The Graduate

Wahoo, she did it!

Lovely daughter finished college and what an exciting day!  She graduated last weekend with her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in addictions study.  Now, if she can only find her dream job of working with troubled youth/young adults. . . .

Can you spot her in the crowd?

Hint:  she’s the shortest one and oh yeah, I see her now!

Better Half got tears in his eyes when he spotted her cap; I just yelled obscenely loud!

Couldn’t be prouder; that’s my girl!

Pink, Gold, and Silver Friends

You gotta have friends.

I really do have the best friends.   Look at all these pink friends in the 2011 Little Rock Race for the Cure; pink friends rock my world!

I’m grateful for my gold friends–eternally grateful.  I always individually refer to these gold friends as my best friend.  Sounds like a junior high girl, no? My gold friends are so special to me I call them lifers or lifetime friends.  There is nothing they could ever do to cease being a lifer to me.   They know who they are.  We can talk about anything, absolutely anything, and they are brutally honest with me, and me with them.  We also laugh like hyenas.  We can just look at each other and crack ourselves up.   Lord, I love those friends!

Now I am gathering more silver friends.  This past year I’ve become involved in more social activities and have met some amazing women who are becoming quite special to me.  I just spent a weekend with a group of silver friends at a knitting/quilting retreat.   My throat is still sore from laughing.  Pillow fight–need I say more?

I’m wondering if there is such a thing as bronze friends….

Make new friends, keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.

Cancer Coach App!

I wanna smartphone….

In the interest of public service, I’m providing the following press release (please feel free to pass it on!) regarding a new app: Cancer Coach!

GENOMIC HEALTH LAUNCHES SMARTPHONE APPLICATION TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO IMPORTANT TREATMENT INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED BREAST AND COLON CANCER PATIENTS

Cancer Coach App to help patients better understand their personalized treatment options and manage their cancer journey

REDWOOD CITY, CA – October 25, 2011 –Genomic Health, Inc., (Nasdaq: GHDX) today launched a smartphone application designed to help people who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer or colon cancer to better access and manage information important for their personalized treatment plan. The application was developed in partnership with Breastcancer.org and Fight Colorectal Cancer, creating a natural extension of the original My Breast Cancer Coach and My Colon Cancer Coach online tools to empower patients to make better informed decisions about their treatment based on accurate, accessible and personalized medical information about their cancer.

The application, called the Cancer Coach, features a calendar to mark medical appointments, important questions for the doctor, audio notepad function that records additional questions and responses, glossary, and a journal to keep track of key information shared during physician visits throughout diagnosis and treatment.

“More and more women are seeking information about breast cancer, not just online, but using their mobile devices. The Cancer Coach app fulfills this need for reliable resources on-the-go as patients and their personal support networks navigate a new diagnosis,” said Hope Wohl, CEO of Breastcancer.org. “Our partnership with Genomic Health on My Breast Cancer Coach and the Cancer Coach app supports our mission to help breast cancer patients and their loved ones make sense of complex medical information so they can make the most informed decisions.”

The Cancer Coach app walks patients through a simple questionnaire with audio guidance for breast cancer by Lillie Shockney, RN, Administrative Director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center and for colon cancer by Richard M. Goldberg, MD, Professor and Physician-in-Chief of the James Cancer Hospital and Associate Director of the James Cancer Center at the Ohio State University. Based on a patient’s responses, the Cancer Coach creates a customized treatment information guide that can be shared with their physician as they discuss treatment options. The Cancer Coach app is available on Apple iTunes and in the Android Market and features additional resources for breast and colon cancer, as well as a RSS news feed unique to newly diagnosed breast cancer or colon cancer patients.

“We believe that as the biology of cancer becomes better defined it is critical that every woman begin to take a more informed and active role in her treatment plan,” said Randy Scott, founder and executive chairman of the board, Genomic Health.  “The Cancer Coach app allows patients to store and access high quality personalized information right at their fingertips so that it is readily available as they decide with their healthcare team how best to proceed with treatment.”

Carlea Bauman, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer, believes colon cancer patients and their caretakers will find the Cancer Coach app to be extremely helpful as they are able to take the resources of  My Colon Cancer Coach with them into the doctor’s office, and use the key features of a smart phone to help manage all the information shared during health care visits, “The app is an effective tool for patients to have in hand, especially when they meet with their doctor. It gives them information unique to their diagnosis that can really make a difference in the discussion about treatment,” she said.

The personalized treatment information guides provided by My Breast Cancer Coach and My Colon Cancer Coach online tools and the Cancer Coach app were developed in accordance with National Cancer Cooperative Network® (NCCN®) clinical treatment guidelines. [1]

The Cancer Coach app is available for iPhone® and for Android®. It can also be downloaded from My Breast Cancer Coach and My Colon Cancer Coach, or by visiting the Apple® store or Android Market on a mobile device and searching for “Cancer Coach.” [2]

About Genomic Health and the Oncotype DX® Tests

Genomic Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: GHDX) is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the global development and commercialization of genomic-based clinical laboratory services that analyze the underlying biology of cancer allowing physicians and patients to make individualized treatment decisions.

Its lead product, the Oncotype DX Breast Cancer test, has been shown to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit as well as recurrence in early-stage breast cancer to help optimize treatment options. Oncotype DX is the only test incorporated in published ASCO® and NCCN® breast cancer treatment guidelines for patients with node-negative breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor positive and/or progesterone-receptor positive. The test is also recognized in international guidelines issued by St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Expert Panel and European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Physicians also use the Oncotype DX Breast Cancer test to make treatment recommendations for certain node-positive breast cancer patients.

Oncotype DX has been extensively evaluated in thirteen clinical studies involving more than 4,000 breast cancer patients worldwide, including a large validation study published in The New England Journal of Medicine and a chemotherapy benefit study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 

The Oncotype DX Colon Cancer test is the first multigene expression test commercially available that has been clinically validated to predict risk of recurrence in patients with stage II colon cancer. Genomic Health collaborated with the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project and Cleveland Clinic on a total of four development studies in more than 1,800 to analyze patients with stage II colon cancer.  The final gene panel was then independently evaluated in more than 1,400 stage II colon cancer patients in the QUASAR validation study.

As of June 30, 2011, more than 10,000 physicians in over 60 countries had ordered more than 200,000 Oncotype DX breast and colon cancer tests.  Genomic Health has a robust pipeline focused on developing tests to optimize the treatment of prostate and renal cell cancers, as well as additional stages of breast and colon cancers.  The company is based in Redwood City, California with European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  For more information, please visit www.genomichealth.com.  To learn more about Oncotype DX tests, visit: www.oncotypedx.com and www.untileverywomanknows.com.

About Fight Colorectal Cancer 

Fight Colorectal Cancer demands a cure for colon and rectal cancer. We educate and support patients, push for changes in policy that will increase and improve research, and empower survivors to raise their voices against the status quo.

About Breastcancer.org

Breastcancer.org (http://www.breastcancer.org) offers comprehensive, easy to understand information about breast cancer, as well as online discussion boards and chat rooms in the “Community Knowledge” section of its Web site.

[1] NCCN, ASCO, and NCCN are registered trademarks of the National Cancer Cooperative Network (NCCN), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), respectively.  ASCO, NCCN and NCCN do not endorse any product or therapy.

[1] iPhone, Apple, and Android are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc., and Google, Inc., respectively.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the attributes and focus of the company’s product pipeline, the ability of the company to develop additional tests in the future, and the ability of any potential tests the company may develop to optimize cancer treatment. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the risks and uncertainties associated with the regulation of the company’s tests;  the results of clinical studies; the applicability of clinical study results to actual outcomes; our ability to develop and commercialize new tests; unanticipated costs or delays in research and development efforts; our ability to obtain capital when needed and the other risks set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company’s Quarterly  Report  on Form 10-Q  for the period ended June 30, 2011. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Genomic Health disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Great Mammories….

Knit-A-Tit rocked!

Saturday was perfect.  Not only a perfect, sunny day; but perfect friends, perfect fiber, perfect support.   I would knit tits every Saturday with this amazing group of knitters and supporters.  There were men, women, and children coming and going all day!  I want to say THANKS again to all the wonderful, generous, supportive yarn or fiber spinners, dyers,  purveyors, crafters of all things lovely who generously donated awesome yarn, fiber, door prizes, patterns, etc., all in the name of breast cancer.  Lisa Ellison, owner of One City Market and hostess of Knit-A-Tit, is an amazing person, and I implore you to visit her amazing shop in the Ozarks–you won’t be disappointed!  Just plan on spending several hours there. . . .   Please show these wonderful supporters (listed in no particular order) some love when you purchase fiber:

South West Trading Company
Westminster Fibers
Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Cotton Clouds, Inc.
Dream in Color Yarn, Inc.

Mountain Colors

Webs
Ozark Handspun
Crystal Palace Yarns
Namaste Farms Wool and Fiber
Handwerks Textiles
Berroco
KnitPicks
Vintage Knits Wool Shoppe
Knit One Crochet Too
Brown Sheep Company
Stephanie Land (StephL on Ravelry)
Imperial Stock-Ranch Yarn
Wild Wind Naturals
Leisure Arts
Lydia Gessele (DakotaRose on Ravelry)
Miss Babs
Fairy Yarnmother
Wellesse (Vit. D)

Thanks everyone for the Knit-A-Tit love!

I Love Komen’s Pink Ribbons

My Name is Lisa—I ♥ Pink.

I’ve “met” a lot of awesome breast cancer survivors/bloggers since I started my blog.  The thing that’s so neat is that while we may not agree with the other’s point of view, we respect the person.  That just doesn’t happen in the real world, unfortunately.  Some of my favorite bloggers have pink-aversion.  I try to understand it, really I do, but I still ♥ Komen and pink breast cancer ribbons.

I’d like to present snippets of my fellow bloggers’ thoughts regarding “pink” because what they have to say needs to be heard.   I encourage you to read their entire posts so you have a full understanding of their opinions, because I’m only posting some parts pertaining to “pink.”  I  get what they are saying, but I can’t diss the pink, which I’ll explain below.

Stacey, Bringing Up GoliathMy brother asked if I’m anti-pink.  Not exactly.  Like so many these days, I’m against what “pink” has come to represent. The happy-go-lucky, early stage, still having fun, never sick, all is right in the world, let’s get coffee with perfect hair and makeup, cancer survivor.  My skin prickles at this unrealistic vision created by major marketing machines.

***

The thing is, it hasn’t worked.  Thirty years, no cure and more questions than answers.  The promise most of us grew up with, has yet to come true.  We’re still being told we have breast cancer.

Nancy, Nancy’s PointRecently someone said to me, I’m paraphrasing here, you bloggers need to be careful not to alienate people about pink. Most people are just trying to do the right thing. Most people are just trying to do something.

I get that.

Whenever I write a post I always try to bear this in mind. It is never my intention to put anyone down for buying pink stuff, wearing pink ribbons, running in races or donating to their favorite charity. I think doing any or all of these things is wonderful. In fact, if truth be told, I still like pink.

But turning everything pink this month is just not good enough!

Katie, Uneasy PinkI know why we would rather look at people in cute pink boas and capes racing for a cure instead.  I understand it way down into my gut.

***

The question is… do we care enough about REAL awareness?

***

That’s why I won’t wear the pink shirt.  That’s why I know we’re not racing for a cure.  That’s why I wanted to spit on all the teenage boys wearing their FBI – Female Boobie Inspector shirts at this year’s race.

None of it has anything to do with reality.

That’s why pink has me down this year instead of angry.

I can’t say it eloquently enough; I know what I feel in my heart.  Have I been pink-washed?  I don’t know.  Honestly, I was clueless about breast cancer and Komen five years ago, and I’m not sure I’m that much more informed now.  I just know I can never tell Lovely Daughter that the pink she wears every single day in October doesn’t mean anything.  It does; it means that, God-willing, she understands how important self-awareness of her body is to her future health.  It means she loves me and is aware, and acknowledges, the pain I’ve gone through.   Do I care if she wears a shirt that says:  Save the Ta-Tas?  Absolutely, positively not.   (By the way, those are her hands above.)  Did (or do) I expect cure for cancer in my lifetime?  No.  Would it be awesome?  It would be unbelievable.  So would a cure for AIDS.  So would ending world-wide hunger.  Could I tell the men and women below that the Komen Rally tennis tournament last Sunday meant nothing?  It meant everything to me; their generosity humbles me.  The women who walk the Race for a Cure as a member of “Lisa’s Ladies”?  You should be so lucky to have those friends in your life.  Do I think the money raised goes toward research and research only?  No.  Without marketing, funds are not successfully raised and without money being raised research is hindered.  Don’t tell me pink isn’t “real awareness.”  You are giving it attention (e.g., awareness), are you not?

To be angry about pink is a waste of good energy!  Comments such as, “pepto-pink sea makes me turn my head and shut my eyes,” ” Pink is covering up the reality of the disease,” makes me sad.  Pink isn’t offensive to me; anger about millions of people just trying to help by wearing pink is what is offensive to me.

Maybe I just have pink-colored glasses on all the time.  Maybe I wear it just for me and my fellow sisters; I hope they don’t think I’m not into “real awareness.”  I just know that if coloring my hair pink and marching down the streets of Little Rock with 55,000 “friends” helps in even a teeny, tiny amount to not only find a cure for cancer, but develop better chemo drugs, or provide a wig or scarf, or just make one woman perform a self-exam, then I will wear my pink ribbons.

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