View from hike at the Grand Canyon.

Summer 2019 Blogging Challenge

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I’m delighted to participate in the 2019 Summer Blogging Challenge offered by my friend and fellow blogger, Nancy, at Nancy’s Point.

The challenge involves answering a series of random questions about ourselves and blogging.

In addition, as Nancy explains, this year’s challenge is a “blog hop” which means that it’s a chance for all who participate to “hop around” to other blogs and discover some new writers and maybe some new friends as well.

So, let’s get right to it. Here are the 14 random questions that Nancy has posed along with my responses.

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 its “mission”, a challenge you have faced or are facing now, or whatever you want.

I was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer a little over 26 years ago. I was only 35 years old at the time. There was no history of breast cancer in my family and the diagnosis was truly a shock “out of the blue.” After a second diagnosis of early stage breast cancer 12 years later, I got involved in breast cancer advocacy. I try to keep up with major developments in cancer research, and started this blog to share what I’m learning. I believe that being better informed helps us to be better advocates in our health care, for ourselves and for those we care about.

2. Have you ever participated in a blog hop before?

No, and I wasn’t sure what a blog hop was to be honest, but it sounds like a great idea for getting to know other bloggers.

3. What’s your favorite sort of blog post to write and/or read – personal story, informational, how to, controversial, political, opinion, or other?

I enjoy both writing and reading informational blog posts.

4. Describe yourself in three words. Yes, just three!

Adventurous, optimistic, persistent.

5. Name three of your favorite books from your youth (whatever age that means to you) that had an impact on you.

Children of the Covered Wagon by Mary Jane Carr, The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

6. What are you reading right now or what’s on your to-read list for when you have time?

My favorite genres are historical fiction and biography. I just finished reading Circe by Madeline Miller. I’m looking forward to reading First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas.

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

I would have to say homemade apple pie with ice cream.

8. Tell us about a special pet you have, had or would like to have.

Our special pet is Rocco, a 12-year old Labrador retriever mix, who is very goofy and loves long rides in the car and exploring new walking or hiking trails. Chasing a variety of animals, from squirrels and rabbits to the deer that graze in our neighborhood is also high on his list of fun things to do!

9. What’s something people don’t know about you and might be surprised to learn?

I’ve lived in major metropolitan areas my whole life (Washington, D.C. and New York City), but am now happily adjusting to living in a semi-rural area near a small city (Charlottesville, Virginia).

10. Do you believe healthcare is a privilege or a right?

It is a right. I believe everyone should have access to quality, affordable health care.

11. What’s your favorite thing about blogging and/or reading blogs?

Making connections and sharing perspectives with readers and other bloggers.

12. What’s something you really suck at?


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

Playing piano.

14. How do you escape from cancer (or life in general) worries?

The best escape for me is doing anything physical, such as walking, working out at the gym or playing golf. When I get the chance to travel, I love active vacations, particularly hiking in the southwestern United States. The photo above is from a hike a while back at one of my very favorite places, the Grand Canyon.

So that’s it for me! I enjoyed answering the questions. Please feel free to share you own answer to any question you’d like, or just a quick comment, below. Also be sure to hop over and see Nancy’s post with her answers as well as links to posts by the other bloggers who are participating in this challenge!

Related Posts
Summer 2020 Blogging Challenge
Blogging Challenge: My Answers to 10 Random Questions About Cancer
Three Year Anniversary for After Twenty Years Cancer Research Blog
Blogging Challenge: 15 Random Facts About Me

Photo by Lisa DeFerrari


    1. Abigail, it’s been fun to take a break from some of the serious stuff we write about to do a lighter post and have a chance to meet some new bloggers. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone has written. Love and light to you too!

  1. Interesting and thanks for sharing. I am a blogger based in England, and started because post-cancer care here can be hit-and-miss. Multiple side-effects hit me, and I got indignant at the way doctors tried to tell me these were age-related and nothing I could do about Osteoporosis, Neuropathy, etc.. I discovered US cancer websites (thank you Dana Faber, ASCO, MD Anderson etc) and learnt what could be done. So I started my blog to tell others don’t be bullied, but learn what we can do and demand this! I have a naughty sense of humour, so any funny posts get me!

    1. Hi! Thank you for sharing about your experience with post-cancer care and how that led to starting your blog. I’m glad you found some helpful resources for dealing with these significant side effects. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog – it sounds like a valuable resource as well!

  2. Hi Lisa – nice to “meet” you. Like you, I’ve lived in big cities all my life (Birmingham and London, in the UK) – I love the idea of living in a smaller town, but I’m not sure how I would fare without the things I take for granted!

    1. Hi Julia. I hear you-there are some things about big city life that I do miss. But in recent years I’ve found myself wanting to spend more time outdoors. I don’t get to museums etc. as much as I used to. Also, there is a major university here which is very engaged with the community and there are lots of cultural activities such as music, drama and film festivals. Thanks for commenting and it’s great to meet you too!

  3. Hi Lisa,

    I’m so glad you decided to participate in my blog hop. I didn’t know what they were until fairly recently either. It’s been sort of an experiment, but I think it’s gone reasonably well. I enjoyed reading your responses.

    I’m wondering how you like living in a semi-rural setting. Must be quite an adjustment. Your Rocco sounds like a sweetheart. Guess he’s getting up there in age, too, just like our Sophie. I’m not good at singing either. Unfortunately, I’m not good at playing the piano either, though I do love playing it whenever I take time to sit down and do it. Love the Grand Canyon too. Will hopefully get back there some day.

    Keep doing your amazing advocacy. Always look forward to your posts. Thank you for participating, Lisa. Happy blog hopping!

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Living in a rural setting is definitely an adjustment for me, but I was ready for the move and I love the area! Also, we are only 15 minutes from downtown Charlottesville, where there is lots to do. And if I really miss the big city, D.C. is less than 3 hours away. On the other hand, there are some things you definitely don’t see in the city – there have been bear sightings around the area and a neighbor saw one in her backyard just the other day. I’m not sure how I would react to a bear in my backyard!

      Rocco is getting up there in age and he’s slowed down from his younger days for sure. But he still has good energy and is doing great.

      Thanks again for hosting the blog hop. It seems like everyone who’s participating is enjoying it, and it really is a great way for us bloggers to get to know each other a little better!

  4. Thanks for taking part in this blog challenge. I love to see how many bloggers pets are dogs or cats and what they do to relax . Great photo of the Grand Canyon. Hope to visit one day.

    1. Hi Dee,
      I enjoyed participating. Nancy came up with a great set of questions to bring out some of our interests and fun things to know about each other. Do try to get to the Grand Canyon if you can – it’s a very special place!

  5. Hi Lisa, It’s nice to learn more about you. I’m always impressed by your advocacy and your knowledge of the science behind breast cancer research when I see your posts on FB or twitter. I live near NYC so am in the city a lot, didn’t realize you had lived in cities most of your life.

    1. Hi Claudia,
      Thank you for the compliment. I don’t really feel like I know that much but I’m glad to hear that my posts sound intelligible! I lived in NYC for two years when I was in grad school. I remember loving the energy of the city–there is nothing like it–but also being glad sometimes to get away and decompress.

  6. It was a pleasure reading your responses to Nancy’s questions. And I was inspired both by how you have handled cancer through the years as well as your involvement in advocacy and research.

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