Sunday, October 31, 2010

Clinical Trial Day - November 6th

There are a lot of different reasons to enter a clinical trial. Most people think that it is when there are no other treatment options for you.Or think that trials are only for diseases for ailments that can cause death- like cancer. Sure there are clinical trials for those but there are actually many clinical trials that are studying ways to prevent diseases. There are others to ease the side effects of injuries and other treatments.

You can learn more about clinical trials by attending a course / webinar on November 6th .
See the graphic above for more information.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Nov 13th - OCRF Symposium

Live in the New York City Area? Want to learn more about ovarian cancer ? Be sure to attend the OCRF Research Symposium.
Here is info from the OCRF website.
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Scientific Research Symposium
Bringing You The Science Of Hope

Please join us Saturday, November 13, 2010
9:00am - 1:00pm * Free and open to the public
Florence Gould Hall * 55 East 59th Street, New York, NY
(between Park and Madison)

Reservations recommended. RSVP at 212-268-1002 or

Join the program live via webcast here

Moderator: Peter Dottino, M.D.
Vice President, OCRF Board of Directors;
Assoc. Clinical Professor Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Mt. Sinai Medical Center

Special Presenter: Carmel Cohen, M.D.
Co-Chairman/Scientific Director, OCRF Board of Directors;
Vice-Chairman, OCRF Scientific Advisory Committee;
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mt. Sinai Medical Center

What's New in Screening and Early Detection?
Barbara A. Goff, M.D.
Professor & Directors, Gynecologic Oncology; University of Washington

A Survivor's Story: Diagnosis and Treatment
Marie Sanford, M.D.
Pediatrician, Westside Pediatrics

New Treatments in Ovarian Cancer
Molly Brewer, D.V.M., M.D., M.S.
OCRF Scientific Advisory Committee;
Assoc. Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Carol and Ray Neag Cancer Center, University of Connecticut

A Survivor's Story: Clinical Trials
Gina DePalma
James Beard Award-winning chef and cookbook author

From Bench to Bedside: Discovery and the Promise of Research
Michael V. Seiden, M.D., Ph.D.
OCRF Scientific Advisory Committee;
President and CEO, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Every Day is a Blessing!
PS Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

I have put off writing this post because I couldn't seem to find the right words.

Denise joined the Gynecological Cancer Support Group at CINJ and quickly became a friend. On Tuesday, I received an e-mail from her daughter,Kofi. I never met Denise's daughter in person. But I felt I knew her from how warmly she spoke of her and the photos Denise shared of her when Kofi's daughter was born. It was not the e-mail I wanted to read. "On October 24, 2010 at 12:45, angels descended from heaven and brought my mother Denise home for her eternal rest. "

That line took my breath away. I kept thinking "No, not Denise too". Loosing friends to cancer is becoming more and more difficult for me to handle.

Today I thought of the essay that begins "People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. ". Denise came in to my life for a reason. There have been very few people these past few years who I could frankly speak to about faith in God and its impact on how we live as ovarian cancer survivors with the constant threat of a recurrence . Denise was one of those people. She knew scripture better than I did but she made me feel comfortable enough to easily share my feelings and thoughts about God, my faith and how the love of God can make this journey easier. As I looked back through e-mails I found one from March where I wrote to Denise- "I just knew He had you walk into my life for a reason. " Amen.

Thank you Denise for all your support. I will miss you.

Every Day is a Blessing ! Thank you God for the chance you gave me to grow in faith through my friendship with Denise.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dance for a Cure

Do you love the ballroom dancing segment on Dancing with the Stars? Then you need to see the marvelous dancing of Evgeny Dyanchenko at the The Teal Tea Foundation's Dance for a Cure event on Sunday, November 7th. Dyanchenko was part of the "Dancing With the Stars" twenty-five city tour as well as a 4th place National Professional Rhythm Champion. The Teal Tea Foundation raises funds for the Cancer Institute of NJ and to increase awareness of ovarian cancer.
The event takes place from 1-5pm at the Nottingham Ballroom in Hamilton, NJ. The $50 tickets include a delicious buffet and dancing ,of course.

For tickets and more information please see

It should be a fun afternoon!
Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flapjacks for Teal

I like Applebees food - ribs, burgers and great hot wings for tailgating, etc. We usually end up at the restaurant around 6pm. This morning Nick and I took a short ride to the Applebees in Hamilton.( I love getting to know places around my new home.) There we were greeted by the friendly smile of Karen Neuls, founder of Teal Wings of Hope Foundation. I met Karen at the Teal Wings of Hope Walk which I wrote about in September.

This morning Applebee's was serving Flapjacks and Sausage to help support the Foundation. There were many familiar faces from the walk in September and the servers - sorority sisters - were very pleasant as they brought out the coffee, juice, sausage and flapjacks.

It was great to share good food for a good cause!

Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Women of Teal and a Tough Choice

People diagnosed with cancer make many tough decisions . Deciding on a doctor, biopsy decisions, surgery decisions, treatment decisions, whether to work or not during treatment, who they tell about their diagnosis, and countless more. But the most difficult of all is the decision faced when there are no decisions left to make. In the past two weeks , two friends have made the decision to enter hospice.

CJ lives in California . I have been following her blog for years and we have kept in touch through her blog and other social networks. Her blog, Shopping Kharma, is difficult at times to read but she tells it like it is in. She is one tough lady who continues to fight.
In September this year I wrote a blog entry about my friend Courtney. She does not fit into the age bracket of a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I think we hit it off so well when we first met in Austin in 2006 was because she reminded me of my daughter ( who is the same age as Courtney ) and her friends. She too is now in hospice in Ohio. Courtney has truly lived stong these past five years. Those of you who know Courtney from any of the LiveSTRONG Summits please share a memory of a fun time ( like the night at the Zoo ) with Courtney on Facebook at Courts Page.

I wish I was closer so I could give my two friends a hug.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making the First Cut

I am so pleased that CINJ/ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has qualified to be a recipient of a LiveStrong Community Impact Project this year.

This year votes from the public will determine which organizations receive the Impact Grants. There are three types of programs to be funded- Creative Center :Arts in Healthcare, Supersibs, and Cancer Transitions. CINJ has applied for a Creative Center :Arts in Healthcare Grant.From their application-

"CINJ is a robust clinical enterprise with over 83,000 patient visits in 2009. For our 2010 Survivors Day Celebration, Robin Glazer, Director of the Creative Center: Arts in Healthcare was the key-note speaker at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ). Attendees of this program (patients, family members and health care providers) loved the Creative Center's approach and philosophy. Several attendees contacted our office and the Creative Center's to learn more about this program. Promoting healing experiences is crucial, and with an Artist in Residence Program we will have the opportunity to institutionalize this value into our existing operations."

Now it is up to us - patients, caregivers and supporters of CINJ to vote so that the Creative Center :Arts in Healthcare program can be implemented at CINJ. Ok I am a bit biased but having taken a short art therapy program a few years ago I think other patients at CINJ would benefit from taking part.
Please click on this link to vote every day:

Every Day is a Blessing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lots of Zeal

Sunday October 10th was the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation. The Foundation raises funds for research and awareness for ovarian cancer. I have served on the Board since 2008.

The Zeal for Teal Brunch was held at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ. KOH supporters , doctors, nurses , social workers and survivors gathered to celebrate the work KOH has done to raise awareness and almost $ 2 million raised for research in its first ten years.

Jenny Allen , survivor, author and performer of I Got Sick then I Got Better (and someone I have written about before) MC'd the event. The Foundation awarded Scope of Excellence Awards to physicians who concentrate on treating ovarian cancer patients. The honorees were:
George Coukos, MD, PhD, Director, Ovarian Cancer Research Center, University of Pennylvania Abramson Cancer Center, Lorna Rodriguez, MD, PhD, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Brian Slomovitz, MD, Gynecologist Oncologist, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, Daniel H. Smith, MD, Gynecologist Oncologist, Holy Name Hospital, Mario M. Leitao, Jr., MD, FACOG, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Darlene Gibbon, MD, Clinical Director of Gynecologic Oncology, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Dr Rodriguez and Dr Gibbon are my CINJ doctors. Their nurses as well as a number of other oncology nurses and social workers were there too.

It was a wonderful way to honor healthcare providers who do so much for women with ovarian cancer.

Every Day is a Blessing! The doctors and nurses who treat OC patients are a blessing to all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have heard people call their chemo many different names (usually not nice ones) but never elixir. Well, that was until yesterday when I met Meg McQuarrie and heard about her brother Kevin. Kevin wanted a more positive name for the chemotherapy he needed so he asked his family , friends, doctors and nurses to call his chemo - ELIXIR. While he was in treatment he tried to bring things along that would make him feel comfortable - a DVD player, CDs, a blanket. His friends and family would offer him a massage and make him laugh.

Although Kevin passed away in 2003 his family and friends wanted to continue to provide items of comfort and support to other cancer patients. They formed a non-profit named ELIXIR FUND. Meg is the executive director. The Fund provides hospitals, doctors, nurses and cancer treatment centers with amenities and extras that they may not be able to provide for their patients. They have decorated waiting rooms, installed TVs and offered massage and makeovers to patients. I was pleased to know that the DVD players at CINJ, were I was treated, were provided by the Elixir Fund.

The Fund looks to provide national and local support for cancer patients and caregivers as well. They have partnered with a number of services for cancer patients in NJ such as meals, yoga, mediation & facials. They will also work with patients and caregivers to find a needed service or support. Click here to see what is available in NJ. If you have friends in California, the Fund has partners that provide similar services there too. Be sure to watch the video on their website to learn more about this wonderful organization.

The Elixir Fund is Life, Love, Light and Healing! Thank you Meg for making a cancer patient's journey a bit more comfortable.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Pink Ribbon in my Heart

It was raining hard all day in NJ on Friday, October 1st the remnants of Hurricane Nicole. There were flooded roadways throughout the state which made my trip to Morristown take an extra half hour. And the rain meant moving the Passing of the Torch event from the outside Greek Theater at the College of St. Elizabeth to Dolan Hall inside the Annunciation Center. What the rain did not dampen was the spirit of collaboration and support of those present to pass the flame of ovarian cancer awareness in September to October's breast cancer awareness.

The Passing of the Torch campaign is a collaboration of the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation and FORCE - Facing our Risks of Cancer Empowered. It is a way to highlight the hereditary link between breast and ovarian cancer in women who have a BRCA1 &BRCA2 mutation, honors cancer survivors and those at risk and remembers those who lost their lives to cancer.

Two speakers told their moving stories of survivorship while an oncology nurse gave an informative talk regarding BRCA1&2 mutations and hereditary risk management. (Check out the FORCE website for info about hereditary cancers. ) Those present bought luminaries and as the clouds lifted and the sun set College of St. Elizabeth volunteers lit the candles. Other luminaries were purchased online to honor survivors of breast and ovarian cancer. Check out the park here.

At the end of the event I took a walk outside and saw the luminary I purchased in memory of my sister Roberta. As much as I am a women of teal, I will forever have a pink ribbon in my heart.

Every Day is a Blessing!