Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dina Matos to Speak at Event to Benefit Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation

Stoic in the face of brutal public disclosures about a failed marriage, Dina Matos (McGreevey) continues to prove she's no shrinking violet. She will share her compelling story at a benefit dinner co-sponsored by the Zonta Club of the Morristown Area and Volunteer Management Centers (VMC). Set to take place Wednesday, January 13th, at Zeris Inn, the fundraiser for 10 women's non-profit organizations will begin with a reception at 6:30 PM.

Matos will speak about the events that changed her life when her husband, then New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, resigned suddenly from office on August 12, 2004, publicly admitting on National TV to a sex scandal. As chronicled in her New York Times bestseller, "Silent Partner," Matos described her husband as a controlling figure, but believed she had a 'rock solid' marriage.

Matos agreed to speak in support of VMC's Women's Health & Safety CHAIN because it brings together non-profits who work to increase awareness of women's issues and empowerment. By facilitating collaboration and awareness of a number of organizations addressing the issues affecting women and help them rise above potential risks or adversity, VMC hopes to give them support and greater exposure.

VMC's CHAIN program, which stands for Collaborations Help: Agency Information & Networking, brings together non-profits who share similar missions. Borrowing from Ryunosuke Satoro, VMC's CHAINs are based on the zen vision that "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."

Members of VMC's Women's Health & Safety CHAIN to share in the proceeds from this event, include:

  • Dress for Success Morris County
  • Girl Scouts of Northern NJ
  • NJ Self Help Group Clearinghouse
  • NJ Women & AIDS Network
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morris, Bergen & Passaic
  • Women's Center at County College of Morris
  • Mrs. Wilson's
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern NJ
  • Homeless Solutions, Inc.
  • The Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation

The Zonta Club of the Morristown Area, part of Zonta International and a network of business executives and professionals, will host this special CHAIN event. Zonta works to improve the legal, political, economic, health and professional status of women worldwide.

Following her talk, Matos will be on hand to sign books. Seating is limited and registration is required. Please contact Georgina via e-mail -
or by calling 973-538-7200 ext. 17.

Zeris Inn is located at 372 Route 46, in Mountain Lakes, Morris County.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Weather Outside was Frightful but Christmas was Delightful

FRIGHTFUL: The blizzard in Manhattan, Kansas began around noon on Christmas eve day (Thursday) and it snowed throughout Christmas Day. The snow blew sideways and the wind chill was -4 degrees fahrenheit. The roads were snow covered with 6+ inches and drifts of over 2 feet in places.

DELIGHTFUL: We arrived at Terry and Andy's late Monday night. Andy's parents arrived Tuesday night. On Wednesday we drove to Kansas City and visited the World War I museum, ate at the Kona Grill and then Andy's sister and her husband arrived at KCI and we all drove back thru dense fog to Manhattan. So the whole gang was in the Little Apple to celebrate Christmas.

It was cookie and dessert baking time on Christmas eve day- Carol made special brownies, I made Kentucky pie( pecan pie with choc chips and bourbon) and Terry made Aunt Dora's Love Knot cookies. Then it was shrimp and ham for dinner. The plows went by on the main road but the snow blew back on the road in no time. The Kansas DOT 's website showed all the road in the area to be snow covered. So we opted to stay at Terry and Andy's and not return to our hotel which was about 7 miles away .

Christmas morning was definitely white and cold outside but inside it was warm and cozy. We laughed and oohed and aahed as each of us opened our gifts and then we took photos around the tree. Silvio and Murph dog had fun playing with each other's new toys. We played games and watched Christmas movies as the Turkey cooked. Dinner was delicious-antipasto, Terry's Baked Ziti, Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, gravy, cranberry sauce.

Christmas is about love- God's love for us and our love for each other . In Terry and Andy's home - two families came together and celebrated the love of Christmas Day.


Every Day is a Blessing! I have been blessed these past few days with the love of family .

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ovarian Problems Discussion List

Wanted to pass on some info about a wonderful online discussion list:

The Ovarian Problems Discussion List supports women with ovarian cancer and related problems, and their families and friends. There are over 1400 subscribers and there is no charge for this subscription. It has been a support community online for over 13 years.

This email list provides various kinds of support related to ovarian cancer and related conditions. Reproductive issues are not covered except as they relate to ovarian cancer.

You can join us! Go to, click on "mailing lists", choose the Ovarian list and click on it to join. Or go directly to:

and click on “join or leave the list”.

If you need assistance, you can reach the listowners by email:


ACOR is a free online lifeline for everyone affected by cancer & related disorders. It is a unique collection of online communities designed to provide timely and accurate information in a supportive environment. The Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc. (ACOR) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, incorporated in New York State.

ACOR is one of the original social networks, created long before the term became one of the buzzwords of the web 2.0 explosion of services. Since September 1995 ACOR users interested in specific and often rare form of cancers have benefited from the collective intelligence of hundreds of patients and caregivers.

ACOR is also invested in researching medical online communities and has helped to produce some of the most important and groundbreaking projects designed to understand how the Internet helps people to become informed patients, able to maximize the quality of medical care they receive.

Three more months...continued

Got an e-mail today from my nurse letting me know that my CA-125 was 10.2.
Now that is cause for celebration!


Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Three More Months

My follow-up care plan is to see my gynecological oncologist every three months. I always get a little on edge the day or two before. Nick has gotten very used to how nervous I can get and is really a good sport about it.
You would think after traveling this road for almost 5 years I would get used to it. Talking to other cancer survivors even those that are not ovarian cancer survivors,being nervous seems to be a normal reaction. The past few days have been no different.

Yesterday I saw my gyn-onc at CINJ. Yes the photo above is of my chart- busy year for me at CINJ. My nurse D went through the typical questions related to fatigue, pain, neuropathy, medications I was taking, etc. Some of the pains I feel are due to scar tissue- which is very typical of the liver surgery I had last year and the rest are due to neuropathy which is aggravated by colder temps. After an exam, my doctor told me everything looked good. She'll see me in 3 months after I have a CT scan in February. Now that is a great holiday gift.

Then I went off to the treatment area to see C for a port flush - it still functions fabulously- and a CA-125 blood test. C was the nurse who helped when I had my carbo reaction so it was especially nice to wish her a Merry Christmas. Now all I need to hear tomorrow is that my CA-125 is stable.

As my way of saying thank you for a year of compassionate care I dropped off a batch of cookies and peanut cluster candies that I made to my doctors and their nurses and for the treatment nurses. They give so much of themselves it is the least I can do to say "Thank-you and Merry Christmas" .


Every Day is a Blessing! Today I am blessed with an understanding husband.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Magical Place

Folks ask me all the time why I keep going back to Disney World. Last year I wasn't able to make a trip in December because I was recovering from my surgery.

I love the parks this time of year. Every park is decorated for Christmas with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa displays too . There are themed trees at every resort and Gingerbread houses. I actually got an idea for next year's homemade ornament from looking at the beautiful decorations.

The Osborne Family Light Spectacular at MGM- no make the Hollywood Studios- is just incredible. The lights are everywhere- at times they blink on and off as Christmas Carols play. Plus there is snow - not to be caught on the tongue- too soapy.

Then of course there is the Candlelight Processional. The music is wonderful there are guest high school choirs, a Disney choir, a full orchestra and a guest narrator.They tell the Christmas story in words and music. We had the pleasure of hearing Andy Garcia. My most favorite part is when the sing Handel's Messiah.

When I go to Disney I don't think about having had cancer- I just enjoy the sights and sounds. There is time enough to worry.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

2009 Annual Cancer Rate Report- OC declines

The ACS, CDC,NCI,and the North American Assoc of Central Cancer Registries collaborate to report on cancer incidences and deaths in the US.
The full report with stats for all cancers can be found here.

Ovarian cancer incidences and deaths have declined.

Ovary New Cases -2.1% Death -1.4%

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Good Wishes- a Program for women who experience hair loss

Over the past few months my hair has grown in - curly and a bit grayer - but it is back. This time last year I was thinking about what I would do when I lost my hair for the second time. I ended up sporting lots of scarves and hats and wore my wig once at the KOH gala.

I learned recently of a program run by L. Erickson called Good Wishes which provides a scarf ( Its a Wrap or Good Wishes) free of charge to anyone experiencing hair thinning loss due to illness or treatment.
So check click here and check out some of beautiful scarves.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Support NOCC and Fun Holiday Gift Shopping

Here are two opportunities in NJ this weekend to help raise awareness of OC , support the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (Northern NJ -NOCC in particular ) and find some lovely holiday gifts.

C’est Tout Handcrafted Jewelry, Crafts and Artwork

Kati Beddow Brower, Owner P.O. Box 34, Hazlet, NJ 07730


Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 12 Noon to 5 pm.

C’est Tout has all sorts of neat jewelry, crafts and artwork!

Our jewelry is made of quality components such as gemstones, fossil stone, natural nut beads, crystals, Swarovski crystals, Czech, Chinese, druk, lampwork, foil beads and top quality seed beads (and so much more). Our spacers and closures are of pewter, sterling silver, and base metal (plated).

We hope you will come to shop, have a sweet, raise funds for a GREAT cause, and have fun!

Contact Kati for some neat teal jewelry.

Shala's Gift Boutique

Come join us for holiday cheer and to support the cure for ovarian cancer!
Please join us on:
Dec. 5, 9:30 am-5:30 pm and
Dec. 6, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Shala's Gift Boutique
343 Millburn Ave.
Millburn, NJ 07041
Complimentary refreshments will be provided.
Part of the proceeds will be donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
On Sun., Dec. 6 there will be a parade in town at 1 pm. It only lasts an hour or so. The store is open and you can park in the lot on Essex & Main St. The lot behind the store (will be) closed while the parade is on.



Every Day is a Blessing!