Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spank Me Barbie?

Just when you thought the world had gone entirely mad something else comes along to confirm your worst fears.

Barbie is now a dominatrix.

Gone is the dream house and innocent days with Ken by the heart shaped pool. They have been replaced by a leather body suit, fishnet tights, heavy make-up and a large dose of 'tude. Don't misunderstand, she still likes her pink, only this time she prefers it on her furry handcuffs instead of her corvette. Ken, be afraid, be very afraid.

Here is our gal's new look:

This has not gone unnoticed by moms across the country. This piece ran on KTLA

Marco Gonzalez
EL SEGUNDO -- Mattel's newest plastic creation, Black Canary Barbie, is raising a few eyebrows.

She's dressed in a biker jacket, black boots and fishnets. This Barbie, with heavy makeup and long blond hair, was modeled in the likeness of DC Comic Super Hero Black Canary.

Parents have expressed outrage at the doll's clothing, saying that it's way too provocative…even going so far as calling it S & M gear.

Mattel is defending Black Canary Barbie. The toy giant says that the doll is part of the DC Comic Collection Dolls that also include Bat Girl, Wonder Woman and Super Girl. Mattel adds that Black Canary Barbie was neither marketed towards kids nor intended to be played with. In fact, Mattel has age-graded Black Canary Barbie at 14+, which they say indicates that it is for the adult collector.

Several mothers, however, aren't buying it….neither the explanation nor the doll. Los Angeles resident and mom, Roberta Moran, said, "They want kids to grow up too fast, basically. When babies are little they should have babies that are soft and lovey." Mom Zully Gomez adds, "It doesn't look very appropriate for a Barbie. It looks like a stripper."

Black Canary Barbie will be hitting stores this September.
Copyright KTLA News

This prompted me to get out my own Barbie Carrying Case. I still have all my Barbies and her pals. Sindy the snazzy dresser who had the best outfits, and bless her heart, my mom was able to find brown haired Barbies for me because that long blonde hair made us curly hair brunettes feel left out.

Looking at the outfits and the innocence of my collection, I can only thank God I was brought up when I was. Life was simpler, girls could stay girls and not be forced to grow up too fast, and our imaginations were free to take us to kinder gentler places. Basically, we had a childhood.

Here is a trip down memory lane for all of you who grew up in the 60's and 70's...


And their carrying case, complete with hangers, wardrobe storage:

Monday, July 28, 2008


It is astounding the things I read about breast cancer. The ACS is still telling women to wait until they are 40 before they get a mammogram.... I really would like to introduce them to the thousands of women who were diagnosed under the age of 40. And today we have this little gem: Skip your self-exams. Are they trying to kill us? Please ignore any and all attempts to keep you from discovering your cancer at its earliest stages. This includes baseline mammos before the age of 35 and keep doing your monthly breast exams!

Here is the article in question:

July 26, 2008

For decades, doctors and advocacy groups have urged women to examine their breasts every month for unusual lumps.

Now many of those same experts have a different message: Never mind.

Earlier this month, Danish researchers published the latest report to cast doubt on the value of monthly exams. In studies of nearly 400,000 women, they found that even diligent self-examinations don't save lives. In fact, they may do more harm than good, by triggering a lot of unnecessary followup tests.

Over the last few years, cancer experts have quietly backed away from what was once considered a pivotal part of the fight against breast cancer.

"I don't think that we're pushing it as much as say, 10 years ago, when you used to ask every patient 'are you doing it?'" said Dr. Andrea Flom, head of the Minnesota chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

It's an open secret that many women don't do self exams correctly -- or at all.

That was evident in interviews with more than half a dozen women in downtown Minneapolis last week. None said they did the exams regularly, though all but one thought they were still recommended.

"It's like flossing your teeth: you know you should do it, but ..." said Sheryl O'Connor, 53, of Minneapolis. Now, she said, it's a relief to know that exams are fading in importance. "Perfect, one less thing for me to feel guilty about."

Diana Wengler, who was visiting from Houston with two teenage daughters, said she had no idea that the advice had changed. "It surprises me," she said, adding that she's heard the mantra about the importance of monthly exams "forever."

In fact, the American Cancer Society stopped recommending breast self-exams five years ago and now calls them "optional." Some clinics have stopped circulating brochures on how to do them. Even the Susan G. Komen organization, best known for its Race for the Cure, decided last year to drop the recommendation.

Slow to change

"It has been a bit of a culture change within the organization," admits Dr. Eric Winer, Komen's chief scientific adviser, who is also director of breast oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. In spite of the policy change, Komen has yet to remove the advice from its website, which still recommends monthly self-exams. "Let's just say the Web site is evolving," Winer said.

For years, it was believed that self-exams could find breast cancer in its earliest stages, when it's most treatable.

But doubts have been growing since 2002, when a huge study in China found that women who checked their breasts monthly were no less likely to die of breast cancer than other women, in spite of intense coaching in how to do the exams properly.

This month, scientists took a fresh look at the growing body of evidence, including a huge group in Russia. Once again, they found no sign that self exams cut the death rate. Instead, the women who examined their own breasts found more harmless lumps and had twice as many unnecessary biopsies as other women, according to a July 15 report published by the Cochrane Library. The conclusion: Self-exams "cannot be recommended."

'Absurd and outrageous'

Some are appalled. "It is simply absurd and outrageous to suggest women should not examine their breasts because it will do more harm than good," wrote Dr. Marie Savard, author of "How to Save Your Own Life," on the ABC News website last week. "After reading this report, some may conclude it is better that women remain in the dark about their bodies and rely only on technology. ... Ridiculous."

But more and more, doctors are walking a fine line.

"In general, what we say at Piper is that we recommend it as just one more way to find an early breast cancer, but it has shown to be the least important way," said Dr. Beverly Trombley, a radiologist who specializes in breast imaging at Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Piper Breast Center. Mammograms, she said, are "by far the most important."

One reason for the change of heart is technological.

"You used to find breast cancer by feel, and the technology changed," said Trombley. "We're finding fewer of them by feel and much more of them by imaging."

Along with mammograms, experts now emphasize what they call "breast health awareness." Essentially, that means being aware of changes in the breast, without necessarily going on a monthly scavenger hunt. If a woman finds something amiss, say, during a routine shower, he said, she should notify her doctor and check it. He notes that many women have found lumps that way, rather than through formal self-exams.

Flom, a Twin Cities obstetrician, admits that doctors may be sending mixed messages. "You sort of get this ambivalence," she said. "I'm not going to tell a patient who does [self exams] every month 'you need to stop doing that'. I'm not. But if I have somebody who never checks their breasts, I'm not going to tell them 'you need to start tomorrow.'"

Maura Lerner • 612-673-7384

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Turns Out, You're Nothing Special After All

The National Enquirer first broke the news. Then the LA Times confirmed a key portion of their report. The LA Sheriff's Department is investigating the altercation that occurred between the Enquirer's reporters and the Beverly Hilton's security staff. This morning, Fox News confirmed all of it. In a nutshell: it happened.

Dear John Edwards,

I wish I could say I was surprised. But I am not. You see, I have been in Cancerland for seven years now and I have known many women who have done everything in their power to put their family ahead of their own suffering just so they could keep things on an even keel at home. They were more concerned with how their husbands would handle the news of their cancer then they were for themselves.

They worried and fretted that it would upset their husbands. They tried to be Superwomen and get through their treatments and not complain because they did not want their lives to change at all or disturb the family dynamics.

They lost their hair and maybe their breasts, the chemotherapy made them gain weight, they tried to keep up with their healthy husbands even though their joints were screaming in pain from the medicine. They were tired but they kept their schedules packed because their husbands shouldn't have to miss out on anything that they used to do. They also thought, because that is what they were led to believe, that their husbands would be with them through sickness and in health... for better or worse. They also knew that if the tables were turned, and it was their husband who was stricken with a life threatening disease, they would be right by his side, for better or worse, for the duration.

Thank you for showing the world what really happens. Of all the women I am privileged to call "sister," if I were to take a poll, seven out of ten would say their marriage was affected negatively by their cancer diagnosis. Some are told they should not think about cancer all the time; others are told they aren't the same as they used to be; others are told they are no longer attractive; others find out their husbands have cheated on them.

From the man who refused to take his wife to the hospital when she had to have emergency heart surgery because the port-a-cath implanted in her chest to deliver the chemotherapy broke and became lodged in her heart; to the woman who went to her husband's gym to join herself so she could work off the chemo weight and when she asked if she could get on the family membership plan was told that he had joined as a single because his wife was already dead; to the woman whose husband forgot to log out of his account on the family computer and found pornographic images of young girls the same age as their daughter; to all the women who have found their husbands had replaced them with someone else.

You are nothing special, John Edwards. You have shown that you are an ordinary, run of the mill snake. You, the man who ran for president, implying that you were somehow above the norm have just proven that you are not exceptional, not moral, not honest, and a horrible example of how a man should honor his marriage vows.

When Elizabeth's cancer returned, she thought only of you. She put your dreams ahead of her survival. She pulled herself out of the terror and pain of finding out she was now Stage iv to put you in the spotlight. She campaigned all over the country for you while receiving her chemotherapy to try to slow down the disease that would eventually take her life. She always looked great. She made sure the kids were OK. And she was your biggest fan and staunchest supporter.

And what were you doing? How did you honor Elizabeth? You cheated on her. You had a child with someone else. You put yourself before her and your family.

This past weekend, according to reports, you arranged a liaison with your mistress. You thought you wouldn't get caught and to you, that is the tragedy here, correct? If you weren't caught and no one knew, then who did it hurt? Isn't that the married man's mantra?

Scurrying around in hotel hallways and then hiding in the men's room as reporters exposed you, pushing the door closed so they couldn't open it and skulking out under the dark of night, is not very presidential, is it John? It also isn't what makes a man a mensch.

Elizabeth may have breast cancer that has spread to her bones and other places. But you are the one with the fatal disease. Your career is over. Your Tom Sawyer Eagle Scout persona has been stripped off you and you are now just another pol who can't keep his pants up. You are no gentleman. You are one of "them" - the men who cat around behind their wife's back because cancer has altered her a little.

With an ego as big as yours, the worst punishment for you is happening right now. The entire world is seeing what an ordinary, debaucherous, lying, unfaithful, heartless, empty shell of a man you really are. Underneath your $400 haircut is a dime a dozen cheating political hack.

Elizabeth has a lot of life left in her and she is fighting for every minute of it. You are the one who has just seen the final inning of being the star and you will now slither into oblivion.

Dear Elizabeth,

Hang tough. You are beautiful, smart and a wonderful woman. I will close with the words of Ivana Trump:
"Don't get even. Get Everything."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hello Newbies!

If you are about to start chemo and are nervous, I am hoping that my latest article in the July/August issue of Mamm will help.
I highly recommend that you check out this magazine on a regular basis- it is a Godsend.

Click here:
My Friend, Chemo

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow, An Inspiration

Former White House Press Secretary and television personality died from metastatic colon cancer at 2 AM today. He was different. In every way, he had something about him that was otherworldly. This became evident when his cancer returned.

When asked about his condition he focused on the positive and made sure the person asking the question felt comfortable and not afraid about his condition.

He lost his mother to the same disease when he was just 17 years old. Perhaps that is where he was able to find the inner calm that comes with knowing the full circle of this disease called cancer.

Cancer. We use many euphemisms for it. We “battle” it. We “valiantly fight it.” And for some reason, when we die because of it, everyone says the same thing: “He lost his battle against cancer.” Nobody loses their battle. Cancer never wins. We may die, but when we die we are released from cancer’s grasp and move on to an eternity of peace and wholeness and we are well once again. I prefer to think that cancer loses a competitor. By gracefully leaving the arena, cancer cannot touch our souls, so it loses.

I have been going through some research on Tony Snow and his philosophy about cancer and life and how much we need to live each day, every moment we have on this earth.

His words are far better than mine could ever hope to be.

Only someone who has been through cancer treatment can understand this one:

“The art of being sick is not the same as the art of getting well."

When you decide how you want to live your life, this philosophy surely helps:

Our virtues also help us shove aside adversity and create something glorious and new from the ashes of hardship and tragedy.”

And this is one of my favorites. If only there was a way to help the newly diagnosed know that this is so very true:

“The secret of learning to be sick is this: Illness doesn't make you less of what you were. You are still you.”

Out of the ashes....
“In many cases, a bout with sickness stretches your soul, opens your eyes, and introduces you to a world of unimagined grandeur, possibility and joy.”

And, in closing, these beautiful sentiments spoken at a college graduation just last year:

"To love is to place others before you and to make their needs your priority. Do it. When you put somebody else at the center of the frame, your entire world changes, and for the better. You begin to find your own place in the world. When you're drawn into the lives of others, you enter their problems, their hopes, their dreams, their families. They whisk you down unimagined corridors, toward possibilities that had been hidden to you before. So resolve to do little things for others. You don't know where they're going to lead but then again, you don't have any idea where your life is going to lead.

And that if you engage them with heart and mind, with faith and energy, you are going to find yourself on a cresting wave. It'll carry you forward and it'll push you under water from time to time. And some day in the dim and distant future, when you're looking back at it, you're not going to think about your car or your career or your gold watch. You'll think about a chewed-up teddy bear you had as a baby or maybe your child's smile on a special Christmas morning. The only things that are sure to endure are the artifacts of love. So go out and build as many as you can.

And finally this: Wherever you are and whatever you do, never forget at this moment, and every moment forward, you have a precious blessing. You've got the breath of life. No matter how lousy things may seem, you've got the breath of life. And while God doesn't promise tomorrow, he does promise eternity."

God bless you, Tony Snow. You were a shining light of optimism and hope to anyone who has ever faced a serious, life threatening disease. Your smile and bravery gave courage that revealed the promise of hope.

Cancer did not win. Heaven did.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

In Celebration of Independence Day

Written by John Adams, July 2, 1776

" The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."

John Adams was born, October 30, 1735
He died at 6PM July 4th, 1826

Written by Thomas Jefferson, to be read in Washington, DC on July 4, 1826:

"May (July 4) be to the world, what I believe it will be -- to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all -- the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form (of government) which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."

Thomas Jefferson was born April 13, 1735
He died at 1PM, July 4th, 1826

Both men were born the same year, fought for this nation's independence, became president of the United States and died, within hours of each other in 1826 on the fourth of July.