Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Every Dog Has Its Day

John Edwards update...

or News from the Cry Me River file



August 26th 2008, 8:41 AM

DENVER - John Edwards is burning up the phone lines, begging former aides and backers to forgive him for lying about his affair - but hearing their rage instead.

As Democrats kick off their convention Monday, the onetime presidential contender is a man without a party - or a political future - trying to rebuild bridges through dozens of remorseful phone calls.

It's proving a hard sell with onetime true believers.
Many are bitter and disillusioned after swallowing his lies about his affair with a campaign staffer and vouching for his credibility with friends and journalists.

Some ignore his plaintive phone entreaties and don't call back - even when Edwards leaves follow-up messages. A few return his calls - and give him a piece of their angry minds.

When Edwards reached one longtime confidant asking for advice, he was cut off with a terse: "I don't want you to call me again."

The conversation ended abruptly.

"I let you down, and I'm sorry," is a common refrain of these messages, said another top ex-assistant on the receiving end of one of the calls.

"It was kind of pathetic, to tell you the truth," said the ex-aide, who said he didn't return the call and doesn't expect to speak to his former boss again.

For months, the former North Carolina senator and John Kerry's 2004 running mate vigorously denied National Enquirer reports of an affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, who since gave birth to a child.

On Aug. 8, Edwards admitted the 2006 affair with Hunter in an ABC interview - when his wife Elizabeth's cancer was in remission - but insisted he isn't the father of her son.

One source who compared notes with other former colleagues said Edwards makes no attempt to justify or rationalize his behavior in these desperate phone conversations. He simply expresses his regret for deceiving them and asks for their understanding and forgiveness.

Many think he's still not telling the truth.

"As painful as it will be for him, he needs to come clean," one of them said. "There's an overwhelming view that he's still lying."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Radical, Drastic," No, Smart.

The news coverage of Christina Applegate's choice to have a bilateral mastectomy is rocking the newsrooms across the country. You would think she was the first person who ever made such a choice.

Last night on my local news channel they reported on her "radical" and "drastic" decision. Then they interviewed a woman who was in her mid-sixties who was also someone who had made this "extreme" choice. She too was saying it was a groundbreaking decision.

Just like no two cancers are the same, no two decisions are the same. The woman in the interview was a grandmother and happily ensconced in her home with a loving husband. Christina is single and in the media spotlight with no children. Hardly the perfect match to interview thinking the perspective would be the same between the two women.

I wish they had interviewed someone young and single. Hell, I wish they had interviewed me.
I would have said that her decision wasn't radical or drastic, it was smart. She has her whole life ahead of her and she wants to live it to the fullest. I also would have said it is a very hard thing to do, but you can make the absolute best of it. I am driving my poor plastic surgeon crazy because I want to look perfect. And we are getting there. By the time he is all done, I will look better than I did before all this happened. Yes, there are scars, but they fade. I am also working out five times a week because I want the rest of my body to look as good as my new additions will.

I am single. I want to look good for me so I can feel confident on a date. I can't have children anymore because of cancer, but Christina can, according to media reports, and she should. She should plan for a future of love and beauty and a new start on life.

When I woke up from my bilateral I felt clean. I felt free. I felt so lucky that the cancer was removed.

I pray that Christina never has to battle the Beast again. I am glad she doesn't have to do chemo or radiation.

She isn't a freak. She is a smart, beautiful woman who is being proactive in saving her own life.
That isn't drastic or radical - it is common sense.

The media should leave her alone and let her heal. Just wait until her recon is done. She is going to be the best looking woman on the red carpet.

You go girl!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Christina Applegate, Thank You

Young, pretty and talented Christina Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is 36 years old. Her mother is a survivor and because of that she got early baseline mammograms. Regular readers of this blog and our No Surrender site know what strong advocates we are of early baselines.

Her cancer was discovered early because of an early mammogram and confirmed because she had a breast MRI. If only every woman could do this. Many breast cancers are missed by mammo and ultrasound. Most often, a doctor will see "an area of concern" on a mammo and say those fateful words, "we will wait and watch it...come back in six months." The advise that cost me an early diagnosis and lead to my second cancer spreading to four of my lymph nodes.

There is no such thing as watching and waiting... you are watching and waiting for your cancer to grow large enough to be detected by the less sophisticated diagnostic equipment of mammography or sonogram. But an MRI can pick up cells before they can become invasive tumors.

Christina, after watching your interview on Good Morning America, you quite possibly could have saved many lives because young women will see how vital it is to be screened. I was diagnosed in my thirties... I have many friends who were also diagnosed in their thirties and twenties too. Young women have more aggressive cancers so it is vital to catch them early. If there is one message that needs to get out it is that one.

The American Cancer Society is still claiming a woman should wait until the age of 40 before she gets her first baseline mammo. If I had waited until 40 I am not sure I would be here writing this. Christina Applegate has been saved a lot of torture because she found hers at such an early stage. If you are under 40 and have not had a baseline, do it now. If you have a lump or questionable calcifications and your doctor has advised you to watch and wait- stop. Demand a breast MRI. It will find the tiniest of cancers. It can not only save your life, but it can spare you the need for drastic treatments such as chemotherapy if it is found early enough.

If your doctor takes the time to craft a detailed, compelling letter of the need for this test, which includes stating you have an area of concern and dense breast tissue making it hard to diagnose, your insurance will eventually approve it. They may deny it the first time, but you appeal and eventually they relent. It is the unspoken rule of dealing with insurance companies: delay and deny and then hope the patient gives up. If YOU do not give up they will relent and approve. Fight for this test. This is your life on the line. Don't let them wear you down.

Miss Applegate stated in her Good Morning America interview that she will be starting a program that will help young women get breast MRIs. If we can contribute in any way to this cause, the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation is behind her all the way.

She also announced something else that I would like to personally thank her for. She is young, pretty and known for her beautiful body as well as her acting talent. She just underwent a bilateral mastectomy and will be getting breast reconstruction over the next 8 months, which sounds to me like expanders and implants. She is too thin to get a flap procedure, so it makes sense. As a young, single woman, I know this is a hard thing to cope with. I would like to reassure her that she will have a beautiful outcome eventually. It takes a while to get things right, but it is worth it. And I would like to say thank you to her for going public with this surgery. I am hoping that because of her exposure and how pretty she remains, maybe she can put a new face on those of us who have gone through recon. You single readers will know what I am referring to. We need someone pretty and young to show the world that we are not freaks, but beautiful works in progress.

I hope she reads this. I want her to know that there are many women behind her wishing her well. And she has our support especially with her message to young women. It is vital and maybe, just maybe, young women will hear it.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Elizabeth, the Magnificent

I have already expressed my feelings about John Edwards. I would like to address this to Elizabeth.

For those outside this disease, they do not know what happens emotionally to women when they are diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. There is a feeling of loss of self. All the things that made us feminine have been assaulted. There is often a sense of lovelessness, hopefully fleeting, that can make us feel like we are somehow damaged. This can lead to us thinking that we have to accept whatever treatment we get from our spouses or lovers.

Elizabeth, in case you didn't know, you are magnificent. You are more beautiful because of your illness than a woman who has not been through all the struggles you have. You are a Warrior with a deep reserve of power and strength and that only makes you more lovely, not less. What your husband did is a reflection on him, not you. It is he who is weak, frail, ugly, unworthy and undeserving of love. He is the one who is skulking around with his head hung low in shame. It is he who is the pitiful one.

You, my dear sister, are shining and proud. You know what you have inside you. You have fought for your life and you are winning. You have come head to head with a far more formidable foe and remained standing. What your husband did to you and your family is nothing compared to what you have conquered. You have women across the world rallying to your side. And no one is more armed and ready to help you through this than your breast cancer sisters. We want to remind you of your inner strength and power. We will not let you forget your beauty, your grace, your dignity.

Hold your head up, smile that enchanting smile of yours, and remember, you are magnificent and we got your back.