Archive | October 2013

Opening for October 31, 2013

brca world - pumpkin ribbonDear readers,

I want to apologize for the lack of posts the past few days.  We were almost in a car accident on Sunday.  The seatbelt pulled tight against my left boob, leaving a lot of pain, as well as, some new bumps and dents.  Long story short:  I saw my doctor on Tuesday and I need to have another surgery.  This will be my fourth surgery in the last year.  I was hoping to spend the holidays surgery and pain-free this year.  Anyway, I was angry and didn’t want to post on Tuesday and I started a new job on Wednesday (while worrying that I won’t get to keep my job once I have to ask off for surgery).  But, life goes on and I’m a lot luckier than most.

Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates.  I’m going to be posting new stuff throughout the day, so keep checking back.  Have a great day!




Trending with Breast Cancer

brca world - tweetingbraThe lovely month of October brings with it a slew of “cool” new ways to profit from promote awareness.  You know my thoughts on some of them (**cough, motorboating, **cough, cough, port-a-potties, **cough).  To make sure you are hip to the new trends in such things, here’s two more that are sweeping the nation:  #mamming and #tweetingbra.

#mamming is the brainchild of two ad executives, Michele Jaret and Michelle Lamont.  They claim they are reminding women to get mammograms, while finding humor in the awkwardness of the boob-smash it brings.  Wanna be one of the cool kids that are down with this trend?  Here’s what you do:  lay your boobs on random objects, snap a picture, and post it on social media with the hashtag #mamming.  I’m not even kidding.  This has replaced planking as the newest fad.  We live in a weird world.  It’s laughably dumb and I’m not exactly sure how it reminds women to get mammograms, but whatever.

The #tweetingbra was created by a Greek organization, Nestle Fitness, as a campaign to remind women to conduct monthly self-exams.  They have made an actual bra that sends out a tweet every time it is unhooked.  It’s, currently, being worn by Greek TV host, Maria Bacodimou.  You can, of course, follow the #tweetingbra on twitter.  While the technology is pretty fascinating, I have no idea whether this bra is tweeting about education and self-exams, or how exhausted it is from holding up boobs all day.  The tweets are in Greek and I’m too lazy to investigate.  If someone cares to enlighten me, I welcome it.  I have espoused the importance of self breast exams in the past.  If this bra actually educates and helps, more power to it.

I think the problem a lot of women have with these trends, is that the cool factor takes precedence over education.  Our priority should be learning more about this ugly disease and finding a cure.  Not slapping a sexy picture on it and making it the chicest cancer EVER.  We’re better than this.  Our society can do more.  Those with breast cancer (or any disease) deserve more.

News Links, 10-28-2013

Shouldn't they do this for every kind of cancer?

Shouldn’t they do this for every kind of cancer?

Promising new drug for BRCA mutation carriers.  Asco Post.

BEAUTIFUL article about the “realities of cancer,” including metastatic cancer.  Idaho Statesman.

NFL cheerleader responds to the pinkwashing and begs for transparency in fundraising.  Everyday Health.

Touching blog post from a woman about to begin a clinical trial for metastatic breast cancer.  Lisa Bonchek Adams.

Abnormally high amount of female hormones may be cause of increased risk in BRCA carriers.  Medical News Today.

9 foods that may lengthen your life.  Everyday Health.

Dr. Deanna Attai on all things breast cancer.  15 minutes long; worth every minute.  Chemobrain.

What does the healthcare reform mean for previvors?  Learn more here.  Brave Bosom.

Loving Someone With Cancer

via Angelo Merendino Angelo Merendino

via Angelo Merendino Angelo Merendino

This photo essay killed me.  A husband took photos of his wife as she battled cancer.  The results will break the coldest heart.  Taking care of a loved one with cancer, in the best of times, is difficult.  I relied entirely on my family after my mastectomy.  My son was two years old at the time.  He didn’t understand why he could jump on mama, or be picked up, or lay on me.  At first, I tried to put a pillow over me before he entered the room.  That lasted about two seconds, as he would shout, “No Mama!” and throw the pillow into the corner.  My parents and husband were left to pick up the slack.  They also helped me change my drains, cook my meals, walk my dogs, and clean my house.  Without them, I would have been lost.  It could not have been easy — it’s purely a labor of love.  I could not brush my own hair and I struggled in the bath.  They were unwearied and loving, though.  And I had it easy.  For those who have chemo, or experimental drugs…I just can’t imagine.  The toll on the caregiver, to watch as their loved one struggles…I think it’s easier being the patient.

These photos were taken with such care and affection.  Each still is filled with such raw emotion…I don’t even know…you have to see it for yourself.  Click here for the article and to see the photos.

Take it for what it is: Dogs with Boobs

brca world - dog boobs

My cousin sent me this.  Though I’m more of a proponent of getting rid of the boobs to save the woman, this was meant to make us smile.  It wasn’t made under the guise of “awareness” or “fundraising.”  It was made by a woman with breast cancer, who wanted to make people laugh.  So, let’s not over-think it and just smile at the cute dogs.

Opening for October 28, 2013

brca world - baseball 2Good morning readers,

I’ll start with a quick programming note:  today is a travel day for me, as my family and I are in LA and are driving back home.  That means the column will be a shorter one — sorry for any inconvenience.

I need to take my own advice and be positive.  This weekend and the end of last week were filled with negativity.  I don’t need it and I don’t want it.  I always say that you can’t put something out on the internet without expecting someone to vocally disagree with you.  I stand by that, as I stand by all that I’ve written on this website.

Last night, while watching the World Series (Go Cards!), I was touched by the Stand Up To Cancer moment.  For those who missed it, they took a moment between the fifth and sixth innings to honor those affected by cancer — all types.  Players, umpires, coaches, and fans held up SU2C signs with the names of “who they stand up for.”  What stood out to me (and to my husband) was the sheer number of people holding up signs.  Everyone is affected by cancer.  Everyone should be fighting for a cure.  Stand Up To Cancer is a great organization.  I just discovered their iphone app, that allows you to post a picture and story of who you stand up for…the stories are incredible.  Visit their website for more information.

I’m looking for story ideas, so if you have any, please let me know.  Email me at  Today, I’ll be posting a rather large “News Links,” as there have been lots of articles I want to share with you, lately.  Other than that, I’d like to get to a post about #mamming and other trending “awareness” ideas; plus, a post about the heart-wrenching photos a husband took of his wife.

Find your beauty and hope in today.



Healthy Recipes: Wild Salmon

brca world - salmonWild Salmon with Balsamic Citrus Marinade  

Written by Emily Kelley

(Note from Shannon:  I know you guys love Emily’s recipes and I do too.  Just thought I’d add that I had this last night and it was so very yummy!)

Whole Foods Market

Serves 4


4 salmon fillets

½ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup orange juice concentrate

¼ cup lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

½ cup olive oil


Whisk together balsamic vinegar, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl. Slowly add olive oil in a thin, steady stream while continuing to whisk.

Place salmon fillets in a dish and pour marinade over them. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove salmon from marinade, reserving marinade. Pour marinade into a small pot and boil to reduce by half.

Preheat grill. Place salmon fillets on hot grill. Grill for 4 minutes, flip fillets, baste with reduced marinade and grill 4-5 minutes longer, until salmon is cooked through.

Baste with remaining marinade and serve.