I HAVE A SECRET ...
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
AND, I've been in hiding with my secret since May 4, 2017. How is it possible that I even remember the exact date?? Well, it goes something like this ... Technically, it started in September of 2014. I received an email from someone asking me about chemobrain and my ongoing challenges. We went back and forth in a series of emails and then, I dropped the ball. Shocking? Not so much given all of the circumstances ... Fast forward two and a half years ... April 2017 ... Another email from the same person. It was in the midst of AACR 2017 followed immediately by a date at USC to do some ..read more
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It's Time #ToPreventBreastCancer
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
As my mom begins a new treatment protocol for metastatic breast cancer, I've frequently shared that I understand the need for research across the entire spectrum. Having "skin in the game" across a trajectory that spans from prevention of death, to prevention of progression, to prevention of metastatic disease in early stage patients and extending to prevention of breast cancer in its entirety, I've agreed to play a role as a judge with the Californial Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) in their bold initiative to prevent breast cancer. Please visit topreventbreastcancer.org to lea ..read more
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Focusing Forward and Breaking Free of the Past
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
Every year, or maybe it's almost every year, I share the same post on this day but the times they are a'changin ... September 19, 2006. That was the day my body was forever altered, the day of my bilateral mastectomy. And this year, I am thinking about the ways in which my life changed as a direct result of a cancer diagnosis, the decisions that would come in the weeks and months after that first suspicious finding on my routine annual mammography, and the time after active treatment when I began to pick up the pieces and found myself first here, pouring out my heart and ..read more
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CLINICAL TRIALS: Should you, Could you, Will you?
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
May. National Cancer Research Month and having somehow morphed into a research geek, deeply passionate about the need to educate, to share what I've learned, and hopefully to dispel some of the things I hear, let's dig in. First, a disclosure: This piece, presuming it is coherent and cohesive when complete, will be submitted to Clara Health's Patients Have Power Writing Contest. Yes, there will be prizes awarded and no, I don't expect to be the recipient of one of them. However, I am *All In* with any initiative by any organization designed to shine a light on the need to help all of us unde ..read more
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Musings: On Life, Acceptance, Research and Being Enough
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." The thing is, I've not had a single moment over these past couple of years where I've had the luxury of making any plans. It seems my life is being planned by others ... by the poor judgement and yes, at times vindictiveness of some, forcing me to live in a place of reacting, responding; by the needs of loved ones that require my attention and/or involvement, something that I do without a scintilla of hesitation and with my whole heart because it's who I am and I know if the tables were turned, I would be falling into their arms for ..read more
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It's Just a Pain in the Neck, With a Side of PTS Terror
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
Once betrayed by our bodies like many of us feel after being diagnosed with cancer, every new ache can bring with it a level of fear. Some of us are better at dealing with that fear than others. I'm not in the better category. Last April, I moved into my new home, my ocean oasis. That was the fourth move I'd made in 16 months. I guess I never learned those lessons about using one's legs to lift heavy things. Coupled with the fact that I'm on the petite side, measuring in at a mere 5 feet 2 inches, I really have no business doing heavy-lifting. Or dragging. Or pulling, pushing, shoving, forcin ..read more
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Help us build @CancerBase - MBC patients - We need YOU!
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
I just put the information below on Facebook. CancerBase, by patients and for patients, wants to make sure it is built using the real world needs OF PATIENTS. To best achieve this, the initial focus will be on the metastatic breast cancer community. We would like to speak directly with a small number patients. The purpose is not to identify specific information about anyone's individual disease. We are assessing needs. The calls will be private (in other words, it's not a group of patients - they will be one on one). My interest in this project is deeply embedded in my heart and soul. You se ..read more
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A New Year, A New Perspective
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
The next chapter begins. Or perhaps, it's the next book. Already, just 7 days into this year, I am surrounded by symbolism and I'm acutely aware of each of these things. I spent New Year's Eve with a dear friend. We raised a glass at midnight, just the two of us, watching from the warmth of her home, as those in Times Square braved what I believe I heard was the second coldest ever. At 6:45AM, I was rushing into the car, the temperature a ridiculously frigid six degrees. Six degrees of separation from the warm house to the warm car. And likely, six degrees or less of separation among those I ..read more
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Standing on Truth ... Fearlessly
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
As we approach the end of 2017, all I can say is that this has been a horrific year for me. I believe there are many within this circle who are nodding in agreement. My own struggles have extended well beyond the breast cancer arena. Lori's death in August devastated me in ways I can't even describe but I suspect no description is necessary, or would even scratch the surface. I still grab my phone to send her texts and realize there is no phone to text. Six weeks before Lori's death, someone else who was so very dear to me, a trusted friend and confidante who was guiding me through this mes ..read more
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Grief is Just Messy Love
CHEMOBRAIN.....In The Fog
by AnneMarie
8M ago
"Grief is just messy love." Last night, those words were spoken to me by someone I hold very dearly. Shortly before hearing that profoundly simple, yet oh so powerful statement, I nodded in agreement when another person, someone I love just as dearly stated that 2017 just sucked in the scheme of life. I concurred. I also inserted a four letter word, you know, the one that starts with an F and begs the purchase of just one vowel. Quite simply, I'm still grieving Lori's death and in so many ways, I'm near certain that I will live with this grief for the rest of my days. Lori and I had this thi ..read more
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