Wednesday, December 31, 2014


As we say so long to 2014, here is my wish for us all in 2015:

May you have...
  • The strength to say NO to the things you don't want to do
  • The confidence to say YES to the things that you do
  • The wisdom to know when it's just the fear talking...

Monday, December 8, 2014


(Copyright 2014 TheBigCandMe)
Four years ago today, December 8th, 2010, cancer called my house. (Actually, Dr. S. called; he gave me the news here.) 

Fast forward two years, and in an attempt to put a Six-Word Memoir face on the beast that is breast cancer, I wrote these six words on this blog: "Cancer called. Wish I hadn't answered." 

Do I still stand by those words? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


We are smack dab in the middle of Pinktober. Hmmm.

created a couple of Six-Word Memoir memes a while back, and thought I'd share them now. Feel free to reuse them and repost them!

To learn more about "Pinktober," please read any (or all) of the following posts from some of my favorite blogging sisters...

Monday, September 29, 2014


In two days, the first day of "Pinktober" will have arrived. Again.

Rather than rehash my feelings about the pinkification of breast cancer (read that October 1, 2011 post here), let's act with love and make history together by signing up for the HOW (Health of Women) study...

Monday, August 18, 2014


You've seen the videos all over Facebook and other social media: People participating in The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). A vast array of my Facebook friends participated, too. 

A few have mentioned making a monetary donation. Fewer still have made an attempt to educate people about ALS in their videos. Most only mention money as a penalty. Most opt for the ice water dousing, though some also donate dollars and get doused. 

It took some time for me to figure out why I felt so uncomfortable when viewing these videos. Then it hit me: This challenge isn't really about ALS at all...

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Below is something I wrote two years ago. (My writing mojo seems to have taken some kind of summer sabbatical, so I'm dusting off a popular post and revisiting it.) The topic? Blog Envy. 

Prior to May 2012, when this post first ran, I had never even heard of such a thing. Urban Dictionary describes blog envy as "the jealousy you feel when you see another blog getting recognition in the mainstream press" and "the jealousy you feel when you realize your friend's blog is more popular than yours." 


And that's how my morning started off May 11, 2012...

Saturday, May 24, 2014


(Copyright 2014 Green Monkey Tales)
You may remember my blogging buddy, Shannon, a la Green Monkey Tales fame; we bonded over our breast cancer, our bilateral mastectomies, our subsequent surgeries and our complications.

One year ago, she was diagnosed with rectal cancer...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Thank you to my blogging buddy extraordinaire Jan Hasak for asking me to participate in a world-wide "Blog Tour" that asks four simple questions to reveal the essence of why and how we write. I am honored to participate from Southern California.

It's fascinating to see how each blogger answers the same four questions. Read what Jan has to say about her writing process on her insightful blog, Mourning Has Broken

Besides answering the queries, the best part of the Blog Tour is that each participant gets to pick two bloggers to continue the Tour! (To find out who I am passing my Blog Tour baton to, keep reading.)

Here are my answers to the four Blog Tour questions...

Monday, March 31, 2014


The Rubies are back! Diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other, we were a string of strangers that met via We jelled like a good marmalade, forming a cohesive support system for each other that saved our collective sanity. We grew close, as real besties do, and I have since dubbed them The Rubies (read more about them here). 

As you can imagine, each Ruby has her own unique breast cancer story to tell, and I want to give each Ruby space to share her story on my blog. My first guest blogger was the marvelous Melanie, our youngest Ruby. (You can read Melanie's story here.)

Today I am introducing you to my second guest blogger, SueYou'll soon see why Sue wears the "inspiring" crown in our group for making the most changes since her diagnosis. Sue is a military spouse who took stock of her personal circumstances, pushed through her limitations and pursued her dreams in the face of breast cancer. I'll let her tell you how she did it. So without further ado, here's Sue!

"One thing that being a military spouse has taught me is to take control when I can, and give up the desire to control when I have no other choice. We learn to just deal with it, uncomplaining, silently carrying on. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I sucked it up and decided to just deal with it like I did everything else. No one told me that was impossible. You don’t just deal with cancer...

Monday, March 24, 2014


I came across a blog post that feels worthy of a repost

Originally written as a letter to my 16-year-old self, these tips apply to folks of all ages — not just to teens. After all, we're never as young as we are right now, right?

I've renamed them RENN'S TOP 10 TIPS FOR A HAPPY LIFE. Sit down, grab a cup o' coffee, and...

Friday, February 28, 2014


My first blog logo, circa April 2011
It's been nearly three years since my first blog post hit cyberspace. It was April 2011, and I was in the thick of my frustration, anger and sadness following a breast cancer diagnosis. If I didn't write down what I was feeling, I thought my head would explode. Blogging became a natural way for me to process my cancer "situation."

I wasn't always aware of what I was dealing with; enlightenment often came after I hit the "publish" button. Writing is weird that way...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


© Emma Keller
Once there was a writer named Emma Keller who posted a very disruptive article last week on The Guardian  website about a highly regarded breast cancer blogger named Lisa Bonchek Adams. (I have written about Lisa many times on this blog.)

The article in question has since been retracted by The Guardian "pending investigation" — but you can find it here! (Oh, the wonders of the internet, where nothing ever really disappears…)

Continuing on...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


2013? That was so yesterday

It was a year in which I wrote 30 fewer blog posts than I did in 2012. The year I forgot my diagnosis anniversary. The year I started focusing on other stuff. Stuff I haven't felt a need to write about. And that, my peeps, is progress. (For me.) 

I did review the 50 posts I managed to pen in 2013, and found a few snippets to highlight here...