of course the best part of the trip was spending time with Terry, Andy and their new puppy, Silvio. What a blast we had. I was a bit sad when Terry dropped us off at the airport. I really did try not to cry. Good thing they will be back east in October.


Every Day is A Blessing!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Loehmanns Shopping Day for OCRF

I received this in an e-mail from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).

"On Thursday, September 25, Loehmann's will host a nationwide Shop & Share day to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The event will take place in all 65 Loehmann's stores during regular store hours.

Shoppers can donate $5 to OCRF at the register and instantly receive 15% off their entire purchase that day. Loehmann's also will donate 5% of all Shop & Share purchases to OCRF.

Loehmann's offers a collection of current, in season designer sportswear, shoes, accessories and more at 30% to 65% less than department stores. Find a store near you at and be sure to shop there on September 25.

We'll see you at Loehmann's!

The OCRF Team "

There is a store in East Brunswick I plan to visit.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Seton Hall University Student Nurses Association Raises Awareness

Yesterday afternoon, I visited the campus of Seton Hall University. I had been invited by the Student Nurses Association and my cousin who is an Assistant Dean of the Nursing School to tell my story and raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer. The students had participated in the Turn the Town Teal campaign this year as you can see by the wonderful bulletin board at the entrance to the school.

I put together a PowerPoint presentation of my story and ovarian cancer facts/ statistics that I called "Adding Teal to my Wardrobe". Fifty student nurses ( both male and female) and faculty attended the talk. I spoke for about 40 minutes and I was touched to look out at the audience and see a handful of young ladies who wore teal to classes that day. At the end of my talk Jacqueline, the president of the association presented me with a framed certificate thanking me for raising awareness on the Seton Hall Campus. That certificate means so much to me.

They served some soda and cookies in the lounge. A number of the students stopped by to chat a bit more and ask questions about my port, genetics and risk factors. I must say that interacting with the students was wonderful. I'm thinking I might take my show on the road to some of the other nursing schools in the state.

Thanks Marion and all the nursing students at SHU for raising awareness of Ovarian Cancer.

To the student nurses I met yesterday: I am sure that you will all make a difference in the lives of your patients!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Morris KOH Walk a Success!

Yesterday morning I drove up to Morristown to participate in the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation's 9th Annual Walkathon in honor of Gail MacNeil, one of our founders who lost her 10 year battle with the disease.

It was foggy and overcast when I got there but by the time the walk started I needed my KOH cap because the sun was shining and the temperatures were rising.

I walked the three mile course with a fellow board member Maureen in 1 hour and 2 minutes. The most amazing part was seeing all the yellow shirts that read "Gail's Team". Gail was certainly smiling down at us yesterday. I was also impressed with the over 40 members of the Randoph girls soccer team that walked the course and all the teams and indivuals walking in memory of or support of their wife, mother, sister, friend.

We raised an awesome $70,000.

Thanks to Gerri, Karen and Janet for a wonderful event!

There are two more walks - Lyndhurst Sept 21st and Avon Sept 27th. You can register online now for both these walks. I am working registration at the Avon walk so if you are there stop by and say hi!


Every Day is a Blessing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

NJ Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan

The NJ Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan ( 2008-2012) is now available online. I have place a permanent link on the left side of this page.

A happy CCCP workgroup member

Friday, September 12, 2008


Michele Fischer , CINJ media relations specialist called me Tuesday morning and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed on Good Day Street Talk a Fox 5 public affairs show. They wanted a survivor and gyn-onc from CINJ. All the doctors were in surgery that day but they still needed a survivor. I was a little nervous about going it alone but agreed that it would be a great way to raise awareness.

Yesterday, I boarded the train into NYC to film the segment for the show. On arriving at the studios on 67th street Isaura, the show's assistant, took me to the green room where all guests were assembled. There were representatives from Prevention magazine and a kidney donor organization. I was told to arrive camera ready but I guess that one and a half hour train and taxi trip necessitated a makeup touched-up by a very friendly Ellen. I said hello to Ronica Harris the show's producer who I had spoken to on the phone. I also meet Dr Carol Brown , gynecological oncologist fromMemorial Sloan Kettering who would be presenting the medical information on the show with me. I had actually met Dr. Brown last year at an Ovarian Cancer survivor's day at NYU. She knows Dr Gibbon and Rodriguez and the research they do at CINJ.

The studio was an interesting place. Only one camera had a camera man. All the rest were run robotically. I was mic'ed up by Mike ( no pun intended) and spoke for a minute to Dr. Sapna Parikh, the shows host, and handed her a KOH teal awareness pin which she wore on my segment of the show! Dr Parikh introduced the show on camera and then I waited quietly while she interviewed Dr Brown about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. Then it was my turn. A chair was placed on stage between the two doctors, they sound checked my mic and filming began. I didn't know which camera of the 6 were filming me because I faced and spoke to Dr. Parikh. I was a bit nervous since this show films as if it were a live show with no chance for retakes. I think I answered the questions about my symptoms and journey to surgery pretty well. I even had a chance to mention Turn the Towns Teal and show the ribbon we used. Once our segment was done we handed in our mics and were able to leave. I walked to the corner of 67th and 3rd with Dr Brown and we agreed to catch up at this year's survivor course in November.

The show will air on Fox 5 on Saturday September 13 at 6 am ( yes- you might want to TiVo or tape it!)

I can't thank Ronica Harris and Dr Parikh enough for taking the initiative to add Ovarian Cancer to the GOOD DAY STREET TALK schedule and for raising awareness of Ovarian Cancer in the tri-state area. Thanks too to Dr Brown for her work with ovarian cancer patients and for calming my nerves right before taping.

Yesterday was in fact a GOOD DAY!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Star Ledger Article

I was interviewed by Susan Epstein for this Star Ledger article.

Survivor Joins Fight For Ovarian Cancer

It appeared in yesterday's Sunday edition of the paper and was put online today.



Where do Obama and McCain Stand on Cancer

Thanks to the LAF Blog and a note by Brian D. I can share the links to statements regarding each candidates stand on fighting cancer.

You can find OBAMA's here.

You can find MCCAIN'S here.


Stand Up to Cancer Show

CORRECTION -Fran Drescher did talk about gynecological cancer early in the show. 9/10/08

Overall , I enjoyed the Stand Up to Cancer Show. The stories told were poignant .

I was a bit disappointed that Ovarian Cancer a mention other than across the bottom of the screen. Considering it is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month I would have thought that there would have been a few minutes devoted to a cancer that kills 15,000 women a year. Why wasn't the genetic connection between breast and ovarian Cancer mentioned?

Just means our work is cut out for us in making more of the country aware of this disease.


Ovarian Cancer - Any Woman,Any Age...Listen to Your Heart / Sept 4

On Thursday I attended an interesting program on Ovarian Cancer that was part of the Healthy Programming at Hackensack University Medical Center ( HUMC) and was sponsored by the Maureen Fund.
The program began with Dr Smith, gynecological oncologist and vice-chair of the Theurer Cancer center at HUMC talking about the Ovarian Cancer and the work they do at HUMC.

Dr McNamara spoke about "Novel Chemotherapy Treatments". She spoke of Avastin trials and dose dense trials. She also spoke of two vaccine( abagovomab) trials - MIMOSA , CALYPSO and GOG 213 which uses farletuzumab. It will be interesting to see the results of these trials.

Dr Goy talked about how gene mutations cause cancer and then the importance of tumor banks and molecular profiles.

Lastly DrLitkouhi spoke of robotic surgery and his experience with the Da Vinci robot. He even showed us part of the surgery.Many people in the audience couldn't watch but it was facinating. I felt like I was watching the old movie Fantastic Voyage.

Thanks to everyone at the Maureen Fund and HUMC for this informative evening.

Every Day is a Blessing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stand Up to Cancer Show and Launch a Star

Just wanted to remind everyone to tune in to a show I mentioned first in June. Stand Up To Cancer- is a live one-hour show that will be simulcast on abc, cbs and nbc tomorrow at 8pm to raise funds for cancer research.

I noticed on their website a link called Launch a Star. For $1 you can name a star after someone diagnosed with cancer and it will be added to the Constellation.

All funds raised by Stand Up to Cancer will be administered by the American Association for Cancer Research and will by awarded by a Panel of scientists and patient advocates.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

OC Awareness in the local news

The Home News and Tribune published an article today about the Turn the Town Teal campaign in Edison and my roll as a an OC advocate.
Edison Turns Town Teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness is also found online on the website.

I also spoke to reporters from the Star Ledger and Sentinel newspapers today and had photos taken with my gynecological oncologist, Dr. Lorna Rodriguez and KOH founder Lois Myers at the Cancer Institute of NJ. I'll post links when and if the stories/ photos are published.

A special thanks to everyone who is supporting Ovarian Cancer Awareness throughout NJ and the country.

LIVESTRONG - and wear teal

Every day is a Blessing!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Edison and Woodbridge Turn the Towns Teal and Local TV

At 1 pm today, Edison's Mayor Jun Choi proclaimed September Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The event was filmed by Edison TV outside the Municipal Building. I had a chance to speak for a short time about my ovarian cancer experience and advocacy work( LAF, KOH, NOCC) . A special thanks to the Mayor and his staff for making this happen for the second year in a row and to the Lopez family for all their help hanging ribbons and raising awareness.

After that event, I was interviewed by Edison TV for a segment called Edison Make a Difference and Volunteer Program. I spoke about the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation and the northern NJ NOCC and why I volunteer. Both segments filmed today will be presented on Channel 15 on Cablevision in Edison during the month of September. I was caught a little off guard with the second interview but Mike the the camera man said it went well considering I did not know the questions that were going to be asked.

At 6:30 pm, I was with the Lopez Family once again this time in Woodbridge Township for their Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation. Mayor Mc Cormac read the proclamation and then asked Phyllis, a Woodbridge resident whose sister passed away from Ovarian cancer 15 years ago, and Chuck also a Woodbridge resident to speak. Chuck gave a moving speech about his involvement raising awareness of ovarian cancer because of his mom's experience as a 3 year survivor. Thank you Mayor McCormac, the entire Woodbridge Town Council and Woodbridge Township TV ( 35) for their support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness.

Today was a real blessing - beautiful weather and an chance to raise awareness - perfect together.