Blogging Challenge: My Answers to 10 Random Questions About Cancer

A summer blogging challengeIn this post, I’m taking up a summer blogging challenge posed by Nancy at Nancy’s Point to answer ten random questions about cancer that she has put together.

Nancy has shared her answers to the ten questions, and asked other bloggers and readers to join in and answer as many as they like.

So, here are my answers to Nancy’s ten random questions about cancer. Continue reading

Three Year Anniversary for After Twenty Years Cancer Research Blog

Celebrating 3 years of blogging about cancer research from the patient perspective.It really is hard to believe that it’s been over three years since I started this blog in the late summer of 2013.

I have learned so much in the process of reading and writing about developments in cancer research from the patient perspective. And it’s been wonderful to connect with so many readers and fellow bloggers.

I’ve been reflecting a bit on starting the blog, how it’s been going and what comes next, and I’d like to share some of those thoughts in this post.

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Advocating for Innovative Approaches to Ending Breast Cancer

View of U.S. Capitol building on a spring dayLast Tuesday, May 8, was a beautiful spring day in Washington, DC. I spent the day with many other advocates on Capitol Hill visiting our representatives in Congress to ask for their support on two important initiatives in the fight against breast cancer. One initiative is 2015 funding for the innovative Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. The other is a new initiative that would not involve any increase in research funding, but would leverage exiting resources and technologies to move us more quickly towards the ultimate goal of knowing how to end deaths from breast cancer.

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Reflections on Advocating for Change

shutterstock_110426753It’s still the first month of a new year and, while I don’t usually make resolutions, I find this a great time to reflect on what I’ve experienced and learned in the past year and my hopes and goals for the new year.

An important part of my life, especially since my second diagnosis of early stage breast cancer in 2005, has been what I do as an advocate.

In the breast cancer world, an advocate is often referred to as a “patient advocate” or a “consumer advocate”. ¬†Neither of these terms, though they do have their uses, has ever really felt quite right to me to describe what we do in the fullest sense.

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My Breast Cancer Story

A breast cancer diagnosis at age 35 would affect the course of my life's journey for quite some time.Nothing could have prepared me for the shock of hearing, at age 35, that I had breast cancer.

One day in the early summer of 1993, I noticed a lump in my right breast. I had two immediate but rather contradictory reactions: “this can’t be anything” and “this has to get checked out”.

I actually put the matter out of my mind until an already-scheduled routine doctor’s appointment about two weeks later, not being willing to even process the notion that there could really be a problem. But that appointment was to change the course of my life’s journey for quite some time.

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